An Anniversary Trip to Oxford
It rained on our wedding anniversary this year, and so we postponed our plans to visit Oxford by a few days so that we could enjoy the day and be outside as much as possible. I’m so glad we did, because the day we visited – Tuesday gone – was warm and sunny, perfect for a long walk along the river into the city.
Instead of catching the park and ride, we parked in the public carpark on the edge of Wolvercote and walked through Godstow to join the river by the ruins of Godstow Abbey. Following the river and then the canal, we walked into the city centre.
When we arrived in Oxford we walked over towards the Botanic Gardens via Blackwell’s and the Bodleian, and I noticed that they had an interesting exhibition on – a celebration of 400 years of botany at the University of Oxford. The exhibition being free and the days of pre-booked everything thankfully behind us, we headed straight in. Glorious spontaneity, oh how I’ve missed it. We wore our masks of course, but otherwise it was like the old days.
After visiting the exhibition we carried on over to the Botanic Garden and watched the boats pass by under the bridge, and sat out under an apple tree for a bit. I wanted to examine Lyra and Will’s bench, as I haven’t had a chance to sit on it even after all these visits I’ve made to Oxford Botanic Garden, but as always it was occupied. Next time, maybe.
After leaving the gardens we took the side path down to the river and walked along the Cherwell then the Thames to Christ Church College.
No trip to Oxford is complete without a stop at our favourite icecream shop for sorbet.
Satisfied after an afternoon of walking along the river, visiting the gardens and bookshops and gorging ourselves on sorbet, we headed back along the canal and river, meeting two narrowboat cats enjoying the evening sun from the vantage point of their boats. They both ignored me, as expected, but it was lovely to see them. It feels really atmospheric down the canal, I can see why Philip Pullman was so inspired to feature the canals so extensively in his two HDM trilogies.
With the sun low over Port Meadow, I set up my small portable bendy tripod on a bench to capture a photo of the two of us together. I take a photo of us on every anniversary. This year’s anniversary photo was an indoor job of us in pyjamas and sweatpants, but I wanted to capture a nice one too, even if it’s a few days late.
Just before heading home, we stopped by the ruins for a poke around the wildflowers and stone walls. It reminds me of Berkhamsted Castle in a way, although it’s much more wild and ruined. You can really feel the weight of time as you walk through the grounds.
Last but not least, feeling too lazy to cook we decided to stop off in Leamington Spa on the way home to Birmingham for a thali. Ed used to live in Leamington as a student, so he knows the town pretty well. It felt strange to be back there after so many years.