Welcome back to the second instalment of this 3-part travel series. This week’s Reasons to Visit Oxford Part 2 feature is a compilation of experiences and places/excursions!
- The University of Oxford summer courses
If you’ve ever wanted to study in the UK, The University of Oxford offers short summer courses for international students. It really is a one-of-a-kind and surreal experience. You’ll feel like a Hogwarts student: eating in the Great Hall, strolling along parks, going to lessons, staying in a dorm, and hanging out in common rooms!
In a short amount of time, you’ll meet friends, immerse yourself in a new culture, broaden your travel horizon, learn a specific course, and most importantly, grow as a person!
- Shakespeare open-air plays
Whether you are a big Shakespeare fan or not, experiencing any of his plays in one of the College grounds is something you should do at least once in your life. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest “As You Like It.” One of the things I liked the most about this performance was how they incorporated music into the play. It was so cute to see and hear the crowd singing along with Orlando as he crooned about Rosalind–even if the words were simply that: “Rosalind, Rosa-rosa-rosalind!”
- Scottish dancing class
This particular class was organised by Exeter College for summer school students. Scottish dancing classes at an emptied Great Hall will make you feel like you are a Hogwarts student learning to waltz for the Yule Ball. The sequences are quite fast-paced, but that’s what makes it fun!
- The view from the top of St. Mary’s Church
You’ll get a stunning aerial view of Oxford. Absolutely breath-taking and not for the faint-hearted as getting to the top requires going through a steep staircase and a narrow balcony, both of which can only hold one person at a time.
- The buskers and artists along Cornmarket Street
A lot of people go busking along this pedestrian-only street. The likes of Ed Sheeran and Hudson Taylor started out busking. There are also other talented artists that display their artistic skills–such as creating a detailed figure made entirely of sand! You never know who you might be listening to or seeing. They could be the next breakout star!
Though I did not personally experience this, there’s just something about punting along River Thames! It’s on my list for the next time I go back
- Bodleian Library
Housing thousands of books, this library is the epitome of knowledge. Though you need to buy a ticket to enter inside—I suspect it’s to keep a limit to the noise—the square is open to travelers, and leads to the magnificent view of the Radcliffe Camera (see #3)
- Christ Church
Film location of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the inspiration for the Great Hall—need I say more?
- Radcliffe Camera
This small, beautiful but intimidating dome is the venue for Oxford graduation ceremonies. Though visitors cannot enter, you can photograph and soak in its beauty from afar!
The parks are big, sprawling and beautiful! Imagine reading a book, or hanging out with friends surrounded by the beauty and fresh air of nature? The park that I particularly loved was the one across Keble College.
Churches always showcase intricate beauty through their architecture and design. There are numerous churches and chapels around Oxford for you to visit. The chapel located at Exeter College sometimes holds concerts!
- The Old Fire Station
Located along George Street (you can also enter through Gloucester Green square), this fire station has been converted into an art gallery where you can also take art lessons!! Aside from showcasing lovely, eye-catching artworks, they also have a shop that sells local art!
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