We made an early start in order to make the most of our day in Oxford. I had been once before to stay with a friend and had loved it so was looking forward to going back, albeit briefly.
Our first stop was the oldest public museum in the UK, the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum of Art and Architecture (http://www.ashmolean.org/). The diverse exhibits range from Egyptian mummies to Pre-Raphaelite paintings to contemporary art and everything in between! This is a fabulous museum and I can highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.
From there we wandered into the town centre and through the covered market… I love markets but often the quality and usefulness of the items for sale is hit and miss. For a traditional town centre market, this one is great – it sells stuff you might actually want to buy!
Our next stop was the stunning Radcliffe Square, home to the famous Radcliffe Camera. This must be one of the most beautiful squares in the UK – every building is an architectural gem! That said, there are MANY stunning buildings in the centre of Oxford – if architecture is your thing, you could easily spend a whole day just admiring the buildings of the 38 historic Oxford colleges…
Next, we passed by distinctive Bridge of Sighs (it’s real name is Hertford Bridge) which joins two parts of Hertford College and has become a tourist attraction due to its unusual design. It earned the nickname of the Bridge of Sighs due to its similarity to the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice.
After a brief lunch stop at one of Oxford’s many cafes, we headed for the Natural History (http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/) and Pitt Rivers (https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/) Museums. The Oxford University Museum of Natural History contains interesting displays of many of the University’s natural history specimens. However, in my opinion, the Pitt Rivers Museum is the real show-stopper here! The museum is chock-a-block full of items from the University’s archaeological and anthropological collections. Allow a few hours for browsing through the eclectic mix of exhibits in this quirky building. And if you have children, don’t forget to search out the very popular shrunken heads!
We finished off the day with a coffee then headed home, having spent a thoroughly enjoyable day in this most beautiful of cities. In truth, you need much more than a day to see everything there is to see in Oxford… we will definitely be back for more very soon!