The final stop on my day in Oxford was the picturesque Christ Church Meadow. Bordering Merton College and Christ Church College, it provides gorgeous views back over the city and is steeped in local history-including being the site of the some of the earliest hot air balloon ascents-but it is also a wonderfully tranquil pocket of nature.
I came here with the excellent company of Laura, and I am so glad she directed me towards this lovely space. Visiting cities with Laura is always a treat, as she seems to know so many hidden places and interesting facts wherever we go!
Not only was a walk around the Meadow the perfect calm ending to a brilliant day, it was a very welcome snippet of nature. We saw quite a few little natural gems as we walked, including cowslips, an elegant swan,
and a frog, which I was very excited about! We also encountered a mallard duck strolling along the path, but he was rather camera shy and ran away from me.
The surroundings were beautiful, with a couple of striking bridges,
and lots of shimmering water, mirroring the sky perfectly.
Like so much of Oxford, Christ Church Meadow seems a little magical, especially when you look back towards the spires of the colleges and realise just how close this countryside idyll is to the city. It's a place where I can see the connections between the real life Oxford and the surreal, disorientating, but beautiful world of Alice in Wonderland. In fact, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) used to take Alice Liddell and her siblings on boat trips on the River Cherwell, which runs adjacent to the Meadow. I think the fact this little bucolic island still exists in the city, and is such a tangible link to the past and to a literary world, is rather lovely.