Oxford has a truly lovely Botanical Garden, which includes the Harcourt Arboretum. I’m a fan of gardens, generally, and these, though rather small, are tidy and refreshing to walk through. People punt along the river just along it, and while I was there a cricket match was ongoing in the neighboring green space. I had meant, actually, to go to the Christ Church Meadow and the university parks, but I ended here do to an obsessive sweet-hunt. (When Mark and I were in Ireland, we located the most amazing licorice, and I have been searching for replacements ever since). As I was in High Street at Mr. Simms Sweets, it was only natural to pop over and enjoy the scenery.
I feel I ought to mention that Oxford is remarkably green. I shouldn’t wonder that, from the air, it appears a veritable forest dotted with architecture rather than a city with many plantings. The Port Meadows, Christ Church and University are just a few–there is also the Deer Park, South Park, Cowley Marsh, Marley Wood, Bagley Wood, Florence Park–I could go on. Cricket grounds, grazing meadows, playing fields, gardens, river walks–and yet the town also features some of the greatest architecture, from Sheldonian theater (relatively new) to Bodleian’s New and Old libraries to the oldest building in Oxford–the Saxon Tower (1040).
The gardens were, in the long run, more fun than the sweet shop, and better for me, too. I never did find the licorice, though I encountered the Sheep of Destiny and the Penguin of Death. Don’t ask. Well, okay, ask. I will put a photo of it in the gallery link, available in the next post.