Oxford wasn’t on the itinerary, however, we decided at the last minute that it merited a visit and so we hopped onboard the train from York and headed southwest to this quintessential university town. Just 20 minutes before our arrival, the train came to an abrupt stop. High winds brought a tree down on the front windshield taking out the wipers and leaving a spider web of shattered glass, scaring the living day lights out of the driver. We limped into the station and the run was terminated. With packs in tow, we made our way to Malmaison, our hotel (formerly Oxford’s jail) and set out to explore town.
We lunched at the Eagle and Child pub, famous for its literary patronage. The Inklings met here and we can see why CS Lewis called it one of his happy places. Next up, Christ Church Cathedral and College. You will know the room called the Great Hall from films such as Harry Potter, Amazing Grace, Chariots of Fire. Blackwell’s Books, of course — I walked out without purchasing a single item. Talk about will power! Tonight, an organ concert at Christ Church with our new Australian friends, Mal and Wendy.