A part-time freelance writer living in North London who dabbles in art, food and fashion. See you around town!
Published October 9th 2012
Punting, plant life and pints in Oxford
As autumn sets in, there may be only a few sun-drenched days left on this year's calendar. But don't be discouraged and try to take advantage of a weekend escape to Oxford. With trains departing every thirty minutes from Paddington station, you are only an hour and twenty minutes away from the traditional charm of this historic university city. Once there the natural inclination will be to go on the numerous tours offered, but why not try to forge your own path?
If you plan on a quick day trip, then head for a visit to the Oxford University Botanic Garden which is the oldest in Britain. Follow the trail down Rose Lane through the wrought iron gate and find yourself in The Gardens, encircled by over 5000 species of plant life. The biodiversity here is enough to satisfy even the most discerning of gardeners. In addition there are the seven Glass Houses, each with their own climatic condition from tropical desert to swamp jungle.
Glasshouse in Botanic Gardens
Afterwards, you can make your way to the plush greenery of Christ Church Meadow, just outside the Botanic Garden for a pleasant picnic. Bring a blanket to lounge on and weather permitting you can take in the last rays of sun in a sedentary position. If you feel that day is moving too slowly, then you can move down to the water at Magdalen Bridge Boathouse and try your hand at punting.
You will be greeted by their amiable staff who can offer training for the punting novice. For those who can't be bothered, there is an option to hire a chauffeur for up to 5 people for £23 every half hour. Either way the scenery is relaxing as the punting route will take you down the River Cherwell, past the Botanic Gardens, Christ Church Meadow and St. Hilda's College gardens.
To cap off the day, you can venture back on the High Street to The Chequers for a drink. You won't be disappointed with their award winning ales from the four corners of England. Stay for dinner and also experience why they are considered one of Oxford's best in pub food. Try a culinary staple like sausage and mash or embark on the more adventurous wild boar and chorizo burger. Once you have fully indulged, you have to remind yourself that it's time to return home. Not to worry there is always room for another pint of ale to reflect on the splendid charm of the city.