Welcome to a pretty impressive first stop on the musing express. Oxford, a place I first visited fresh out of Australia, some 14 years ago. I lasted approximately six hours – I’d paid my backpacker’s accommodation, had a brief walk around town, but found myself miserable and lonely so headed back on the next National Express to Victoria. Hindsight, gladly informs me now, the mistake I made. This city isn’t a place you should be leaving in a quarter of day; rather, embracing for as long as your time frame permits.
Thankfully, after confessing to my husband a couple of years later that I’d never really seen or enjoyed the place, he brought me back for a wonderful Easter weekend in 2003 – packed full of excellent accommodation (The Old Parsonage Hotel: a big spurge and something that wasn’t ordinary, in my life at least, rather a great treat and one that was so appreciated), delightful dining (Quod Brassiere), and a walk around Christ Church College and Merton Meadow. By end of day one, my opinion had shaken hands with its Nemesis and I was in love.
So, here we are today. I’m now very proudly, one whom finds themselves living in and loving this city. As an aside, if you see someone smiling a little bit too much and greeting people in the streets (yes, I’ve just spent almost nine years living in rural Herefordshire, where everyone says Hello), that will be me. Loving, not only the fact that now I’m one of the oldest people in Oxford, but I’m surrounded by others whom aren’t from here and have come to bask in the pleasure of the place.
Therefore, allow me please to provide you with my top picks from a city jammed filled with energy, optimism and bicycles.
Just head either to the toolbar at the top of the page – and click on Great Loves, scroll down to travelling or alternatively head straight to Top Shelf Destinations on the same menu bar, and then Oxford.