Saturday, 22 September 2012

Playing the Tourist in Oxford

Yesterday I had an impromptu day off work and went into Oxford to be a tourist with a friend. As technically I as born in the city and have lived in the county all my life and said friend has lived in various parts of Oxford it seemed like we weren't bona fide tourists.  We just thought it might be nice to explore parts of the city we frequently pass by without much thought: The University.

For those of you that don't know Oxford University is slightly different to many Universities in as much as it comprises as many colleges (rather than just one) that create the whole university.  Each college has it's own rich history and they all recruit for students individually.  Many of them open up their grounds to the public, usually in the afternoons, and often for free. It means you can literally walk off of the street through an iron gate or heavy oak door and enter a different world.  Of course if there is an event or maybe the filming of Lewis going on individual colleges maybe shut.  When people find out I'm from Oxford they often ask me if it's really like you see on the TV on Inspector Morse or Lewis.  I would say if you go looking for that Oxford you can easily find it.  (Although thankfully with less murders!) The thing I find most amazing is I go shopping to Oxford on a regular basis and whilst it's not hard to recognise Oxford as you go up The High, it's very firmly Town.  Take a walk through any college, University Parks, The University Museums, the Jericho area, Summertown or a host of city centre pubs and you are in the world of Inspector Morse/Lewis and firmly surrounded in the Oxford of the Gown.  Even yesterday as I walked around Wadham College, Worcester College and University Parks I felt (as I always do in parts of Oxford) that I was in a different world.

I'll let you judge from the pictures if you think that Oxford really does look as you expect it to look

Keble Collge from University Parks.
Keble College from Oxford University Parks

Wadham College Grounds

The Georgian part of Worcester College which faces the Medieval part.

Worcester College has its own lake!

The Georgian part of Worcester College - you can just spot the medieval bit to the right.  
Apparently they intended to replace all the buildings but half way through ran short of funds so the older, existing college buildings survived replacement. 

The Georgian bits maybe grander but I like the charm of the original buildings.

The light and rain wasn't great for pictures but more here.


  1. Oh lovely photos! Thanks for the tour!

  2. Beautiful pics! Hope you had a great day :D

  3. Nice photos. I played tourist in Oxford last Friday and had a lovely day out. Di x

  4. Oxford looks like a fairy tale to me. You photos are encouraging me to travel more, maybe even to Europe. My world is green rainforest and dry brown plains, rock art, salt water crocodiles, and unsealed roads to interesting places.

  5. Very pictureskew, it's hard to imagine when compared to the sweaty students you see in the boat clubs that they come from anywhere so refined looking (says she from a uni that really matched its grotty students ;o) )

  6. It's gorgeous. Lovely photos!Glad you had a impromptu day off and did something fun!

  7. Looks like you had a grand day off work! Loved all the photos - it's amazing how straight the mow lines are in the grassy area - with faint curves underneath.
    Thanks for taking us along!

  8. oooooo what a great trip down memory lane this post was for me. Thanks. Such great photos. makes me want to come back and play tourist again soon x

  9. Great pics Jan! My Cousin studied at one of the Oxford colleges, Corpus Christi, I think. I never got to visit him so it's quite interesting to see what some of the other college grounds look like :-)

  10. Lovely pics. we did an event at Trinity college in the gardens of the President's house in the summer, and it was just like walking through a set of Morse or Lewis - I'm sure they get sick of people exclaiming that halfway across a quad!

  11. Amazing pictures Jan. Years since I have been to Oxford. I did go to an Oxford May ball once (loooong time ago!)

  12. Brilliant photos! I have seen little of Oxford as I am afraid to drive there. One day I must take the train and meet you.

  13. I actually had no concept of what Oxford looks like. Thanks for the wee tour! Very ancient and regal looking. I don't know the tv shows you reference but I can see this is Agatha Christie stories and the like.


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