Oxford is, in a word, breathtaking.
The town itself is adorable and plays host to a variety of lovely shops. At the time, it was only the third place I’d visited in Britain (after London and Canterbury) and is definitely the most charming. If you’re fortunate enough to be in town or on campus on a clear day during the golden hour, you are in for a treat.
I should probably back up a bit and explain that D and I spent a day in Oxford while we were across the pond for a work trip (mine– he tagged along!).
No one can give an exact date of the college’s founding, so scholars say that ‘teaching took place’ as early as the 11th century. It is older than Cambridge, the rival school that forms the latter half of the portmanteau Oxbridge. These years and years of history translate to a gorgeous campus and top-notch academics.
As a result… scouts chose it as one of the filming locations for Harry Potter! Various Oxford sites appear in the films, particularly Sorcerer’s Stone and Goblet of Fire. My heart was a-flutter during the whole campus tour, led by a witty guide who made sure to point out HP-related places to me (as I was the only one to raise a hand when he asked who was a fan.)
At the end of the tour, our guide– I think his name was Robert– made a quick plug for the books he’s written about the town, including one about ghosts. What I regret not asking was why Oxford is referred to as both the University of Oxford and Oxford University. Google couldn’t give me an answer, and I’m still stumped.
En fin, this was a 10/10 trip. I’d recommend visiting outside of the high season, like we did, for fewer crowds. Oxford is an enchanting little place and a nice escape from the busyness of London.