Oxford, Part Two

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Continued from Oxford, Part One

Tom Tower and Tom Quad at Christ Church - Oxford, England

Tom Tower and Tom Quad at Christ Church

Once you’ve eaten and shopped your way out of Covered Market the walking tour will have you continue on towards St. Martin’s Tower. The locals refer to this monument as Carfax Tower. From here you will head to one of the most popular locations, Christ Church Cathedral and College. The current popularity stems from the fact that various parts of Christ Church were the inspiration for, or actual film locations, for the Harry Potter series. You’ll first pass by Tom Tower, created by the famed English architect Sir Christopher Michael Wren, as you make your way to the entrance to the Christ Church Meadow. The path to the Christ Church Meadow is through the War Memorial Garden. After exiting the War Memorial Garden to your left will be the public entrance to buy tickets into Christ Church.

Turf Tavern - Oxford, England

Turf Tavern

Your ticket gains you access into the Tom Quad, The Great Hall, and the Cathedral. Harry Potter fans will recognize The Great Hall as the inspiration for the dining hall at Hogwarts. Once inside the Cathedral you will want to pick up their pamphlet, “A Brief Tour of the Cathedral”, as it highlights the main points of interest inside the Cathedral. Once done inside take a moment in Tom Quad to soak in your surroundings and breathe in the same air as the Oxford intelligentsia. After Christ Church the walking tour takes you past the Botanic Gardens, which has its own admissions price. You will see other colleges such as Corpus Christ, Merton, and Magdalen.  On New College Lane you will see a bridge that connects two parts of Hertford College. This bridge is known as the Bridge of Sighs, a reference to the bridge of the same name in Venice.

Lamb and Flag Passage - Oxford, England

Lamb and Flag Passage

At this point in your journey you may have a hankering for a pint or pub food. Near the Bridge of Sighs is the famous Turf Tavern, which offers a self-described “education in intoxication”. On a sign by the tavern are the words “If you’ve been to Oxford before, without visiting the Turf, then you haven’t really visited Oxford”. Even famous people have visited the Turf Tavern such as Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret Thatcher, and Ben Kingsley. The Turf Tavern boasts high quality cask ales fresh from the tap. If available be sure to try a pint of the Damson Porter, a smooth on the palate dark beer. If the pub fare at Turf Tavern doesn’t pique your interest head to nearby Holywell Street and The Alternative Tuck Shop. At The Alternative Tuck Shop sandwiches are made to order for takeaway. The chicken tikka with mango chutney on a baguette isn’t spicy but cool and refreshing.

Peek Kai Tod Kraiem at Chiang Mai Kitchen - Oxford, England

Peek Kai Tod Kraiem at Chiang Mai Kitchen

From Holywell Street you will resume your walking tour on Parks Road. You will pass by Wadham College, University Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum of Ethnology, and Keble College. From there the tour will take you through the Lamb and Flag Passage, a tranquil passageway that is charming. Try to capture a peaceful moment in this section of Oxford. If time permits before leaving Oxford you can head back near Covered Market, to the pedestrian zone on Cornmarket Street. Here you can spend time at a coffee shop or explore such stores as H&M, Moss, or Zara. If you decide to have dinner in Oxford try Chiang Mai Kitchen. This authentic Thai restaurant serves up delicious dishes such as Peek Kai Tod Kraiem. Peek Kai Tod Kraiem is a plate of chicken wings fried and slathered with a Thai sweet and spicy sauce. Traditional dishes of Pad Thai and Thai Curry are tasty. At this point your day in Oxford is over and you will walk back to the train station and onwards to your next destination.

