My friend Jenn and I decided to take another day trip from London on Sunday, this time to Oxford. At first it seemed like we were avoiding any travel mishaps–we arrived at Victoria Coach Station on time, went to the gate where it said the bus to Oxford was, and sat patiently waiting. 9 o clock came. 9.05 came and no bus. So, we went to information and were told that the bus stop was out on the street and not operated through the coach station. Oops. Luckily we caught the 9.30 bus with plenty of time and I learned how to read a ticket printed out from national express.
Once we arrived in Oxford, it was hard not to be taken aback by the grandeur of it all. Spires and turrets and elaborate buildings seemed to be everywhere. Jenn and I were both feeling a little peckish so we decided to grab a snack at a lovely little tea shop right at the edge of the University of Oxford’s campus called Vaults and Garden Cafe. It was located in an old building with amazingly vaulted ceilings as you can see in the photo below of Jenn. I had wanted a scone with my tea but unfortunately they didn’t have any out yet so I settled for lemon pound cake (which was plenty tasty so no harm done).
Then we visited the Bodleian Library where I became convinced we were at Hogwarts. If any of you are Harry Potter fans you might recognize this lovely little room and its amazing ceiling (it is where they practiced dancing in the fourth movie). We didn’t pay for the extended tour so we weren’t able to see the full library but regardless, it was quite incredible.
As we did in Colchester, you can read about our trip here, Jenn and I spent most of our time wandering around and exploring the streets. Both of us agreed Oxford has the feel of the “quintessential” British town we always imagined. I joked that I’d be transferring to Oxford after our visit, it was that beautiful. I can only imagine what it must look like when it’s sunny.
There were plenty of cute little shops, including one called Alice’s Shop which was dedicated to Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland. Fun fact for literary lovers: JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis both wrote in Oxford. Needless to say, I was plenty happy to wander around in a place rife with so much literary history. I also figured Oxford would be the perfect place to have a proper pub meal so Jenn and I headed to The White Horse for a late lunch before heading back to London. (Two other pubs which looked wonderful are Turf Tavern & The Bear Inn). I got steak & ale pie and Jenn settled for fish & chips.
We spent a little more time wandering around in a bookshop before catching our bus back to London. After going to school in New York and now London, it is hard to imagine going to school in a place like Oxford–and yet I almost could.