DestinationsLondonOxfordUnited Kingdom

Oxford Walking Tour

December 1, 2012 — 0

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DestinationsLondonOxfordUnited Kingdom

Oxford Walking Tour

December 1, 2012 — 0

While I was in London for my work, I thought of making most of the little opportunity, spending one day of the weekend in Oxford, where a kind friend studying in the university agreed to show the place around while London was a wonderful walking tour all by myself. Read on for more details…

Travelled in Dec 2012

 

Getting there

Getting to Oxford is quite easy by train. From Paddington station in London, there are many trains going to Oxford (and coming from there) every half hour or so. Takes about 1.5 hours one way.

Walking around Oxford is the best way to explore the education city. There are cabs and buses etc public transport but the core of the city, which is also the most beautiful can be explored by your faithful feet!

Food and eating out: Like London, Oxford also has a mix of nationalities and hence lots of variety for food. No dearth of options, one can enjoy food in Oxford, just about as much as anywhere else, though obviously, nothing beats London in this!

 

Day tour to Oxford

The journey to Oxford was the first journey after stepping in London. After dropping my bags at a dear friend’s place and served by his very sweet wife, the exciting journey begun.

Well, what can be a better start to the London tour with a sneak peak of an EPL team’s stadium. As we walked towards the tube station, there was this West Brom station we went through and some people asking us whether we needed the tickets for the evening match.

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West Ham Stadium. The serenity of the morning even on a match day is a complete contrast to the excitement and activity before and after a match

West Ham Stadium. The serenity of the morning even on a match day is a complete contrast to the excitement and activity before and after a match

 

 

The first experience of London’s tube system begun with the train to Paddington. Actually, my first impression of the tube system was not that bad at all. The coaches were quite comfortable as many other cities would have it, the trains were fast enough and announcements as well as directions at the stations well displayed and quite clear for even a first timer.

For those who have seen the Hindi movie “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge”, would immediately feel nostalgic once you are at the Paddington train station for the onward journey to other cities of England. It immediate reminded me of the famous Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol scene where Kajol barely manages to reach the platform and is helped board the train by Shah Rukh Khan just as the doors were closing. Well, not only did the flashback happened as soon as I saw the station, a similar incidend (sans my Kajol) happened, as I managed to just reach in time to board the train.

There are a number of train services in England with a variety of private operations running. While one can read about this here for general information, this website is the key for planning your journey and finding out timings etc.

Speaking of London to Oxford journey specifically, the ticket is about GBP23-24. There are slow and fast trains both, the faster one taking about 1.5hours, half an hour shorter than the slower train duration. For someone who is out for only a day’s trip, perhaps that is still a lot 🙂

IMG_3734 Paddington Station in London, taking train to Oxford. The train station is an attraction in itself with its tall roofs with sun peeping through. For many Indians, the setup is also reminiscent of the famous DDLJ scenes when SRK meets Kajol

 

The journey to Oxford was indeed comfortable and very scenic. Given that I was quite sleepy, I didn’t take many pictures, given that I was still catching up with the jetlag (arrived that morning only, though here is a tip to save yourself from one) but this one came up well.

IMG_3778-002 Enroute Oxford, the journey is every bit engrossing for the nature lover

Finally arriving Oxford around noon, the initial impression of Oxford was.. COLD! The temperature in Oxford is easily a few degrees less than that in London or so it felt. I had not expected that much cold and thank god for that extra bit of muffler I was carrying, helped a lot!

A important tip for travelling – always carry something warmer enough than what the expected temp of the destination is. It helps you not think about weather too much and would not make you lazy for a long day tour!

Anyways… the real first impression about Oxford was that truly I was in the Mecca of Education. I felt the city had a feel of purpose to it. There were plenty of shops, marketplaces and pubs to make one feel there is all round living to it, but call it the awe of Oxford, I felt there was some kind of a purposeful feeling to it. That those who are here, are here for a purpose and at the same time, will be making their mark in the future. Perhaps it was Oxford, and the meaning it symbolises.

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Simultaneously, I thought the buildings and architecture were something straight from the books. I still had to walk around London city and appreciate the (similar) architecture there but Oxford was really the first stop where I saw the fine British architecture in front of my eyes. The grandeur and majesticity of each one of the older buildings clearly spoke about how rich, royal and grand would the British Empire have been at their peak.

It still amazes me how a relatively small country both in terms of area and population was able to rule over almost the entire world but nevertheless, that was not the point here, but you see, perhaps that was the point –  a flashback to history.

Trip to Oxford University – Exeter College

Moving ahead, we went to Exeter College, which is one of  the many colleges that forms part of the university. The building below is the admin block with the dining hall on the perpendicular right side and dorms behind the building on the left. The grass field in the middle is not for walking – one can say typical of the rules in Europe. They are really serious about this, I was told. Well, I am happy they have rules, which is always better than not having one.

IMG_3817-001 Entrace of the Exeter College, Oxford.

My friend was able to get us access to the roof top of the college building which is not easy at all for security reasons. Well, perhaps it was also to do with the fact that our access was kind of “priveleged’ in that sense, or that the walk up to the roof was not less than somewhat goofy, but the experience was simply worth it! The Oxford skyline was “a bit” different than what we see in Hong Kong and boy, was it not beautiful!

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As we walked around the college, there were many other majestic buildings one could just continue looking at with awe!

Overall, the trip was just amazing, and one to remember. Having a first hand experience of the majestic buildings with their magnificent architecture is something definitely not to be missed and the predominantly youth crowd of the city makes the city filled with life and well, youthful enthusiasm. Had a great time! Now looking forward to London tour, which I am sure will have lots more to offer, lots more photographs to take and lots more fun! Inspired by the Oxford walking tour actually came the idea of making my London trip, a London Walking Tour as well!

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Any comments?

 

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