Wednesday 14 February 2024

Birthday Trip To Oxford

 I'm starting to get a bit of a buzz again from writing so while I do, I thought I might aswell go with it and share another of our recent trips. George and I love going on little city breaks as you might know from various blog posts over the years and we tend to do a few throughout the year rather than one big holiday. In December we went to Bath for the Christmas markets and then for my birthday in January, George had planned a little getaway to Oxford for us. We've been to Oxford a few times, the last being in 2021 and I've even shared a travel guide on my blog before, I loved it so much so I was really excited to be heading back and this time doing a few new things.First things first, we stayed at the gorgeous Malmaison Hotel which is a converted prison. We've stayed there before, I weirdly find prisons fascinating so it's such a cool experience to walk through but this time was even better as we actually stayed in one of their cell rooms. Their cell rooms in the A wing where prisoners used to stay have been done up with just about everything you could need from a hotel room and we were really impressed.After we'd got checked in on the first day, we headed out to explore Oxford and find some of our favourites from previous trips. We walked through the Covered Market which is full of lovely shops, florists, cafes and more and we of course had to stop and take in the beauty that is Radcliffe Camera.Our trip to Oxford this time was mainly to find some Harry Potter locations. We're big fans of the films and one place we knew we could fit in on the first day was the Divinity School in the Bodleian Library. I'll probably do a full blog post on the Harry Potter locations to go into more detail but this particular place was used in the Philosopher's Stone as the Hogwarts Infirmary and you might also recognise it from Goblet of Fire as it's where the students practise for the Triwizard Tournament. This was such a cool experience and it's only about £3 a ticket to get in!That evening we went to one of our faves for my birthday meal, Mowgli. They do the best Indian food, it's almost tapas style the way dishes come out as & when they're ready and the cocktails & mocktails are always delicious. Some of our fave bits on the menu are the Himalayan Cheese Toast, Yogurt Chat Bombs and the Treacle Tamarind Fries. The whole restaurant is beautiful too, I couldn't recommend it enough, the Oxford one in particular is always perfect.Our second day started out with pancakes at The Breakfast Club. I went for the classic blueberry ones which were delicious as always and of course, got to have a side of hash browns. After a bit of shopping in Westgate we grabbed a coffee at Paul then headed to our next Harry Potter destination.I'd been particularly excited to visit New College as it was used in the Goblet of Fire which is probably my favourite film of the series. Here you'll find the famous tree from the scene with Mad-Eye Moody and Malfoy and the Cloisters too which were used for some of the hallway scenes. We spent quite a bit of time here taking it all in and getting lots of photos and videos before heading to Christ Church College.Christ Church College is one of the more expensive places to visit but I think it's worth it as you get to see so much and a lot of it isn't Harry Potter related so great if you're not as bothered about that. If you are though, one of the first places you'll see is the Bodley Staircase which is used in several films including Chamber of Secrets. At the top, you'll find the inspiration for the Hogwarts Great Hall and lastly you'll find the Christ Church Cloisters which were mainly used in the Philosopher's Stone.We continued our final day with some lunch and a walk through Oxford in the sun, stopping in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin which was still a little festive and then ended with Shake Shack at the hotel with a film which was a lovely end to the trip.We had such a great time and it was nice to go back to a city we love again.

I'd love to know if you've been to Oxford? or do you have any recommendations for other UK city breaks?

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