The English city, make you fall in love with their culture, parks and ancient pubs.

Merton College

Merton College

Oxford is a lovely town, which has been a source of inspiration for novelists and Nobel prizes. His visit shows lush forests, legendary pubs and many university colleges, whose architecture is one of the attractions of the city. Founded in the X century at the foot of the castle, it was not until two after centuries when Oxford opened its University, the oldest English-speaking, and became one of the most important places in medieval England and a paradigm of Anglo-Saxon culture, together with the Cambridge university (1209).

Radcliffe Square, Oxford. The most central city square, the magnificent Bodleian Library in central, circular Radcliffe Camera, built in 1749 in English Palladian style.

Radcliffe Square, Oxford. The most central city square, the magnificent Bodleian Library in central, circular Radcliffe Camera, built in 1749 in English Palladian style.

The best place to start a walk through the center of Oxford, nestled between the Thames and Cherwell rivers, is the Radcliffe Square, a plaza around which meet some of the most charismatic monuments. Starting at the Radcliffe Camera, the work of the most influential British architects of the seventeenth century. Gibbs was inspired by the church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice to create a circular perfectly proportioned building, topped by a dome that has become one of the symbols of the city.

Before further exploring the heart of Oxford center between High Street and Broad Street, you have to climb the tower of the thirteenth century church of St. Mary’s to admire a splendid panoramic. Another idea is to make a stop at The Mitre Inn, a historic pub open in the thirteenth century or enter the King’s Arms, very popular among students. In this area we find many colleges, a must visit for its spectacular architecture, such as the All Souls which was founded in the fifteenth century and after several modeling, is currently one of the most grandiose of Oxford. On the High street we arrived at Saint Edmund College, which would have to visit because is the oldest academic institution in England. And also admire the majestic New College, which despite its name, was founded in the fourteenth century.

The Mitre Inn pub

The Mitre Inn pub

The Queen's College, High Street, Oxford.

The Queen’s College, High Street, Oxford.

Further north we can peek at the four courtyards of Trinity College and relax wandering through the gardens, which include a wooded area. Finally, walking between buildings crowned with gargoyles who cling to the roofs, we arrive at the Bridge of Sighs, Oxford (1917), again reminiscent of Venice, but that belongs to another school, Hertford. The visit to these monumental milestones can match with other local icon, the historical pub Turf Tavern, located in the same area.

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford. Hertford College.

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford. Hertford College.

View of Trinity College from a top St. Mary's Church.

View of Trinity College from a top St. Mary’s Church.

As an academic city, Oxford has museums, but none so remarkable as the Ashmoleon, considered the first with public character that was in the world. Opened in 1683 and is studded with wonders, highlighting the paintings of Rembrandt and parts of Minoan culture (3000-1400 BC), brought by the archaeologist Arthur John Evans from Crete. With time it is worth entering the Museum of Natural History, attractive by the remains of the extinct dodo bird of Mauritius and to preserve the atmosphere of the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

We ride through the southern town, where Cherwell joins the Thames to see more emblematic colleges. For example, Merton, founded in 1260, that had like teacher to JRR Tolkien (1892-1937), author of The Lord of the Rings. Or the Magdalen, where studied the poet Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) which includes a beautiful forest inhabited by deer.

Oxford Cathedral

Oxford Cathedral

However, none is comparable to Christ Church (1517), it includes the Cathedral of Oxford (XII). Here’s where the writer Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) he met Alice Liddell, inspiration for  Adventures of Alice in wonderland, book which in 2015 meets 150 years. After buying some memory in Alice’s Shop, where the real Alicia bought sweets and you can recognize corners of the building thanks to the cinematic saga of Harry Potter, we can only navigate the Thames as it has for centuries in the typical flat bottomed boat that is driven with a stick.

A popular activity in Oxford is to navigate the river in traditional flat-bottomed boats.

A popular activity in Oxford is to navigate the river in traditional flat-bottomed boats.

The Oxford Airport is located 11 km from the city and 84 km from London, from where you can reach by subway (1h30min) or train (1h). www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com