England: A Day in Oxford

By Monday, October 10, 2016 , , ,

Oh, Oxford, where on earth to begin? Home to gorgeous architecture, outstanding higher education, stunning libraries, the original Magna Carta, and books that shaped the 20th century, this city stole my heart through and through. I sincerely hope to go back for more than a day because there is so much to see. Beautiful buildings line every street in the heart of the town and history oozes from every corner. My primary reasons for wanting to see Oxford were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s history there, but I quickly appreciated so much more about it. What beauty, what elegance, what historical richness, and what a dream all around! The “city of dreaming spires” nickname befits it perfectly. 

During our day-long Oxford adventure, we toured several colleges within the University, found the best views of the city, toured the home of C.S. Lewis, and ate at the Eagle and Child pub to finish the day. Not surprisingly, this was the first day during the trip that my camera died. There was just SO MUCH!! But fortunately, I’d gotten a lot of great shots already and still had my phone. Hope you enjoy! 

Downtown Oxford

The "Bridge of Sighs" that runs between two parts of Hertford College.

University College

An 800-year-old wall in the garden of University College. Just saying... that's about 600 years older than the whole country of the United States.

Any Harry Potter fans recognize this? Think Goblet of Fire...

Remember a moment when Draco Malfoy sits up in a big tree? Well that's the tree out there.

"Why so tense, Potter? My father and I have a bet, you see. I don't think you'll last ten minutes in this tournament. He disagrees: he doesn't think you'll last five!"

The Kilns, home of C.S. Lewis for more than 30 years. You'd never know anything was special about it if you weren't told. It's in such a lovely, quaint, quiet, residential area. Such a charming escape from the bustle of downtown Oxford. Students at the university now live there regularly while completing their studies. Our tour guide was a lovely girl from New Zealand who had just finished her dissertation at Oxford!

 Lewis's study, where The Chronicles of Narnia were written


Sitting in his armchair behind the desk :)

 Loved this tribute

 Lewis's bedroom

An attic recreated to look like a play space that Lewis and his brother set up in their childhood home. Can you spy Narnia?

 Piano that belonged to Joy, Lewis's wife

 The original picture that hung outside the Eagle and Child pub

Lewis and Joy's marriage license

 The living area

Had to have Aslan around somewhere, right?

So quaint and picturesque

Back in central Oxford at a spot said to have inspired Lewis in his writing of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Ornate door, a faun, and a lamp-post in the distance... looks like Narnia to me!

 St. Mary's Church

 Radcliffe Camera, a university library that's only open to students. Couldn't stop staring at this building!

 View from the top of St. Mary's Church! The views went on and on and I took LOTS of pictures of them, so there's your warning. This view of Radcliffe Camera was one of my favorites though.

 I love the view of those green hills beyond

 City of dreaming spires, indeed

The Eagle and Child pub, where Lewis and Tolkien and their other literary minded friends ("Inklings") would have a weekly drink and chat about literature, religion, and the books they were writing. Oh to have been an eavesdropper in those days!

 The famous Rabbit Room, where the Inklings would meet!

 Where they'd sit!
 What kind of talk must have been overheard at this table all those years ago?

You have my heart, Oxford. I'm coming back for you one day. 

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