London: Day trip to Oxford

Oxford is the oldest university in the world. Wrap your brain around that. Of all the universities in all the world, the Brits did it first over 700 years ago.

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When Christine, Camille and I set out we had a vague idea of which parts of the campus and town we wanted to see and a list of pubs we definitely wanted to hit. One has to have priorities.

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With such a long history, Oxford is just teeming with famous folks that have passes through its doors. Lewis Carroll lived here while writing “Alice in Wonderland”. Walking past Christ Church Meadow you can totally see where JRR Tolkien got his inspiration for the Shire.

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But we can’t forget the most famous of all, my dad. A young Tom spent eight weeks at Oxford’s Brasenose College studying foreign affairs.

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Founded in 1512, the college still houses students today. The interior courtyards offer quiet and relief from the hustle and bustle of the rest of campus. The students all eat together in a medieval dining hall and have access to a centuries old chapel (from when daily attendance was compulsory). The modern world feels delightfully far from Oxford.

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If you need even more distance from the weight of the world, may I humbly suggest one of Oxford’s pubs? We tried a few and they are all great. The Bear is Oxford’s oldest with low ceilings and a fireplace near the bar. The Turf is tucked back from the street and accessible by narrow, easy to miss walkways. The specialize in cask ages ales and its where Bill Clinton “didn’t inhale” all those years ago.

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