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Trip Report Oxford 24 hours

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I had to go to Oxford last weekend to go to my old tutor's retirement gig and I thought I'd add a few thoughts for those who visit at the weekend.

1) I arrived Sat afternoon in October and the streets were packed, I kid you not, assume you can only walk at about 2 mph due to the lost and the aimless. If you must walk up from the station, avoid the obvious streets as the Chinese crocodiles will stop traffic, push you out the way etc.
2) If you want a cup of tea, leave the High Street alone, go to the Covered market where the queues are non existent.
3) In booking a room, I had no luck under £200 six weeks out until I found universityrooms.com where I managed to pick up a large ensuite plus breakfast for sub £100 about 10 minutes walk from Magdalen bridge in a college.
4) I dropped into Magdalen chapel for evensong getting there about 15 minutes early which ensured I sat in with the choir rather than in the zone behind the screen, well worth the experience.
5) I spent a good two hours in "the Parks" which at 10am on a sunny Sunday morning were virtually empty, the trees are in autumnal decline and worth a potter.
6) The coffee shop on the first deck of the Pitt-Rivers museum serves a good cup of Java, the exhibits take some getting used to, the display starts off by looking like an 18th cent. junk shop (which I guess it originally was) but slowly the place makes sense and for kids into dinosaurs this is a great museum because you really are up close to them. Priced just as I like it (free) this place can absorb you for a minimum of 2 hours but I managed 3. The Netsuke here are even better than in the Ashmolean. The free special exhibition based on photos of insects www.microsculpture.net was exceptional, catch it if it makes it to a city near you.
7) Ashmolean (free), what can you say, I've visited a couple of year back and so just did a fly past to see Anglo-Saxon jewels, Asian carpets and Japanese caligraphy. The quality of the display and the building itself are worth a visit on there own, very much a great world museum. If I was coming for the first time I'd plan 4 hours.

What did I miss, the colleges, punting (too cold, but many boats were out on the Cherwell), the Meadows, the Botanic garden (just not enough time) and the new History of Science museum on the Broad. (next time maybe)

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