Footloose in Oxford and York
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A TALE OF TWO CITY BREAKS
Footloose in Oxford & York
~ Two films on one DVD
Part 1 ~ THE CITY OF OXFORD
Elegant, classical and classy. You could walk around the city centre in one day, but if you're going to enjoy visiting inside of one or two colleges, along with the Castle/Prison and museums, best stay at least one night if not two or three. If you're lucky and at the right time of year, you can actually stay at a college like Christchurch or Magdalen. If you're taking a guided tour, Broad Street is best to find someone to take you round.
When making a self-guided walk to see many of the the magnificent colleges, the Carfax tower isn't a bad place to start, right at the main crossroads of the city. Go up the tower and orientate yourself! Warning, few of the colleges have their names displayed anywhere...best find a good map! From the Carfax it's down St Aldates to Christchurch College grounds. You can make an excursion down to the river Thames here too.
From here you squeeze through an iron gate to Merton Street and see some of the oldest of Oxford's honey-coloured colleges, everything looks like a film set. Much of central Oxford has formed a wonderful backdrop to TV dramas like 'Inspector Morse' and films like 'Harry Potter'. From here join the High (Street) and enjoy a wealth of major colleges lining each side of this elegant curved avenue into town. Good chance here to buy a ticket to go up St Mary's tower for a spectacular view of the next stop: Radcliffe Square and the Bodleian library, perhaps the most iconic buildings in Oxford. You can see the city's own 'Bridge of Sighs' here too, the most photographed spot in the city.
Broad Street is next on the walk with more beautiful colleges, libraries and bookshops... marvellous. To complete the College trail, walk down Georgian Holywell Street, via Longwall Street to see Magdalen College, one of the largest in the city set in scenic parkland, bounded by the river Cherwell and a deer park. You can buy tickets to visit the tranquil Botanical Garden over the road.
But Oxford has a lot more to see if you give it the time. The Castle and Prison Museum is probably the main attraction. A Saxon defence tower became part of a Norman castle built here almost 1000 years ago, and you can buy tickets to go inside this and the Georgian prison built next to it. You take a tour with your guide in period dress and learn so much.
The city is known not only for its 39 colleges, but for at least as many historic pubs. The 'Turf Tavern' and the 'Eagle and Child' to name just a few, are popular with students and visitors alike. Oxford's Ashmolean Museum is a must, along with the Natural History and the Pitt-Rivers Museums. These and Oxford's Covered Market all go to make this historic and architecturally rich city a special place to visit.
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Part 2 ~ THE CITY OF YORK
Dark, medieval, ghostly, and a wonderful visit any time of year whatever age you are. You need several days here to enjoy all there is to offer, but beware if you're going to the city centre by car, parking is in short supply: train is recommended, the railway station is close to the city centre.
If you're at all a train enthusiast, (like Dave) then the National Rail Museum is the best place to start your city trail. Here you can enjoy hundreds of locomotives and carriages, right from Stephenson's 'Rocket' to HS2. Also York's magnificent historic railway station is worth a visit. From here walk into the walled city via Lendal bridge and into Museum Gardens, where you can see not only Yorkshire's Museum, but various ruins of Roman walls, and the Abbey which once stood there. From the gardens it's a delightful walk down Stonegate looking at the shops to arrive at the famous York Minster Cathedral. Buy a ticket to go inside. Particularly outstanding are the huge medieval stained glass windows.
To orientate yourself it's good to take the City Wall Walk, but beware, this amazing almost complete wall is a two-mile circuit! We recommend breaking it in two, joining the elevated trail at wonderful Bootham Bar (city gate) and walking to the Castle Museum. Here there's an underground Victorian street to discover and an ancient tower. From here take a walk into town and enjoy the many attractions.
Most famous is the Jorvik Viking Centre, an underground animated diorama and museum, right on the spot where they discovered Viking remains from over 1000 years ago! A quirky street not to miss is the Shambles, full of magic shops, curios and a market, all resembling a Harry Potter film set... except it's for real! Another top attraction is Barley Hall, an actual medieval house, restored to how it may have looked 600 years ago.
Perhaps York's enduring attraction is the number of snickleways, wonderful little alleys that you can get lost in, and the sheer number of atmospheric pubs all with a fascinating and sometimes gory history... and ghosts. In the evening you can take a Ghost Tour and learn about the city's horrible past. York has a distinguished history of chocolate manufacture, so sampling that is another treat to look forward to on your visit. Before rejoining the second part of the City Wall Walk and seeing more medieval city gates, you could take a cruise on the River Ouse for an hour or so. Allow at least 3 days to have a good time in York!
DEBRA & DAVE’S GRAND DAY OUT - also on Prime Video and a DVD bonus chapter, they take a nostalgic and entertaining steam ride on the fabulous North Yorkshire Moors Railway, destination Whitby. Goths, pirates, Dracula and the haunting Abbey ruins all feature in this wonderful Yorkshire seaside town.
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|Oxford & York|
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Climate ~ OXFORD
Although Oxford is 55 miles from Central London you can get there quite easily by train https://www.thetrainline.com
or a low-cost bus service from London Victoria London to Oxford Bus |Oxford to London Coach |Oxford Tube
2 Hour Free Oxford Walking Tour From Oxford Students - Footprints Tours (footprints-tours.com)
14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Oxford | PlanetWare
Top Bars And Pubs In Historic Oxford, England (theculturetrip.com)
Plan Your Visit - Oxford Castle & Prison (oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk)
Self-Guided Oxford Harry Potter Tour - Filming Locations + Map! (thediscoveriesof.com)
Welcome | Ashmolean Museum
Home | Pitt Rivers Museum (ox.ac.uk)
Climate ~ YORK
York lies towards 200 miles from London and the fastest way to get there is by train, which could be as little as 2 hours!
https://www.thetrainline.com But don't try and do it in a day there's too much to see!
Plan Your Trip - Visit York
FRIENDS OF YORK WALLS CIO
Homepage | York Minster
JORVIK Viking Centre - a must see attraction in York
York Ghost Walk Tour Guide | Dorian Deathly's Deathly Dark Tours
Barley Hall | A Hidden Gem of York
Pubs & Bars in York | York Pubs – Visit York
York Castle Museum
North York Moors Historical Railway Trust - NYMR Take a Steam trip from Pickering to Whitby and have a Grand Day Out!
We recommend hotel bookings by www.expedia.co.uk
~ but in Oxford you could try a University room when the students aren't there: good value and often very historic surroundings.
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