 

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Oxford

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University of Oxford: 51.756634, -1.254704
Oxford Railway Station: 51.753288, -1.269913
Ashmolean Museum: 51.755302, -1.260026
Martyrs Memorial: 51.755053, -1.258972
Radcliffe Camera: 51.753425, -1.254012
Covered Market: 51.752195, -1.256583
Christ Church: 51.750643, -1.256597
Bridge of Sighs - Hertford College: 51.754472, -1.253734
Turf Tavern: 51.754685, -1.252968
The Alternative Tuck Shop: 51.755049, -1.251845
Lamb and Flag Passage: 51.757468, -1.258492
Cornmarket Street: 51.752937, -1.258310
Chiang Mai Kitchen: 51.752020, -1.256478
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University of Oxford
Oxford, Part One
University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Oxford Railway Station
Oxford, Part One
Oxford Railway Station, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Ashmolean Museum
Oxford, Part One
Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Martyrs Memorial
Oxford, Part One
Martyrs Memorial, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Radcliffe Camera
Oxford, Part One
Radcliffe Camera, Radcliffe Square, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Covered Market
Oxford, Part One
The Covered Market Oxford, Market Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Christ Church
Oxford, Part Two
Christ Church, Saint Aldate's, Oxford, UK
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Bridge of Sighs - Hertford College
Oxford, Part Two
Bridge of Sighs, New College Lane, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Turf Tavern
Oxford, Part Two
The Turf Tavern, Bath Place, Oxford, United Kingdom
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The Alternative Tuck Shop
Oxford, Part Two
The Alternative Tuck Shop, Holywell Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Lamb and Flag Passage
Oxford, Part Two
Lamb and Flag Passage, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Cornmarket Street
Oxford, Part Two
Cornmarket Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Chiang Mai Kitchen
Oxford, Part Two
Chiang Mai Kitchen Ltd, High Street, Oxford, United Kingdom

 

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Oxford, Part One

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The English city of Oxford takes just over an hour by train to reach from London. Oxford is most known for the University of Oxford. The University of Oxford boasts over 30 different colleges within walking distance. Just by being in Oxford one feels smarter as if intelligence is increased by osmosis. You will have the urge to duck into a library to crack open a book and study. Even if you are not a scholar at heart, Oxford’s architecture and serenity make for an enjoyable visit. In addition, Oxford has many eateries well worth your stomach’s time. A perfect escape from London, Oxford should rank high on your itinerary as a day trip.

It is possible to visit the highlights of Oxford in just one day. To help plan out your day when you arrive at the Oxford train station stop by the tourist information booth. This kiosk sells for around 2£ a “Quick Guide – Oxford” pamphlet and map. This guide, produced by Quick Guides Publishers, includes a walking tour that will guide you past the top sights. In the guide it states that the walk takes an hour to complete. The walk will take longer if you move at a more relaxed pace or spend extra time at the various sights. Your level of interest will determine the time you spend exploring the various colleges and sights. The colleges aren’t always open to visitors so that may impact your visiting schedule. Furthermore, leave plenty of time to eat at at least one of the many restaurants in Oxford.

Ashmolean Museum - Oxford, England

Ashmolean Museum

Following the “Quick Guide – Oxford” your walk will begin at the Ashmolean Museum. The museum is a straight shot from the train station, an eleven-minute walk. From the train station continue on Hythe Bridge Street and make a left on to Worcester Street. Stay on Worcester Street and it will turn into Beaumont Street, with the museum on the left-hand side of the street. The Ashmolean Museum is Britain’s first museum, with a focus on art and archeology. Admission to the museum is free so if you enjoy museums you will want to budget in time to explore the museum. The museum is closed on Mondays, but open from 10am to 5pm Tuesdays through Sundays.

Martyrs' Memorial - Oxford, England

Martyrs’ Memorial

Opposite from the Ashmolean Museum is the Martyrs’ Memorial. This monument, and the museum, is where your walk will end so remember this location. The monument is in a central location so it makes for a good meeting place if anyone in your group gets separated. The Martyrs’ Memorial is in front of the first college you’ll see, Balliol. Balliol College is one of the oldest colleges in Oxford. Continue from Balliol College to Broad Street where you will find Trinity College and various stores. Here at these shops you can buy souvenirs such as a University of Oxford sweatshirt. At the opposite end of Broad Street of note is the bookstore Blackwell, Sheldonian Theatre, and the Clarendon Building.

