Why it pays to have smart friends…

As it happens, I have some pretty clever friends. Quite fortunately, two of them were accepted into Oxford University in the same year. This was perfect as it meant I could visit Oxford and get an insider’s tour of the University at the same time.

Life has turned out pretty well since then. Because of this, I thought it was fitting to dedicate a post to what is a remarkably beautiful city – I loved it there.

The Radcliff Camera and All Souls

Can you see why? It is so beautiful. Ok, it probably helps that I had absolutely stunning weather when I visited and two behind-the-scenes tour guides. But even without these things it is worthy of such a description. If my photos don’t do it justice, trust me, it is gorgeous.

The photo above shows the Radcliff Camera and All Souls College (to the right). This was my view when eating breakfast on day one. Amazing.

Shortly after our breakfast we headed to St Mary’s to climb up the church tower (a bargain at only 3 pound each for entry). Well worth it for the view:

Yup, pretty spectacular from up here.

Absolutely gorgeous day!

There was a bit of climb to get up there, so it is fair to say we worked for the view, but it was totally worth these stairs:

Working for the view!

By the time I arrived in Oxford I’d actually been in transit (through Hong Kong) for a couple of days without any real sleep. This didn’t improve over the next few days, so I decided to go for a little bit of a run each morning before my friends woke up. I say “a little bit of a run” because it was kind of ridiculous… I had to stop approximately every one hundred metres or so to take a photo:

You can see why I got distracted. In fact, it was like this everywhere I went. The colleges are amazing, and to think that some of my friends were lucky enough to live in these types of places!

Maybe it was the time of the year and the flowers, but my absolute favourite was Magdalen College.

And let’s not forget Christ Church, as featured in none other than Harry Potter (yes, I’m a fan):

The gardens around all of the colleges are absolutely beautiful (so there’s no excuse not to go out and do some exercise)! The photo below was snapped by my friend and Oxford graduate, Louisa (thanks Lou!) and taken of my friend Anurag and I (another Oxford graduate who also put me up for the duration of my stay – thank you!). A different perspective on things but I love this shot:

For a little light exercise, I recommend punting. You can rent a punt for around 10 pound an hour (another bargain, particularly if you go in a group). For the uninitiated, (I certainly was when I arrived) a punt is a long narrow boat that you effectively push along with a big long pole (perhaps there is a technical term for this?!). I would show you a photo of me attempting to punt, but then I’d never be able to show my face again. So instead, you can see the boats/punts:

Punting is very fun, however if you get the chance I recommend going with some experts like I did!  We had five of us in a punt and it was well-balanced the whole way.

Oxford is a wonderful little city that I enjoyed so much. A big shout out in thank you to all the friends – both new and old (and a very special someone) – who I was fortunate enough to meet along the way and share this experience with.

I wholeheartedly recommend a visit for a couple of days and do remember to get out to enjoy the parks and the water as well as all of the colleges and food!

The Healthy Globetrotter

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7 thoughts on “Why it pays to have smart friends…

  1. Mark Simms

    Good post this…both detailed and personal, with some lovely images. I know exactly where you were sitting for breakfast on the first day, because we had a lovely cup of tea and a piece of cake there as a reward for climbing St Mary’s Tower. Magdalen College was my favourite too!

    Reply
  2. amysinkwell

    Gorgeous pictures, thank you so much for sharing! Oxford is truly a beautiful place. I didn’t get a chance to punt whilst there, but maybe I’ll get up the courage next time. Because let’s face it: there must be a next time!

    Reply
  3. Lissie

    Thanks for commenting on my post and linking me here, it’s a really nice post! I live near Oxford and try to not forget how lucky I am to be able to visit as and when I like!

    Reply

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