Oxford is one of Britain's gems. It is a gorgeous city and is a complete contrast to modern London. It is an ideal location for a daytrip or a longer weekend city break. There are many hotels in Oxford to suit all accommodation needs and price brackets.
Known as the 'City of Dreaming Spires', the Oxford has been home to royalty and University scholars for over 800 years. The University Colleges began as medieval halls of residence for students under the supervision of a master. Balliol and Merton are the oldest colleges dating from the 1200's. Kellogg College is the newest Oxford College founded in 1990. There are a total of 39 colleges affiliated to Oxford University
Getting to Oxford from London is relatively easy. The train only takes one hour from Paddington Station and are quite regular throughout the day. A slightly cheaper option is to take one of the hourly coaches that run from Victoria Coach Station. They take about 1 hour 40 minutes to get to Oxford, depending on the time of day and rush hour traffic, but they arrive in the centre of the city where as the train station is a 15 minute walk from the city centre.
The other option is you could drive there as the M40 motorway goes straight to Oxford from London's M25 orbital motorway. The problem with driving is parking your car when you arrive. Most of the above surface car parking spaces are for only 2 hours. The underground car parks, if they are not full, are very expensive. Most costing over £10. Consider taking the park and Ride option. Park your car in the huge car parks outside of town and get the special bus into the city
The Radcliffe Camera
The Radcliffe Camera is one of Oxford's most beautiful buildings. It is not a Camera. It is used as a reading room for students at the University colleges. The word Camera means a chamber or round building. It is in the historic heart of the University and can be found in Catte Street, which links the High Street to Broad Street via Radcliffe Square.
It is in the historic heart of the University and can be found in Catte Street, which links the High Street to Broad Street via Radcliffe Square. It is in one of my favourite part of Oxford. Radcliffe Square is normally busy with tourists and tour groups, so to really appreciate the atmosphere visiting in the early morning or evening. Sunday morning is a good time as most tourists get up later and the students stay in bed late after a heavy Saturday night our clubbing.
The public can't go inside because of the priceless original 1st edition ancient books available and the need for total silence so the students can carry out their research in peace. This magnificent grand circular structure was built as a science library and founded by the royal physician to William III, Dr John Radcliffe. It was built between 1737-1749.
The architect was James Gibbs, who was also responsible for designing two of London's finest 18th century churches, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and St. Mary-le-Strand. The Radcliffe Camera now serves as the main reading room of the Bodleian Library. A tunnel with a conveyor belt connects the two buildings to facilitate the transfer of books. 600,000 books are also stored in rooms beneath Radcliffe Square.
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