Saturday, 24 January 2009

Sightseeing in Oxford

Great stuff! A friend from my University days, 'Our Sarah' (say it in a northern accent because she is from Leeds) has come over for the weekend. So we have decided that because I only moved to Oxford three months ago, and she has never been here before, that we are going to be unashamed tourists for the weekend.
To prepare for the pavement-pounding ahead, I decided to treat 'Our Sarah' to a meal, and took her to the Sainsbury's cafe where they have a special offer on at the moment - 2 main courses for £5.00. Don't let it be said that I don't give my friends the red-carpet treatment! I even let her have a second cup of tea.

And then to the Oxford 'Park and Ride'! Don't spare the horses Captain Mainwaring! After alighting from the bus (you can't upgrade to business class on them, I tried), we decided to be cultured and visit the various colleges that make up Oxford University. The first one, and I think the largest, was Christ's College (below).

Christ's College, Oxford

Sarah expressed a wish to look around Christ's College, but when I discovered that it was £6.00 for a tour, I made her walk around the back to see if we could sneak in some other way instead.

Me round the back of Christ's College
We soon discovered that the porters were wise to 'sneaking in' antics, so we gave up on trying to get into Christ's College and wandered around some of the back streets instead, taking pictures of old buildings (and there are a lot of them, mostly dating back to the 1500's apparently).

A view through a door - Corpus Christi College

After an hour or so, Our Sarah's feet started hurting because she was wearing daft shoes, so we decided to go and visit Oxford Castle which is right in the centre of the city. It took me a while to find it, because it isn't particularly well sign-posted and is hidden behind a hill-thing, which as it transpires, is actually part of the Castle. Our Sarah is a history teacher, and she reliably informed me that the hill-thing is in fact a 'Motte'.

The Motte - as seen from the top of Oxford Castle

So the views from the castle tower were pretty amazing, but my favourite part of the tour was the crypt. Allegedly, this is the most haunted part of Oxford Castle, but I liked it because there were randomly placed, unrealistic dummies scattered about.

Me hanging out with a couple of peasants

We spent quite a bit of time in the crypt trying to spot a ghost. If you have ever watched 'Most Haunted' on Living channel, I was a bit like Yvette Fielding, except that I didn't do any high-pitched girly screams.

Me and Paul Daniels

And then would you believe it! I bumped into Paul Daniels wearing a dress and doing some tricks. Crazy places these crypts!

Finally, it started going dark, so we decided to have a hot chocolate and call it a day. We jumped onto the park and ride and went back to Forest Hill, finishing off the evening with a meal at one of my locals - The Talkhouse. ACE!


  1. Love the picture of the random hot chocolate..made me laugh whilst I was waiting for my connecting flight at JFK back to the sun!

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