Radcliffe Camera in Radcliffe Square - Oxford, England

Radcliffe Camera in Radcliffe Square

As you pass through Old Schools Quad and by Bodleian Library, you’ll find yourself in Radcliffe Square. Here you will find plenty of tourists with their cameras ready. Radcliffe Square is where you will find Radcliffe Camera, one of Oxford’s most well-known sights. This round building is home to the Radcliffe Science Library. After you’ve taken your photos you’ll find the tour takes you past a few more colleges such as Exeter College, All Souls College, and Brasenose College. At this point in the tour you may find your stomach grumbling and that you’re itching for a snack. Fear not as you should find yourself on Market Street and the Covered Market.

Pieminister - Oxford, England

Pieminister

Covered Market has a slew of food stalls ready to fulfill any craving. If you are in the mood for an English dish stop by Pieminister. Pieminister serves hearty pies baked with fillings such as venison or steak. The pie dough is flakey on the outside and soft in the inside with the meat filling soft and succulent. The meat pie is placed on top of mashed potatoes with gravy pored over for the final touch. For dessert have a fresh baked cookie from Ben’s Cookies. One of Ben’s Cookies may be bought for just under 2£. For sale are cookies made with milk or dark chocolate and classics such as peanut butter or oatmeal raisin. Besides food stalls Covered Market has merchants selling fresh flowers, and butchers selling meats such as sausages and English lamb liver. You will find coffee shops, clothing stores, and even a cobbler. A wide variety of shops and food options are available for your browsing pleasure at Covered Market.

Continued in Oxford, Part Two

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Oxford

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University of Oxford: 51.756634, -1.254704
Oxford Railway Station: 51.753288, -1.269913
Ashmolean Museum: 51.755302, -1.260026
Martyrs Memorial: 51.755053, -1.258972
Radcliffe Camera: 51.753425, -1.254012
Covered Market: 51.752195, -1.256583
Christ Church: 51.750643, -1.256597
Bridge of Sighs - Hertford College: 51.754472, -1.253734
Turf Tavern: 51.754685, -1.252968
The Alternative Tuck Shop: 51.755049, -1.251845
Lamb and Flag Passage: 51.757468, -1.258492
Cornmarket Street: 51.752937, -1.258310
Chiang Mai Kitchen: 51.752020, -1.256478
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University of Oxford
Oxford, Part One
University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Oxford Railway Station
Oxford, Part One
Oxford Railway Station, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Ashmolean Museum
Oxford, Part One
Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Martyrs Memorial
Oxford, Part One
Martyrs Memorial, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Radcliffe Camera
Oxford, Part One
Radcliffe Camera, Radcliffe Square, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Covered Market
Oxford, Part One
The Covered Market Oxford, Market Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Christ Church
Oxford, Part Two
Christ Church, Saint Aldate's, Oxford, UK
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Bridge of Sighs - Hertford College
Oxford, Part Two
Bridge of Sighs, New College Lane, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Turf Tavern
Oxford, Part Two
The Turf Tavern, Bath Place, Oxford, United Kingdom
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The Alternative Tuck Shop
Oxford, Part Two
The Alternative Tuck Shop, Holywell Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Lamb and Flag Passage
Oxford, Part Two
Lamb and Flag Passage, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Cornmarket Street
Oxford, Part Two
Cornmarket Street, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Chiang Mai Kitchen
Oxford, Part Two
Chiang Mai Kitchen Ltd, High Street, Oxford, United Kingdom

 

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Day Trips From London

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A week in London means a packed itinerary and a day trip to another town may be the furthest thing from your mind. Even so, you should devote a day to a city besides London. Visit other parts of England near London to allow yourself the opportunity to explore another side of the country. Day trips that offer a different experience than staying in London are Bath, Oxford, Reading, Stonehenge, and Windsor. Travel times listed in each heading are one-way train trips from London’s Paddington Station.

