Oxford – A Brief Literary Journey

in #travel6 years ago (edited)

I was in London last week, spending some time visiting my parents and relaxing with hubby. John, one of my oldest friends, wanted to take a visit to Oxford.

I was fortunate enough to attend Ruskin College when I decided to embark into higher education, so I was thrilled to go back there for the first time in years and show my hubby and my friend some of the cool places Oxford has to offer.

John picked us up and we set off fairly early. It didn't take us too long to get to the outskirts of the city.

For those who don't know, Oxford is a city which hates cars. You'd be more likely to find a first edition of Lord of the Rings lying around on the streets than a decent parking spot.

So we stopped at one of the Park and Rides to catch a bus for the final part of the journey.

John and Luke (hubby) at the Park and Ride.

Our first stop (well, after grabbing some ice cream from the amazing G&Ds on St Aldates) was the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. It was just around the corner from Ruskin and a place I often popped into for inspiration, while I was studying there.

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

The museum has a fantastic collection of antiquities. Here are a few examples:


16th Century Chinese Sewing Box

Didcot Coin Hoard

A collection of lutes

Well, wouldn't all that art and history be enough to give you a terrible thirst? So our next stop had to be a bar.

Those of you who know me are probably quite aware that I write a lot of speculative fiction for younger people, so there really was only one choice (made somewhat easier by its close proximity to the Ashmolean).

The Eagle and Child

Why is this place such an important literary landmark? A blackboard in the back of the place explains why:


There were several nods to the Inklings around the bar:

Hobbit Cover

Unexpected Party

And a door you probably wouldn't want to mess with:


Aslan is watching

Close Up

So we had a fine meal in there and, of course, a pint. Then set off for the place my hubby wanted to go most of all, the botanical gardens, to see a particular bench:

Will and Lyra's Bench

So, those who've read Phillip Pullman's, His Dark Materials, don't need to ask how important this place is, and I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn't experienced the sheer brilliance of this trilogy.

I'll only say we were there on the day after midsummer, so we missed them by 24 hours.

It really was a fantastic day. The experience of going back to Oxford has rejuvenated me in a way I could not have wished or expected. I plan to go back again in a couple of months and, this time, I'll take a decent camera with me.

Luke and Damian


Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://www.damianjayclay.com/2018/06/26/oxford-a-brief-literary-journey/

Check out my poetry editing posts:

Session One: Respecting the Process
Session Two: Resolving Emotional Abstractions
Session Three: Show and Never Tell
Session Four: Avoid Cliches Like the Plague or I Shall Smite Thee with the Poxe
Session Five – Q&A
Session Six: Doing Lines
Session Seven: Words Don't Grow on Trees: Full Stop

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I'm glad you had a great time! I'd love to go to Oxford if I ever get the chance.

pretends not to be jealous and fails miserably

Great series! Would have been awesome to see it with you guys.

The only thing to dislike here is the 'brief ' part of it. Lovely trip!

Was such a lovely day.

As C.S.Lewis wrote: "Once a Queen of Narnia, always a Queen of Narnia."

How lovely to go back and take us with you. :)

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OMG I love so many things about this post. Hanging out where the legends drank and talked... sitting on the bench... but the "Aslan is watching" sign might be my favourite. Always wanted to get into Narnia. I wonder where that door goes... ;)

This post triggers so many memories, I spent one summer in Oxford and I was the biggest Tolkien fan... so I did some crazy things hahha XD. I was barely a teenager and the biggest Tolkien/Lewis fan LOL

What an amazing trip you had! That museum looks fascinating, especially that dazzling sewing box!
I am glad you took us along for this adventure! 😊