Photos and words by: Isabelle Cameron
As a child I was determined that I would one day go to Oxford University. I’m not sure what sparked this ambition, probably the same kind of naive thing that convinced me as a 12 year old that I wanted to be exactly like Ally Mcbeal, but I was determined nevertheless! When on exchange in Sheffield, a trip to Oxford to live out this fantasy for a weekend was high on my priority list and my dream university did not let me down.
Immediately I was swooned by the little town with its cobble stoned floors and young, attractive and (obviously) intelligent residents. People rode bikes around wearing intimidating glasses with a satchel full of books and it was like all my nerd fantasies come true.
Being a Harry Potter fan, I visited Christ Church College to see the hall that inspired Hogwart’s great hall and I am ashamed to say I bounced with childish giddy-ness around every corner. The grounds and building screamed “Smartest buildings! Smart! Smart!” and I found myself adapting a faux English accent as well as developing a sudden flowery vocabulary in order to please them. Every corner of the college asserted the university’s prestige and history, and I was beside myself that I could see it for myself.
After ogling at a few students at the colleges (I’m so sorry for behaving like you were all exotic animals in a zoo, bad tourist! Bad!) I was soon swept up by the rest of the city. Alleyways were filled with activities and stores, there was a vast range of cafes and restaurants (including a Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant that is to die), as well as a quaint market with stalls through the centre of the city. The Oxford student life is most certainly the life for me!
Needless to say I was quick to pop on my laptop to find out what it would take to do my Masters at Oxford when I got home (it takes a whole lot, so I’m keeping it in my back pocket). The dream lives on!
Oxford flights of fancies:
– Don’t get too caught up with the tourist hot spots in Oxford. The whole town is a marvel so take your time and walk around to get a real feel!
– Go to Turf Tavern for dinner and a pint. Not only is this where our beloved ex-prime minister Bob Hawke showed the world what a lad he was, but they also serve up some stellar English grub in huge portions. Eat yourself into a coma and be a part of history all in one go!
– Are you one for shopping but travel funds have you down?? Never fear! Bicester Village is here! This is the designer outlet of your dreams! I spent an entire day here running from store to store (Burberry to Mulberry) like a rabid animal in heat. I regret nothing, however my wallet may disagree.