An Afternoon in Oxford | Travel Diaries

The appearance of the city had yet in itself sufficient beauty to obtain our admiration – Mary Shelley.

Oxford has always seemed like one of those far-off places that I’d always talk about going to visit, but would never find the time. It encapsulates the highest of the studious and the magic and drama that can compare to Rory and her Yale days. Every girl who watched Gilmore Girls dreamed of an Ivy League education just like Rory… even if it was for the fraction of a second. In typical me fashion, I didn’t realise Oxford was a city. Yes, I know. I’d never be able to compete with the level of knowledge anyone with a brain has. Nevertheless, I wandered around in awe at this magnificent city, with eyes like a child who had seen a fairy land for the very first time.

In the typical way, we were late leaving for Oxford and managed to get to the city between 12.30 and 12.45pm. Mini tip: Park at the Oxford Park & Ride as it is cheaper to get the bus into the city rather than park within the city limits. I think we paid around £2.40 each for a return. Don’t ask me how much the car ticket was though. You can probably find out here. In the typical British fashion, the skies were grey and it was a case of dodge the puddle in most parts; at least it kept reasonably dry whilst we made our way to the Pitt Rivers Museum. My hat only blew off once.

When I say I was in awe of the museum, it means that if I wasn’t like a child in a toy shop at Christmas before, I became one as soon as I stepped foot into the incredible building that holds an enormous amount of artefacts from all through the ages. There are half a million pieces in that building. Half a million. Each of them tells a story about our history and our world. It is impossible to get my head around the sheer enormity of items from Europe, Asia, Africa and further in one grand room. There are musical instruments that span centuries, voodoo items, weapons – swords, guns, knives, axes, bows, arrows, the lot – tattoo equipment, jewellery, clothes, everything. These are all in the darkened back room, where blood red is the primary colour; made for ambience maybe?

In the first room, it is filled with a natural light from the high glass ceilings. In it are bones and carcasses of animals from across the globe as well as dinosaurs that you can just imagine waking up at night-time to fetch bones for the janitor. Fossils are locked away in cabinets and skeletons of mammals from under the sea line the ceiling. The entirety of the left hand side showcases the evolution of human, from the early specimens of monkey to who and what we are today, including the bones of the first human ever discovered! Also, apparently there are descendants of rabbit in us… How insane is that?! Skulls – did I mention I like bones, without sounding like a serial killer… – from across the globe illustrate just how different each race is in the world, right down to the bone structure. I feel like I want to go back and take it all in again, just to remember the importance of each formation and so that I can express myself more intellectually in this post.

Wandering around a museum is one of my favourite things to do on a date – yes, we classed it as a date – because not only is it free, you can become really entranced with everything and enjoy something as profound as our history together. I always think of something else I would rather do than explore a museum by myself, but when I’m with someone, it is much more fun. You get to talk about the objects and learn something new, not only about the exhibitions but about each other too.

After spending a few hours in the museum, we wandered to Pret a Manger for a quick bite to eat before our homemade pies in the evening at The Pie Pub aka Crown and Tuns in Deddington that evening. And then, we kinda spent over an hour in Waterstones – it has many floors! Wherever we are in this country, we always find Waterstones. It’s tradition now.

Oxford has become a place that I want to return to as soon as possible. I only had a glance at the university grounds and half a roam around some of the high street. I want to see so much more of it, like the restaurants and the pubs and more of its history. I want to get all of the typical blogger photos down the cobbled side streets and sip hot chocolate whilst wrapped in a coat, and I want to see it in the summer when the skies are the brightest blue.

Have you visited Oxford? Can you give any recommendations where to go next time?

Love, Faye xo


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