The Heritage Open Days festival starts today, with free events across the country celebrating and showcasing local history, architecture and culture. One of the biggest hubs of activity is in Oxford, with a jam-packed programme of talks, open days and other activities during Oxford Open Doors.
I visited Oxford this time last year for a Nice Day Out and spent a happy, busy day exploring the city and some of the fabulous buildings that were open during the festival. It was wonderful being able to visit so many interesting places for free, including several spaces that aren't usually open to visitors.
I started my day by climbing Carfax Tower, chatting to a very friendly couple in the queue while we waited for our turn to climb the 99 steps to the top. It was great to get a (literal) overview of the city before heading off with my copy of the Open Doors brochure to see things a bit closer up :)
Now, the problem with blogging about a day out a year after you go on it is that you kinda forget exactly what it was you got up to!
So, I don't have much to say except that it was a really wonderful day out, I didn't get to see even half of what I'd hoped to, and I'll be back again for this year's festival to visit some more places. I hope you'll enjoy these photos from my trip - maybe they'll inspire you to take your own trip to Oxford?
Last year I visited... Oriel College:
... Exeter College (imagine working/living in the room with that window!):
... Queens College:
.... the Bodleian Library:
... Harris Manchester College Chapel (which has gorgeous Pre-Raphaelite windows).
... the Sheldonian Theatre (where we climbed up to the cupola at the top of the building, for more fabulous views of the city!):
... Jesus College:
... Lincoln College and their fabulous library (housed in a converted church!):
.... Hertford College:
... and (last but by no means least) Magdalen College:
P.S. The Oxford Open Doors programme varies from year to year, so not
all the places I went to last year will be open during this year's
festival. You can find this year's programme here and watch a video about Oxford Open Doors here. Click here to find Heritage Open Days events in your area.