We are really lucky in the UK to have so many lovely places to explore and discover and it dawned on me recently that I really haven't taken advantage of that enough. Oxford is less than a 2 hour drive from me and yet up until a couple of weekends ago, I had never visited before.
Having booked the Friday off work I set off mid morning to make the most of a full afternoon to begin exploring the city. I had done lots of research on places to visit and booked myself 2 nights making sure I had plenty of time to properly explore and discover all that is on offer.
On arriving the first stop was the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. I was keen to check out the gorgeous Grade 1 listed Victorian Gothic building which houses the museum, and was not disappointed by it's grand ceiling, especially as the light was pouring through it. Another thing I was excited to see was the dinosaur skeletons I had read about being there. Having seen the T-Rex skeleton in Chicago late last year at the Field Museum, I couldn't believe there was another so close to home. Sadly this was a great disappointment as they were in fact casts and not the actual real thing, but it was still nice to see them.
The next stop was the Ashmolean Museum. Another stunning building, and the oldest purpose built museum that is still in use. I didn't spend all that long in here. I will admit to not being the biggest museum fan, I much prefer the architecture, of which in Oxford there is plenty to admire.
Saturday morning, and another glorious sunny day, in fact it is hard to believe how lucky I was with the weather considering the snowy scene I am currently looking out my window to right now. A very touristy morning spent wandering the streets and photographing the sites. The grand university buildings, the Radcliff Camera and of course the famous Bridge of sighs. It truly is a beautiful city.
After exploring the city on street level I decided to climb the Carfax Tower to check out the view from above and was pleased I had made the climb. It isn't overly tall, however the height definitely gives an advantage view point in which to see the city from a different perspective. It cost a mere £2.50 entrance fee but on a sunny day like I experienced, it is worth checking out.
Another place I was keen to visit during my stay was Biscester Village. I have an outlet shopping village close to home that I regularly pay visits to, so I was keen to shop somewhere different. I clearly planned my visit at the wrong time though as the place was absolutely heaving with Chinese tourists visiting for the Chinese new year. There were queues to get into shops and the shops that didn't have queues to get inside were just rammed full of people. Certainly not an enjoyable shopping trip and I only ended up staying for about half an hour, but I would love to return one day as the décor and little displays around the village were absolutely beautiful.
In many ways Oxford did remind me of other cities I have visited in England, however it certainly stands alone in its own right as a city that is worth going to visit if ever you get the opportunity.
~ Gem x