We’ve now come to my last day in Oxford and after breakfast, I sadly checked out of the hotel and drove to the park and ride. I bussed into the city where I was dropped off near the bottom of St Aldates and began walking all the way up to a lovely clothes shop called Olivia May on Little Clarendon Street where it snowed heavily for about half an hour. Then on route to the Natural History Museum, the sun came out and it was so hot, I took my coat off (bloody British weather). Of course, I took lots of photos on the way……
If you’d like to catch up on this trip before coming back to this post, please take a look at these links:
It’s a bit further up than most of the other tourist attractions in the centre of the city, but really the Oxford University of Natural History cannot be missed if you’re visiting Oxford, particularly if you’re interested in architecture. The buildings in Oxford are gorgeous anyway, but the museum is something else entirely – I don’t think I’ve ever been in a building like it. I hope my photos of the museum give you some idea how beautiful it is. The place is flooded with light from the high glass ceiling and you can just imagine the Victorians walking around in their big hooped dresses when it opened in 1860.
On your visit, make sure you allow enough time for the Pitt Rivers museum, with a discreet entrance at the back of the Natural History museum, you could almost miss it, but once you’re through the door and standing at the top of the steps, you can see a giant totem pole facing you, which goes up the full three floors of the building. It’s another large museum, but completely opposite from the Natural History museum, it has no natural light at all, so there’s a completely different atmosphere. It’s full of artefacts and curiosities collected around the world and all feels quite mysterious. I could, (and have done) spend hours in there. There’s a photo on the cover of a book in the gift shop of the museum taken in 1901 and it looks exactly the same as it does now. I love that!
After that I walked round areas of Oxford I hadn’t seen before, following my vague tourist map until I reached the Oxford Botanic Garden. I took so many photos there, I gave it a separate post of its own, so I won’t talk about it again now. Then I walked past Christchurch College where there was a cricket match going on one side and a game of croquet on the other. You couldn’t get more English than that! By then I was starving and luckily I spotted a cafe below the clock on the side of Carfax Tower, the twelfth century St Martin’s Church tower. Usually there are crowds of tour groups standing there so I hadn’t seen it before, but I really recommend it for delicious value food. You can pay a bit extra to eat inside, but I had a brie, bacon and cranberry panini which I ate on a nearby bench while people-watching.
Three days and two nights away is just enough. I enjoy doing some things on my own, but I did start to feel lonely and miss my family by the end. The luxurious hotel stay was the best bit; and having a relaxing time without constantly thinking I should be doing something else. I also enjoyed the chance to take photos without the kids getting bored waiting around for me! I hope you’ve liked seeing them all. Now I’ve caught up on Oxford (although I’m still going to pop in a couple of small reviews of the places I ate), I’ll be doing something similar for our summer New York to Orlando road trip. Busy busy! Have you had a nice break away this year?