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In this blog, we share what is going on at our Oxford centre, where students are offered several activities per week throughout the year, as well as weekend excursions. The programme changes from week to week to take full advantage of the city’s cultural events.
Punting on the river Cherwell
A typical Oxonian activity: Punts are flat-bottomed boats, ideal for the shallow rivers running through the Oxford region. They are operated, with varying degrees of success, using long poles - like a gondola. Generally, one person struggles with the pole while the others peacefully admire the landscape. This is an experience not to be missed even if it does at times land you in the river...
The English 5 o’clock tea does not take place every day, and not necessarily at 5pm. The afternoon tea, also called high tea or cream tea, consists of an assortment of pastries such as English scones served with clotted cream and jam, finger sandwiches, and of course; a cup of tea.
Evensong at Christchurch College
This is the largest college at Oxford, and certainly also the most famous. You may recognise it: parts of the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were shot here. The chapel of the college has some of the oldest stained glass windows in the United Kingdom, and this is also the place where Alice Liddell, inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, is buried. Outside visitors are invited to attend service in this extraordinary place every Wednesday.
Oxford University holds one of the most formidable art collections in the world. At the Ashmolean, one of the oldest museums in Europe, you can find a pair of Queen Elizabeth I’s gloves, paintings by Monet and Turner, drawings by Picasso, and a Stradivarius violin. The Natural History Museum houses the collections which inspired Lewis Carroll: the dodo and the white rabbit, as well as some of the first identified dinosaurian fossils. This is also where Darwin defended his theory of evolution. The Pitt-Rivers, located next door, is an anthropology museum of old, with wooden display cases full to bursting of miscellaneous fascinating objects.
Weekend excursion to Bath
The city of Bath was named for the hot springs revered by the Celts, but especially thanks to the Romans we can still admire the baths today. The city was also the meeting place for the good Georgian society, who built their second homes here, such as Jane Austen. Enjoy the city’s tranquil atmosphere and spectacular architecture, and pop in to the abbey and Sally Lunn’s eating house, where you can sample the famous buns which have been made here since 1772.