Bath – 90 minutes

Walk around London and you can’t imagine that Britain was once part of the Roman Empire. Travel to Bath and that evidence hits you smack dab in the face. The town of Bath is known for its hot springs and the Romans built bathhouses to harness the restorative water. Tourists can buy tickets for admittance into what was once a functioning bathhouse and learn the history of the town. Unlike hot spring locations in other parts of the world, Bath does not have public bathhouses open to visitors. Thermae Spa is the only place in Bath where you can pay to take a dip in water flowing from the hot springs. Before heading home stroll through Bath and admire the Roman architecture and quaint streets.

The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul - Bath, England

The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul – Bath

Oxford – 60 minutes

Tourists looking to explore England’s famed university towns choose between Oxford and Cambridge. Both are solid choices but Cambridge is a two-hour journey from London while Oxford takes an hour to reach by train. Oxford boasts over 30 different universities within walking distance. Just by being in Oxford one feels smarter as if intelligence is increased by osmosis. You will have the urge to duck into a library to crack open a book and study. When you arrive at the Oxford train station stop by the tourist information booth and buy the 2£ map that includes a walking tour. The walking tour will guide you past the top sites. Plan on the walk to take an hour to complete. The walk will take longer if you walk at a relaxed pace, explore the universities, and eat at one of the many restaurants in Oxford.

The Radcliffe Camera - Oxford University, England

The Radcliffe Camera – Oxford University

Reading – 30 minutes

Reading is not a town brimming with sites, but that’s the appeal. The streets from the train station lead you past various shops and to the Oracle shopping center. The Oracle provides a chance to shop in a mall without the same crowds that you find in London. Behind the Oracle is a riverfront reminiscent of a scaled version of the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas. Plenty of restaurant options around the river will replenish you during your shopping excursion. If you need a pause from the hustle and bustle of London consider Reading that break.

The Oracle Riverside - Reading, England

Reading – The Oracle Riverside

Stonehenge – 3 hours

Photos of the monument Stonehenge are recognizable around the world. Years ago tourists to the fabled grounds of Stonehenge could walk right up to the massive stones and place their hands directly onto the monument. Even though the experience of touching the stones is no longer allowed this prehistoric monument is a site to be seen. With a six hour round trip, this destination is the longest on this list to reach by train. The better plan is to tack Stonehenge along with another location such as Bath. Companies, such as Gray Line, have a bus tour that is nine hours and includes transportation to both Bath and Stonehenge. Travel with a tour group means that you will be on a schedule when at each location. At least you will visit both sites without having to spend six hours sitting on a train.

Stonehenge - Wiltshire, England

Stonehenge

Windsor – 35 minutes

The highlight of Windsor is Windsor Castle, one of the many residences of the Royal Family. If you see the Royal Standard flag flying above the Castle then you know the Queen is home. Tourists primarily descend upon Windsor by tour bus just to visit the Castle. Windsor is more than just the Castle and worth a few extra hours beyond the tour of the Castle grounds. If you arrive at Windsor & Eton Central railway station upon exiting the train are various shops and restaurants. Around Windsor Castle are more shops and restaurants. Next to Windsor Castle is Windsor Great Park that includes pathways such as the Long Walk. Another nice walk is across the River Thames to Eton College, a boys’ boarding school. The streets leading to Eton College are lined with shops and restaurants.

Windsor Castle - Windsor, England

Windsor Castle

 

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Day Trips From London

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Bath: 51.375801, -2.359904
Oxford: 51.752021, -1.257726
Reading: 51.454265, -0.978130
Stonehenge: 51.178882, -1.826215
Windsor: 51.481728, -0.613576
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Bath
Day Trips From London
Bath, United Kingdom
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Oxford
Day Trips From London
Oxford, United Kingdom
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Reading
Day Trips From London
Reading, United Kingdom
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Stonehenge
Day Trips From London
Stonehenge, Amesbury, United Kingdom
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Windsor
Day Trips From London
Windsor, United Kingdom

 

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