- Arts & Literature
- Science & Technology
By Will Boyer
If you’re looking for some rewarding procrastination, a pleasant day out, a memorable holiday, or even if you have an unhealthy interest in orchids, Will Boyer’s got the answer. Here are ten places no Oxford student can afford to miss.
Port Meadow temple
Many people venture up the west side of the Thames through Port Meadow. On a sunny day, this provides a good running track or a nice location for a barbecue. But opposite the Trout pub is an old ruin, which no-one ever thinks to check out. You can actually go inside. The roof barely covers it, and this is a great place to go camping.
Oxford Botanic Garden
The oldest botanic garden in Britain lies just across the road from Magdalen. A worldly collection of plants and aromas in such a compact area provides a place to chill out all year round. And for the garden fanatics amongst you, there is a fine collection of orchids, as well as much more. It’s certainly worth a look, especially as it’s free for students.
The Isis during Summer VIIIs
Not quite the Boat Race, but still a large crowd appears every year for this event. The atmosphere and summer weather make this an ideal afternoon respite from work.
The oddly-placed hill behind Junction? That is part of Oxford Castle. Whilst it might not look big or exciting, it boasts a breath-taking view of the city (if you look in the right direction).
If you find yourself stressing about exams, wanting a break from revision and from Oxford in general, why not escape to the sea? Perhaps Bournemouth is not as nice as more south-westerly areas, but it is easy to get to from Oxford. And if you can’t afford to leave your studies, you can always take them with you. The beach is the best place to revise, anyway.
Somerville fifth week formal
Every term, the fifth week formal at Somerville is huge. So popular is this event that Opening Ceremony tickets for the Olympic Games are easier to come by. Dress code is smart-casual. Bring your own drinks, invest in the College bar and enjoy Camera afterwards.
This was my favourite place in the world for just under two years of my undergraduate life. However, it has now been replaced by Junction, and has been relocated to Cheltenham. It is still well worth the journey to Cheltenham and back every Tuesday and Friday to experience this club.
Magdalen Tower on May Day
Make May Day last as long as possible, preferably with a massive group from your college. Start off with some lager over a nice meal, and then tackle the club of your choice. When this closes, have a few more lagers and head to Magdalen to listen to some hymns at 6am. Make sure you get the right day!
Varsity Ski Trip
Book this early, even if you are a fresher. The Ski Trip is a great way to meet people, get some beers flowing and to go skiing. Though make sure your room mates are Oxford students – the Cambridge ones won’t be as fun!
In this day and age, language is essential. Develop your linguistic talent and earn some culture points by attending lectures on a language on your own choice. This will be very helpful for travelling and for possible future employment.