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Oxford the 'City of Dreaming Spires'

The poet Matthew Arnold called Oxford the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ in his poem ‘Thyrsis’ written in December 1865, he describes the view of Oxford from Boars Hill:-

“And that city with her dreaming spires, she needs not June for beauty’s heightening”.

In 1845 he was elected Fellow of Oriel College and was Professor of Poetry in 1857.

The University of Oxford is made up of thirty-nine colleges and seven Permanent Private Halls with beautiful and stunning architecture to be found at every turn of a corner. The colleges can be visited but as they are in use by the students you are asked to respect the areas marked as private.

Many famous people attended Oxford University such as our very own Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, the chef and broadcaster Rick Stein, the actor and playwright Michael Palin and not forgetting Bill Clinton, President of the USA 1992-2000. The list goes on through history, during the 17th and 18th centuries people such as Edmund Halley the astronomer and Sir Christopher Wren, architect attended the University.

More recently, television’s Morse starring the late John Thaw was filmed around the colleges of Oxford and now the detective Lewis played by Kevin Whately has continued the story and once again Oxford has been brought to our screens and homes for all to ‘catch’ a glimpse of our wonderful city.

Once tempted to visit our city you won’t be disappointed as it is small enough to cover on foot and is close to the rail station and coach station making it an ideal place to visit for a weekend away.

Oxford the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ has many fine hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and bars catering for all budgets and tastes and with the many different shops found in the city you will be spoilt for choice.

Why not take an open bus tour around the city or even a walking tour which covers places where vehicles can’t access. There are various walking tours covering all subjects including an evening ghost tour discovering the more ghoulish past of the city.

Don’t forget to take a walk along the Thames path and take in the beautiful scenery along the way. To experience a more leisurely tour book yourself on a river cruise, there are lots to choose from and if you want that little extra special something why not try a sunset dinner cruise. If you want to try something first hand you can even hire a punt or a rowing boat at Folly Bridge, Magdalen Bridge and Cherwell Boathouse.

Once you have visited Oxford you will want to return again and again to capture the atmosphere of this stunning beautiful University City.

Oxford the 'City of Dreaming Spires'
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