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TRIP TO OXFORD, WITH BOAT TRIP ON THE ISIS TO IFLEY VILLAGE
9th JULY 2014

In July this year, our members joined our twelve German guests from Bad Godesberg and their hostesses, for a day trip to Oxford and its surroundings.

Organised by the City & Village Tours and entitled: ‘Oxford, The Isis & Iffley’, the tour explored the centre of the University City of Oxford including a visit to one of the ancient colleges, Brasenose College. The tour was designed to give our group members a real flavour of Oxford without having to walk too far. In the afternoon we cruised along the River Isis (as the Thames is called there) past the university rowing club boat houses to picturesque Iffley Lock and after a walk to the church, we cruised back to Oxford for tea.

A Blue Badge guide joined the coach as we approached the City and we set down right in the centre of town to buy morning refreshments in the oldest pub in Oxford. From the pub windows we could see Sir Christopher Wren's Sheldonian Theatre and the Clarendon Building. Just a few steps took us into the beautiful courtyard of the Bodleian Library where our explorations began.  We then visited Brasenose College, founded in 1509, where we saw the Quadrangles, the chapel and the Hall where the students and Dons still dine and the brazen nose from which the college derives its name takes pride of place above the High Table.

There was time to pop into the University Church which has reopened after a massive two year programme of restoration and then emerge onto The High (described by Nikolaus Pevsner as “one of the world's great streets”) to the junction with St Aldates.

After a pub lunch, we boarded the coach to Folly Bridge, where we embarked on a river boat to cruise along a tranquil stretch of river Isis to Iffley Lock past the university boat houses and Christ Church Meadows. Iffley Lock and the village are incredibly pretty. Sitting atop gentle Rose Hill is surely one of the most beautiful churches in England. It's certainly one of our finest examples of Romanesque architecture: unusually little altered over the centuries it retains the original simplicity of Norman architecture and some quite spectacular figurative carvings and beautiful stained glass windows. We boarded the boat an hour later to cruise back to Folly Bridge where refreshments were in order.

 

Michaela Howard, Webmaster,

August 2014

 


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