Hello from Oxford! I’m all moved in and am already looking out the window to find things to do to occupy my time in a brand new town. Luckily there seems to be plenty to do in Oxfordshire, so here’s my little bucket list of things I want to tick off over the next few months.
The Ashmolean Museum
Museum of Art & Archaeology, Beaumont Street, Oxford (www.ashmolean.org)
Located right in the city centre, the Ashmolean is just one of Oxford’s many museums I’m keen to hit up. The museum houses permanent collections of Ancient Egyptian, Anglo Saxon and Chinese art, and is currently home to the William Blake exhibition.
As well as the usual tourist-y parts of the museum, the Ashmoleon also hosts free Live Friday night events after hours and an array of cultural talks and workshops.
St Aldate’s, Oxford (www.chch.ox.ac.uk)
There’s no shortage of green space in Oxfordshire, but right on my doorstep is some seriously stunning parkland. Owned by Christ Church college, Christchurch Meadow is a stretch of parkland which borders the River Cherwell and Isis. Though it’s technically private land the meadow is open to the public during the day and it looks like a really beautiful place to walk and relax. I’m hoping it’ll be even nicer for Summer picnics, weekend runs and a good spot to see the University rowers go by.
Eagle & Child Pub
49 St Giles, Oxford (www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/theeagleandchildoxford)
Decent traditional pubs and cosy bars seem to be dime a dozen here in Oxford. So what makes the Eagle and Child in Jericho in the centre of town so special? Well, the place is a must visit pilgrimage for any bookworm, as it was formerly frequented by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein when they were writing both the Narnia and LOTR series. Tucked away on the corner of St Giles Street, it’s a rather unassuming place with a quiet charm. I’ve already walked past it a few times on my way to and from work, so I’m looking for a good enough excuse to pop in for a drink!
50 Pingle Drive, Bicester (www.bicestervillage.com)
Slightly further afield from the main city, Bicester Village is an mini mecca for any fashion lover. This outlet designer shopping is a mere train ride away from Oxford itself and looks like it could be the perfect treat day out. And with brands like Alexander McQueen, Michael Kors and Vivienne Westwood you can bet I’ll be making my way down there at some point!
Woodstock, Oxfordshire (www.blenheimpalace.com)
And for something a little more adventerous further afield is the beautiful Blenheim Palace. Best known as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, the heritage site has over 2000 acres of parkland and gardens. The palace itself (currently the home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough) hosts some seriously impressive architecture and stately rooms. As well as their regular tours of the palace, special exhibitions (Blenheim’s currently hosting installations by the artist Ai Weiwei, which I’m keen to see!) there are also bigger scale shows and festivals towards the Summer months.
Fingers crossed you’ll see some of these places and more pop up on my blog in the coming months!