(NY Times Travel) 36 Hours in Oxford, England

Oxford is not a college town ”” it is the college town. Its namesake university’s 38 colleges are so steeped in scholarly history they make Harvard and Yale seem like baby-faced freshmen. To wit: Oxford’s New College was last considered “new” in the 14th century. (Even the obsolete term “New World” is newer.) Students here get into the act, many dressing in tweed coats, sometimes even with elbow patches, and ordering pints of cask ale at pubs that have been in business for nearly four-fifths of a millennium. But Oxford has a modern side, too: night spots blare house and electronic music; restaurants serve modern takes on local food and exotic ethnic cuisine; and comfortable boutique hotels and bed-and- breakfasts beat medieval lodging houses for comfort any day. (Just don’t ask for a place to hitch your horse.)

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Travel

4 comments on “(NY Times Travel) 36 Hours in Oxford, England

  1. Terry Tee says:

    You realise, dear Blogmeister Kendall (D. Phil, Oxon) that this is going to bring out all your Brit readers with their recommendations. And herewith mine:
    1) Eatery not mentioned: the Nosebag, St Michael’s St just off Cornmarket, delicious chunky foods and cakes, crowded bankette seats. Utterly unchanged except for quality and value for money, ever since the time I first ventured up the steep flight of steps leading there in 1972.
    2) OK this is a Christian site. Some churches: you Anglo-Catholics of nostalgic ilk will love St Mary Magdalene on in island in the middle of St Giles, opposite Debenhams. Even on a ferial weekday you will find the smell of sweet incense haunting the air. Unusual statue in wood of infant Jesus laughing with joy, in the arms of Mary, carved by Anglican nun (Community of St Clare, Freeland, just outside Oxford). Evangelicals seeking lively worship and sermons that inform keen minds will repair to St Aldates. Roman Catholics who want to combine tradition with modernity, faithfulness to magisterium with the ability to answer today’s questions will go to the Dominican chapel at Blackfriars. Sternly conservative RCs will go to the Oratory. (I apologise for not knowing the Protestant churches. Perhaps other readers will chime in.)
    3) Unless I missed something, the article omits the Covered Market. How can they! Great fun. Atmospheric. Everything for sale. And students know that the cafe in the market gives huge mugs of tea and sustaining slabs of cake for very reasonable prices. You will find the main entrance to the Covered Market on the High St near the Turl.
    4) Forget Christ Church. It irritates me beyond measure that – something not noted in the article – its chapel is also the Oxford diocesan cathedral and you have to pay to see it. It is amazing that the main entrance to college and chapel and thus to cathedral is open only to university members. Others have to pay. So: go instead to Magdalen. Brooding cloisters. Chapel with memorial to among many others German members of the college who fell in the war. And then walk in its parkland and admire the deer. You pay for this college too but the charming porters if you don’t look decrepit will charge you the student fee. They did for me!

  2. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    Eh…I’m a Cambridge man myself.

  3. Terry Tee says:

    Now, if you were a Manchester United supporter, that would be really sad.

  4. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I never got into European style football. Rugby was tolerable. Cricket I liked.