My month in England has sadly come to an end, and over the past few days, I’ve found myself scrolling through my own Instagram feed and Facebook album, trying to relive the memories. For the month of July, I studied at Worcester College at Oxford University, and when I wasn’t taking classes I was exploring Oxford and taking trips to various places within the United Kingdom. It was an absolute dream. Throughout the entire trip, I visited London, Canterbury, Dover, Stratford, Bath, Manchester, and Edinburgh, and with the help of my very beat-up journal, I plan to take you through the most incredible month of my life.
Worcester College, where I stayed and studied, is situated on the largest grounds of any Oxford college. The gardens are immaculate, so much so that there are certain areas where you can’t even walk on the grass. However, the open grounds more than make up for it. There was a small lake with swans and Romantic willow trees as well as large grassy fields to lounge and study.
After I got settled into my room at Worcester and took a quick tour of Oxford, the first thing I did was go on a walk to University Parks and the suburbs to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s house and a bench where he often sat. One of my favorite things about Oxford that I discovered over the next couple of weeks is its rich literary history. Going into the trip, I knew that many world-renowned and canonized writers had come through Oxford, but the fervor with which Oxford celebrates its literary history was incredible to me. For example, every year on the first Saturday of July, Oxford celebrates Alice Day, which recognizes Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. People dress up in costumes; carnivals are held in the meadow; and there are even Alice-themed afternoon teas. And bookstores around town have special displays for Oxford writers, such as Lewis, Tolkien, Carroll, and Wilde.
Afterwards, I stopped by The Eagle and Child, favored pub of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. It was here that they would catch up and read each others’ work. The pub is decorated with various Lewis and Tolkien-themed things, which serve as yet another celebration of literature in Oxford. It’s perfect in every way.