Weekend Getaway

Oxford Northampton February 2013A quick getaway from Kent to Northamptonshire and then Oxfordshire…

easy drive 131 miles via the M25, totalling a mere 2hrs 10mins from Whitstable, Kent to Collingtree near Northampton.

Saturday was a day for celebration with the Fowler Clan…

Paul Fowler birthday

Paul’s 60th birthday…

Paul 60 (1)a simple family gathering ….

Paul 60 (2)

with loads of food and drink and lots of conversing….

Paul 60 (3)

We spent the night close by in the Travelodge Wootton…. they are a great cheap one night stay when travelling… and if you lucky and manage to book way in advance like we did you get the best price… just a mere £20 for the room for the night…

Of course, it’s nothing flash… but you get a bed, a tv, a shower and a toilet, with running hot and cold water, and heating, a window you can open, clean bedding and towels… what more do you want for a quick stopover???  and on the door step is the Toby Restaurant for meals if you need to eat close to your accommodation.  Simple really…

So, not wanting to just drive up Northampton for a 60th celebration and then drive back the next day we decided to go explore one of our favourite places Oxford… we still hadn’t managed to get into the Bodleian Library for a Standard Tour (guided)… so the goal on Sunday was to get that done at least…

Again we managed to book another Travelodge at Peartree, just on the ring road around Oxford, for another mere £20 for the room for the night… I love the winter months in the UK when no one is travelling and the accommodation places are giving great discounts…

Oxford in February 2013 (21)

So, so, so glad we did the 1hr guided tour for £6.50 per person, this tour shows you the interior of the buildings that form the historic heart of the University.

Oxford in February 2013 (3) Oxford in February 2013 (4) Oxford in February 2013 (9) Oxford in February 2013 (11) Oxford in February 2013 (12)Oxford in February 2013 (14)

We started by exploring the Divinity School, built in 1488…. elaborately vaulted ceiling and  455 carved bosses… went inside to the 17th century Convocation House, where Parliament was held in the Civil War, and sat in the Chancellor’s Court room.

Oxford in February 2013 (13)

These were the only parts of the building where we could take photos… the library however is basically NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED.

And, because it was Sunday… we got to go into the Duke Humphrey’s medieval library… without students studying… so did not have to be quiet and tiptoe around… and also got past the gate to see the whole floor… absolutely fabulous and amazing… gave me goose-bumps being in these stunningly beautiful and elaborate rooms.

Former readers, (users of the Library), include five kings, 40 Nobel Prize winners, 25 British Prime Ministers and writers such as Oscar Wilde, C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien.

Basically a very worthwhile visit…..

OR if you want to book ahead (which we didn’t do) you could do one of the Extended Tours for £13 – 

UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS AT THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY – runs most Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9.15am
EXPLORE THE READING ROOMS TOUR – runs most Sundays at 11.15 and 13.15

AFTER our exhilirating tour of the Bodleian Library.. we wandered around the corner and down some back lanes and explored the old walls of the colleges.

Oxford in February 2013 (1) Oxford in February 2013 (2) Oxford in February 2013 (5) Oxford in February 2013 (6) Oxford in February 2013 (7) Oxford in February 2013 (8) Oxford in February 2013 (10) Oxford in February 2013 (15) Oxford in February 2013 (16) Oxford in February 2013 (17) Oxford in February 2013 (18) Oxford in February 2013 (19) Oxford in February 2013 (20)

I LOVE OXFORD…. always a beautiful place to return to…

Our trip totalled 376 miles….