So as a massive Deborah Harkness I finally decided it was time to walk the streets of Oxford and follow in Diana Bishop, Matthew Clairmont and Hamish Osbourne’s footsteps and spend some time in historic Oxford.
So after not a lot of cajoling I managed to convince my Mum to come with me – after I raved about Deb for so long she read the books after me and actually drove from where we live to York Waterstones to met Deb with me on her Book of Life Booktour!
After doing some research Deb has actually arranged a little tour map – so this gave me the basis for my Oxford day Itinerary.
So we of course had to start with a coffee in Blackwell’s cafe / Bookstore! It’s like a book nerds heaven!
So after being suitably Coffee’d and cake’d we set off to start at The Bridge of Sighs – a copy of the famous Venician bridge which is on New College Road.
Next we took a wander down to visit All Souls College – Matthew and Hamish’s college of course!
Opposite is the famous Bodleian Library and the main setting for the A Discovery of Witches book and where our story starts when Diana Bishop calls up a forgotten manuscript Ashmole 782.
After a tour of the Library – which you MUST, MUST do if you are a book lover! Sadly due to the Literary Festival that was on the weekend we visited we were not able to go into the Stacks or the Divinity School, which just means we have to go back again another time to see it all! Whoop! Also just a little added bonus Harry Potter was filmed here – so next time you watch and Harry is in the restricted section of the library or in the infirmary (The Divinity School) you can come visit and walk the same halls!
Next we made a visit to one of the many colleges – King’s. Although not on Deb’s walking tour whilst in Oxford you have to visit the college’s, all individually steeped in history and amazing architecture! The only College that has a Cathedral on site and also has the students attend mass within.
The dinning hall where the students eat their meals is also incredible – with echoes of Hogwarts! With paintings of all the famous students including Henry VIII and at the time the only female student HRH Queen Elizabeth I.
College of Lewis Carroll (Pen name Charles Dodgson a student and Maths lecturer) who wrote the stories for his friend Alice Liddell daughter of the Dean of Christ Church. Many locations in Alice’s adventures are based on parts of the college.
A short stroll takes you down to the covered market which is a great little mix of boutique stores and fresh produce shops!
Then a quick visit to The New Bodleian (The Weston Library) which holds many of the Libraries ‘Special Treasures’, any book nerds idea of REAL Treasure – The Magna Carter, Geoffrey Chaucer and a First Edition William Shakespeare to name a few.
Finally to round off a visit to the Ashmolean Museum is a must! The amazing artwork, statues and architecture of the halls itself are well worth a visit!
Not to mention the Ashmolean has a lovely rooftop bar with views of the city – thank you Oxford, we love you and see you again in a few months! Cheers!
Oxford v.2 hopefully will be happening sometime in the summer –
- we will be visiting the Bodleian again and hopefully seeing all the bits we missed the first time.
- Radcliffe Camera tour
3. New College Tour (Diana Bishops College)
4. And as many of the other college’s as we can get round without our feet running away screaming in protest!