The city of Oxford is quite small and easy to walk - we picked up a self guided walking tour to give us the feel of the place and decide what we wanted to return to later. The astonishing Pitt-Rivers Museum swallowed up several hours! Take yourself back to the 1950s - a dimly lit, multi-layered universe of glass cases, full of all manner of objects from African spears to Indian embroideries - beautifully displayed and explained. It it attached to the Natural History Museum - astonishing skeletons of long-gone species,rocks, jewels, maps, arts and crafts, and hands-on items for children to get close to. Then the Ashmolean Museum sucked up another day - a huge place, which rivals the British
Museum in London, easily! Then the Botanical Gardens - the weirdest, most aggressive-insect-eating, boldly coloured plants, beautiful lilypads, herbal medical plants, and all manner of native and exotic flowers. The architecture of the city itself was so beautiful! Constructed at a time when benefactors valued artistic merit as much as functionality - sweeping staircases, inlaid marble, carved stone and gilded statues in places where students have studied for hundreds of years - and continued to do so! The trip out to Blenheim Palace though was extraordinary - we converted our day ticket to an annual one at no extra cost and went back twice - we still didn't manage to see everything! I would love to return at Christmas and see the displays then! No expense was spared in the construction and decoration of this stately residence, and the tourists who visit are treated to additional spectacles of costumed figures walking about, entertainments, children's areas, huge gardens and plenty of places to stop and stare, or take in a coffee with a view.
We also managed to fit in a few trips to the pubs frequented by the famous Inspector Morse - there are plenty of literary celebrities whose footsteps you can tread too in your wanderings about town. August was a very busy month there - so many summer schools running for overseas students, as well as the usual tourist routes including it on trips out of London. We probably clocked us as many miles as our exchange partners who came to Derbyshire for a 'walking holiday'! - Oxford has a lot of fascinating backstreets and passageways!
Oxford would be great at any time of year - you could plan indoor and outdoor activities to suit our unpredictable weather, but get out and walk about too if you can - there is so much to see!"
Highlights of our home swap in Oxford:
- Walking around and exploring the beautiful city
- Visiting the fabulous Pitt-Rivers Museum
- Wonderful day trip to Blenheim Palace
Meet the member:
Check out Jen & Fred's beautiful home swap offer in Derbyshire. This two bedroom home is located on the edge of Belper, a market town in the World Heritage Area of the Derwent Valley.
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