Hands down Keble College Chapel was the most impressive chapel of the Oxford Colleges we visited. We did not see all of the college chapels. I might have a few posts about the Keble Chapel in the near future. On our last full day in England, today Friday the 23rd of September, we checked out of our hotel in Woodstock, took a taxi to our lodging in Oxford and dumped our luggage there at 10:30 am. Their check in time is 4pm. This taxi ride was our favorite with a friendly driver who actually interacted with us. We walked and walked and walked some more. We went to the Museum of Natural History. We walked through University Park to the Cherwell where we saw a bench dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien, we visited the Balliol Chapel (the only thing open to visitors on the campus). We headed to our favorite pub in Oxford…home away from home, the Turf Tavern where we enjoyed a conversation with a mum and daughter from Canada. We walked toward Keble College and were happy that we could view the chapel for no charge. I took many photos in this amazing chapel. We were so happy that we took the time and that they were open to visitors on this day. We still had time to kill before we could check in so we walked to Little Clarendon Street to return to Gail’s Bakery for some evening treats for our hotel room. Back to our hotel and able to check in at 3:30. Happy for that since our feet had had enough of walking on uneven and cobbled streets. So happy to report we did not huff and puff on this trip. Our conditioning was good and it was just feet and knees that complained not our lungs or hearts! Woohoo!!
We are flying home tomorrow so no updates until possibly Monday. Cheers!
Today Thursday the 22nd of September and the first day of Autumn we walked our feet off. After our hotel breakfast at 7am we walked to a free entrance to Blenheim Palace grounds only to find out the paths we wanted to take were closed and restricted because of work being done with dredging in the lake. We walked around the restricted paths and found our way to the Harry Potter Tree which I will post about later. Back to town and showers and lunch and then back to Blenheim grounds for a ticket to tour the grounds. On Friday we are heading back to Oxford for our last night in the United Kingdom.
On Wednesday we checked out of our apartment in Oxford and took a taxi to Woodstock to check into our hotel for Wednesday and Thursday night. For curious minds the taxi was about 30 bucks. We could have taken a bus except with our luggage that would have been too taxing on us. We checked our luggage at the hotel and took a walk about the town. We had a nice lunch with a very jovial host at The King’s Arms where we met another U.S. family enjoying Woodstock. Later in the afternoon after getting the key to our room we had our first Afternoon Tea on at The Feathers Hotel in Woodstock. It’s interesting when our lodgings want you to check out by 10am and then your next lodging won’t want you to check in till 4PM. The hotel did let us check into our room at 2 instead of 4 since our room was ready. Our tea reservation was at 4:30. Afterwards we had a nice walk to the outskirts of town to catch a glimpse of Blenheim Palace.
Goodnight from Woodstock!
Just a glimpse with so much more to come.
Magdalen College taken from Addison’s Walk.
On Tuesday September 20th we walked to a breakfast spot on George Street. We then headed to Christ Church College to make some purchases at the Gift shop. We also walked over to the Thames Valley Police Station to find the plaque on the wall to Inspector Morse. We tried with not a lot of success to make it into several colleges. We ended up with only two colleges open to us at the right time, Magdalen (pronounced Maudlin) and All Souls College.
Tomorrow we check out of our Airbnb and head to Woodstock for a couple of nights. Looking forward to a hotel stay with breakfast included.
My postcard for today after the Queen’s funeral yesterday is my Sunday Lamb Roast from the Turf Tavern. Roasts typically are only offered on Sundays at Pubs and restaurants. The Turf had a choice of Beef, Lamb or Chicken. Dear picked the Lamb for me, delicious. Besides the meat portion you get veggies, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Dear opted for fish and chips instead of a Roast.
We spent the whole day yesterday watching the telly with absolutely no commercials or interruptions of the ceremony and processionals. We started watching at 7am up until the late afternoon with a quick break to run down for a quick fish and chips break. Wonderful coverage and commentary here.
Today, Tuesday, we will be out and about again trying to visit as many colleges as we can before we check out tomorrow at 10am and head to Woodstock for a couple of nights.
Today Monday September 19th should be a quieter day here because of the Queen’s funeral and it being a bank holiday here in the United Kingdom.
We stocked up on picnic supplies to enjoy in our apartment today during the funeral televised on the major channels here.
Grocery stores are closed today. Some of the other businesses will have open hours today. We are going to have an off day today just relaxing in our apartment, eating up what we have on hand. Curious as to what we purchased? Well let me tell you anyway. We have a beautiful loaf of Rosemary Sour Dough bread we purchased at the amazing Gail’s Bakery. We have a lovely Pear tartlet and Strawberry tart with custard we purchased at Paul Bakery. We have salami, cheese, olives & feta combo, avocado, grapes, tomatoes purchased at Sainsbury. We won’t starve.
Later I’ll share about the nice Sunday we had worshipping at a church service here in Oxford and our other Sunday experiences.
Lot of walking again today with a walking tour book I bought for Oxford. Walked into the Jericho area of Oxford and along the canal. Visited a church, a cemetery. We wanted Fish and Chips and found out several pubs were out of fish and chips! The Lamb and Flag was closed due to refurbishing. The Eagle and Child has been closed for over 2 years now. Both of these pubs have history with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Today is open day in Oxford for prospective Freshmen and the town was buzzing with parents and students checking out the colleges, and eating all the fish and chips! We finally dropped off our bag of goodies we bought along the way to the apartment and headed to The Turf Tavern again and they had Fish and Chips. This is fast becoming our favorite and go to establishment. Mission accomplished, back to the apartment with our feet up!
We had a wonderful tour of 5 villages in the Cotswolds today with a great small touring company called Go Cotswolds.
Met some nice people and saw some very quaint villages. Our walk to the railway station was short and we met some kindred spirits that were on our tour before we were picked up by our tour company. More about our tour when we get home and do a day by day recap.
In many store windows in Oxford and in chapels of the Oxford colleges and other churches there are tributes like these to the beloved Queen Elizabeth II.
On Wednesday afternoon we watched the processional from Buckingham Palace to the Westminster Hall from our apartment in Oxford. Many businesses are short staffed this day so we are enjoying food in our apartment. We overdid it on Tuesday so we scaled back on our activities and stayed in to watch.
Lying in State now as her people file past to honor her.
Christ Church College Dining Hall. Inspiration for Hogwart’s Dining Hall. More from Harry Potter at this college in Oxford to come. Alice in Wonderland was inspired at this college, too.
Today was an easier walking day. We spent part of the afternoon watching the live coverage of the Queen’s journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. So moving. Still adjusting to this time zone. It seems to be harder now that we are older.
Tomorrow is our day tour in the Cotswolds.