Thursday, 4 August 2011

Oxford Day Trip

On the 2nd July I went with Gillian for a day trip to Oxford, it was only about 10GBP return for the approx 1hr journey. We were meant to be going with her sister as well, she wasn't feeling so good that morning (it was self induced from the night before!), so we ended up going by ourselves. We arrived about 8.30 in the morning, with a rough idea of what we were going to do for the day. We wanted to go on a free walking tour of Oxford that started at 11am, so after walking from the train station to the main street, we had a look in a few tourist shops, walked up to the castle (but did not pay to go in), and then went for a walk to a little old church, where we both lit a candle.
Quite a cosy little church - and the seats
even had padding!
Lots of gargoyles and grotesques in Oxford
The tour is based on a tip system, where you tip what you think it is worth. After an enjoyable and informative 2 hour tour, Gill and I tipped 5GBP each. I think we tipped more than other people, but the other prepaid tours were around 8GBP, and there were no guarantees that you would actually like it. The university colleges are spread throughout the town, and we visited a fair few of them, as well as other sites around Oxford. The itinerary can be found here. The tour didn't include actual entry into any of the buildings, but it was good to get the history of the place, and then if you wanted you could go back later to explore more.

A very photographed bridge

Radcliffe Camera

Apparently the door that inspired Aslan and Mr
Tumnus in 'The Lion, the Witch, and the

Christ Church - one of the colleges, and the inspiration
for the great hall in Harry Potter

Sheldonian theatre

Carved head on the fence of
Sheldonian theatre - each
carving is different
The geese, before they got too crazy
After the tour finished I met up with one of Chris's primary school friend, who I had only met on the internet! We all had a bit of a picnic lunch together in a park. While we were there somebody decided to feed the (crazy as) geese, and we had a swarm of about 8 of the silly things come a bit too close for comfort. It was great to finally meet Dan, who I have known for about 8 years!

We met!
Concentrating hard, so I don't fall in!
Dan then took as to a location where we could go punting before we said goodbye (he had to go pack for his holiday to Disneyland Paris). Punting requires pushing a boat along, with a long pole. It was quite fun, even if both me and Gill were rather unco at it! (though to be honest, I was doing 'okay' until the very end, when I had to park the silly thing, in amongst other people coming and going). You can get chaffeured punt boats, but we didn't think that would be as much fun :P

Ah, this is better - much more relaxing :)
We finished our day in Oxford with dinner at 'the Turf' pub, which was recommended to us by both our tour guide and Dan. We shared a jug of Pimm's and lemonade, though it was 'low' in fruit according to the bartender. Generally Pimm's is served with strawberry's, orange, lemon, cucumber (not my favorite part lol), and mint... well this one only contained the mint! Gill had lasagne for her dinner, and I had a yorkshire pudding wrapped beef thingy, complete with chips, gravy, and a onion relish. It was quite nice! After dinner we made our way back to the train station, and finally made it back to London, after a long and exhausting, but great day out :)