In college, I spent my Junior year at Oxford. UC Santa Barbara didn’t have a study abroad program with them, so I had to apply to Oxford, withdraw from UCSB, and then reapply to UCSB after my year at Oxford (I got back in!).
Oxford University is comprised of 38 colleges; I was in St. Edmund Hall, fondly known as Teddy Hall. Since I lived in Oxford for a year, I thought it’d be fun to show Dave around my old haunts. We made the short drive from the Cotswolds to Oxford, turned in our rental car, and walked about a mile to our hotel. I bought a pair of nicer flats for all the walking on this trip, thinking I’d be awash in stylish comfort, but I’m getting blisters and overall irritation on the back of my heels. How do girls wear these types of flats all the time?! I’ve taken to padding the back of the shoes with copious amounts of moleskin and wearing my enormous running shoes most of the time (it’s a great look with skinny jeans).
We’re staying at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel. I had originally wanted to stay at the Eastgate Hotel where my mom would stay when they visited but it was booked up and the Macdonald Randolph had better reviews. Our room was at the end of a serious maze of hallways and stairs but it was good-sized.
I had initially thought we’d need a solid two days in Oxford but quickly remembered you can pretty much see everything in a couple hours. We started by walking the length of the city to 39 Stockmore Street, where I lived for the year I was there.
We then walked to Teddy Hall, where I went to lectures, dinners, studied and fraternized during my time there. It was closed to the public but former students are always welcome so they let us in after a rigorous screening process.
The library is one of the coolest parts of the college; it’s housed in an old graveyard. On sunny days, students lounge and even picnic in it.
We snuck into the library because that isn’t open to former students, only current students. I always loved the library’s tower which is full of little study nooks tucked around the staircase. I think we’re about 5 floors up here.
We peeked into another couple colleges, walked through the covered market, the length of High Street and the river, and realized that I’d pretty much shown Dave everything I wanted to in Oxford. So we hit Turf Tavern because it was 5 o’clock somewhere. This 13th-century pub is one of the coolest in Oxford, though all the buildings here are old and neat.
We’re getting daily proof of life texts from our super dogsitter so we know Esther is doing well.