Subbing Oxford for London

Old Oct 29th, 2021, 03:45 AM
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Subbing Oxford for London

Trip planned for April 2022. Initially thought 5 nights London for opera and stage shows but decent Royal Operas House tix may not be possible and right now the West End and National offerings aren't very appealing. We have air arrangements out of London City for Berlin early on the 6th day so will have to be in London the night before.

Plan B: fly into Heathrow and take the bus to Oxford; do not rent a car. Bath and the Cotswolds: been there and done that altho you can probably never have too much of them. Side trip to Salisbury? Seems like a lot of travel just for the cathedral. Have made tentative reservations at the Old Bank Hotel. Just hoping there will be enough to see and do altho just being there after what we will have endured personally in the next few months is probably reward enough.

Suggestions or thoughts are fine and thank you as always

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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 05:49 AM
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Have you considered staying in one of the colleges? See: https://www.universityrooms.com/en-GB/city/oxford/home

Instead of Salisbury, consider Worcester for a day trip, it's easier to get to by train and has several sights.

My last trip to Oxford: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...rowded-oxford/

Worcester (I also did day trips from Worcester to Gloucester and Hereford): https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...-by-worcester/
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 06:12 AM
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thursdaysd's suggestion sounds pretty awesome, although some drawbacks mentioned in the TR.

Many moons ago, we took a tour through a local community college that included Oxford and Windsor Castle. We loved Windsor and wanted more time in both places. Other travel pals liked Cambridge even more. Stratford upon Avon, Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge were also included. I don't know the logistics involved by train. If you've seen Stonehenge, I think you could skip Salisbury cathedral... someone please weigh in. I hate to make a judgement based on one day!

Report back please, Dukey1!
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 07:05 AM
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Stonehenge is easy to reach from Salisbury by bus, as is Wilton House (lovely stately home): How To Find Us - Wilton House. Or if you visit on a day it's open, Mompesson House in Salisbury is nice: Opening Times | Mompesson House | National Trust, also former British PM Ted Heath's house Arundells: House | Arundells The latter two are both in the Cathedral Close.


Blenheim Palace is easy to reach from Oxford by bus.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 07:12 AM
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Thanks, Thursdaysd and TDudette for the replies and recs.

I have been to Avebury but never Stonehenge; also never to Worcester. Have also been to Ely but never Cambridge. I have always been drawn to Norfolk, Norwich, and such places for some reason and Oxford has been elusive for whatever reason. The alternative to all this would have been Yorkshire but I know we'd want a car there so have resisted that for this trip.

I am hoping the whole Covid thing has been somewhat resolved in 6 months but am somehow doubtful.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 10:20 AM
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thursdaysd's suggestion sounds pretty awesome, although some drawbacks mentioned in the TR.
Thanks. I wouldn't go back to Christ Church, although eating in hall there was awesome, but I would return to Keble. If it were available I might well try Magdalen next time.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 10:47 AM
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Chiming in -

• Lots to see/do in Oxford with the colleges, Playhouse (Have no idea what the programs would be next Spring), Museums, gardens etc. Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, and Worcester would be very doable day trips. I think you'd love Waddesdon Manor but w/o a car the fastest journey would take about 2.25 hours each way (unless you opted for a very expensive taxi). It wuld be a train to Bicester Village and then a bus to the property.

• You could do a two-fer of Salisbury and Winchester. Each has coaches from LHR and there are easy (1 hour-ish) connections between the two by bus or train. So you could do both cathedrals and Stonehenge and I really like staying in Winchester. So something like 2 nights in Salisbury and 3 in Winchester then train in to London.

• And don't eliminate York from consideration -- yes you'd definitely want a car for the Dales -- but the city is terrific, there is a train to Thirsk if you are at all interested in James Herriot 'stuff' including the TV sets and the original veterinary surgery. And you can take a train day trip to/through the Moors which would include a leg on the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway. Castle Howard is near enough to York to take a taxi or local cab bus

Last edited by janisj; Oct 29th, 2021 at 10:52 AM.
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Old Oct 29th, 2021, 02:37 PM
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Just commenting on the hotel: we spent two nights at the Old Bank Hotel in 2018 and it was AMAZING. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
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Old Oct 30th, 2021, 01:41 AM
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Janisj,

thanks very much for your suggestions. I would still like to do the Dales and Moors somehow. Too many decisions to make and all of this somewhat hinging on the possible restrictions/requirements associated with Covid which somehow I think should have been over aleady
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Old Oct 30th, 2021, 03:26 AM
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In terms of Oxford, there are two world class museums in town, the Ashmolean and the University/Pitt Rivers (the two sort of blend together). Each is worth 3 to 4 hours. The Colleges are a good visit, most are open in the afternoons (except during exam season) and in my mind Magdalen is the best but I think Worcester, New and University are all worth a visit, especially some of the smaller parts. There are some wonderful smaller colleges with special gems of dining rooms and chapels. Christchurch is a bit big for me and Keeble is an architectural nightmare. If you are staying over night in town do take time to visit a chapel for evening prayers (normally about 6:30) in a college (often open to the public). You don't have to be Protestant Christian to appreciate the singing and the structures.

Oxford also has a large number of parks including the aptly named "University Parks", and Port Meadow. Punts can be hired at a number of places on two of the rivers. Most places also offer punters for hire.

The college and town theaters offer a mix of music, opera, theatre.

Restaurants are pretty good and for all pockets. Michelin starred restaurants abound in the area with the better ones being our of town.

Staying in college rooms (often in smaller colleges which lack full university membership or sufficient demand for rooms) are a good way to get a feeling of being cut off from reality for a few hours but with a heart stopping breakfast built in.

The Thames (called the Isis in town) flows all the way to London and you can walk all the way there or take trains/buses along the way.

https://www.oxfordcityguide.com/oxfo...st-information

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Old Oct 30th, 2021, 06:46 AM
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Hi Dukey! I was in the UK for two weeks in late September and went back to Oxford. I really enjoyed my day there, helped by sunshine hitting the golden stone of the buildings!! I think I could have enjoyed a few days in Oxford; only managed a very quick tour of the Ashmolean and one college, so more time could have been filled. I second Janis' suggestion of Winchester. I spent a day there and really enjoyed myself; it's a beautiful gem of a city and the cathedral is stunning!! I think it's been rated one of the top places to live in the UK.
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Old Oct 30th, 2021, 10:28 AM
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We stayed in Oxford for three days on our last trip to England in 2018. The Pitt-Rivers museum is truly unique. The exhibits are arranged by artifact type rather than culture, so you see how different cultures address the same problems. In addition to the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library offers tours (which sell out fast). We were unable to get on the longer tours which visit the Radcliffe Camera.

If you have any interest in Tolkien, or CS Lewis and the Inklings you can visit the Eagle and Child pub and down a glass. (Note, may be closed till spring for renovations).

A nice Sunday afternoon can be spent walking north crossing the Port Meadow and the river, then continuing on to lunch at The Perch, an 18th century pub. Book ahead.
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Old Oct 30th, 2021, 10:42 AM
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Wow! So many wonderful ideas. I am actually beginning to think we should just do this and forget about London this time around. Thanks for these suggestions, Fra_Diavolo, Kmowatt, and Bilboburgler.
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Old Nov 8th, 2021, 04:00 AM
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In Oxford, don't miss a drink at the Turf Tavern! This is a beautiful historic pub in the centre of the city. It's incredibly atmospheric.

The Pitt Rivers Museum (which displays the archaeological and anthropological collections of the University of Oxford) is also fascinating - definitely recommended.
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