Foxtail Travels: Oxford

Radcliffe Camera: the coolest library ever! I would have liked to visit it.

I've previously made one travel post about Japan (in Finnish, you can find it here). This time I want to tell you about my day trip to Oxford, which I fell in love totally ❤ I spent some days in London at the beginning of July last year (gasp! it's almost a year ago) and had decided to make a day trip to Oxford (I usually prefer visiting small towns). They seem to open up easier and faster than big cities (I hated Tokyo for the first few months I lived there). First time I noticed my preference to small towns when I visited Milan in 2006 and made a day trip to Lago di Como.

Early in the morning at Paddington Station
I had bought the train ticket to such an early leaving train I was a bit worried I might not be able to get to Paddington Station in time (on time? I never know if it's on or in time, someone help!). After some heart-quickening moments at Aldgate Station I took the right train (tube?) and arrived at Paddington with plenty of time to catch the train to Oxford. (The previous night I had spent at least 20 minutes at Aldgate Station deciding which train to take to get back to Liverpool Street Station so as to get to Aldgate East Station. When walking to Aldgate Station early in the morning (around 5 a.m!) I realized I could have just exited the station and walked across the road as the stations were really close to each other.)

Here is a collage of my day in Oxford (scroll down for the list of places I fell totally in love, the absolute must -places in Oxford IMHO)

The totally crazy big bread some fellow travellers (Americans) had bought! They had a crazy big knife too! And they ate it as breakfast lol on the train lol (one of them was so cute and smiled at me constantly :P )

This time it's not me, it's the house (although I have a tendency to take crooked shots)!
Morning light <3

Despite the bad photo I want to post as it's the Thames Valley Police Station
(every Morse fan must know it^^)

Pembroke (!) Street

Well, Oxford is definitely a Uni town :D

The houses are so cute!!!

Places I especially fell in love with in Oxford:

The Covered Market

The Bodleian Library

The statue in front of the entrance was either Petrus Paulus Rubens or Thomas Pembrochiae (!)

In addition to this "schola" they had entrances to others schools too in every corner of the library: Schola Metaphysicae, Schola Logicae and Schola Musicae. One could really feel the atmosphere of old books and scholars there. I visited the Library shop too and had to buy a sign saying "Silence please" as it seemed like a real thing standing on the shelf there. I got even a bit startled after noticing it: had I been noisy???

The University of Oxford Shop

I would have wanted to buy every item on sale there :D

Tolkien DIY tour

Tolkien's grave (Wolvercote Cemetery): Please borrow a bicycle or ride a bus (not the one to Wolvercote, but the one riding on Banbury Road. Number 2 is such at least). Otherwise I like walking, but if you've walked miles on the hard streets of London on the previous days, it might not be the brightest idea to take the wrong bus and end up walking already on the way to the cemetery... You can buy a cheap bus pass (it was something like £4/day) which saves you money, if you're going to ride the bus more than twice. I had slight concerns how I would be able to find the grave from Wolvercote Cemetery but that turned out to be the least of my concerns.

Apparently some others have been looking for his grave too...

Balloons on the graveyard?

Beren and Lúthien

My map was a bit inaccurate and after visiting the grave I decided to walk (again, not the brightest idea) to Tolkien's former house. What I thought to be a little over 1 km walk, turned out to be 3 kilometers and in the middle of a hot day, phuh... I think I got stung by the sun as I was feeling really nauseous at the time I got there.

See the blue sign? It says that he (author of the Lord of the Rings) lived there 1930-1947.

There is an easy bus connection to his house from just in front of the cemetery (at least the bus number 2). I'd be interested to know who now lives at 20 Northmoor Street. Do they get bored of fans making "pilgrimmage" there? I was so nauseous then I really didn't want to stay in the sun anymore, so I took only this photo (otherwise I probably would have wanted to peek in the garden *^^*). I continued back to the center by riding a double-decker (first time on this journey) to Tolkien's favourite haunt:

The Eagle and Child (Bird and Baby!)
I wasn't at all hungry as the day was very hot, but the beer I drank there was thirst-quenching (I had just walked from at least 4 km in ballet flats, read the previous chapters). The place was quite full despite it was a Monday afternoon. Many were having their lunch there and the dishes looked delicious.

Vaults & Garden Café

I mean, seriously, how cool is it to have tea in a church. It's situated in Radcliffe Square so you can admire the beautiful Radcliffe Camera building if the weather is enough nice to be seated on the tables in the garden (not sure if there were any tombstones, as the garden is surrounding the church...). It had rained just before I got there, so I sat inside (so no tombstone spotting for me then). Their cream tea was delicious: the scone was still warm, crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, served with clotted cream and fresh-made raspberry jam with a slightly tangy taste. The tea was excellent, too (I even tried it with milk! Consider me converted :D <- well maybe not so... I wrote this part of the post last July and haven't had tea with milk even once after that... It's not bad, I mean... I just prefer my tea without it :D )

Christchurch College

After having the tea I noticed that Christchurch College would soon close and decided to run for it! I had passed the College early in the morning after walking in the fields and by River Isis, but it had been too early to enter the College then. During the hot day I had started to think I might be too tired to return there, but the tea gave me some stamina.

When I got at the ticket booth the lady told me I had no rush as the place would be open until 17.00 (the entrance is until 16.15, but you should check the timetable before you visit, as there are changes depending on the schedules of the College (that's the place where the students really live and study, so...). If you walk to Christchurch College, you'll be likely to pass Alice's Shop on the other side the road. And if you still have some stamina left, you could go for a walk in the fields which are facing the College from the south and east (? not quite sure about the directions though...)

Do you recognize these stairs?

The main reason I went there was mainly to see the Hall which was replicated for the Potter films. Of course I wanted to see at least one College from the inside too. I could easily imagine that the candles would soon start floating in the air or the Sorting Hat would emerge any minute or Dumbledore would walk around the corner :D A must place for any Potter fans out there!

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  1. Aaaww...everything looks amazing! 8))) Great pics!!

    1. Thanks :) You'd love it there too!


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