1. Trebuchet says

    If you’ll be visiting Prof. Dawkins while there, you should take along a crowbar to help extract his foot from his mouth.

  2. psturn says

    PZ, be sure to visit the black pine tree near the entrance that was Tolkien’s favorite tree and the model for the Ents. Apparently some limbs fell off the pine recently and for safety’s sake the university is going to cut it down soon. They are mum about whether the wood will fuel the fires of Isengard.

  3. cartomancer says

    Just don’t wander across the High and end up visiting that godawful Magdalen College, whose tower can be seen in the background – it’s full of right-wing arseholes and in all probability busy propagating half of the next-but-one Tory cabinet that the UK will have to endure. Christchurch will be supplying the other half.

    Not that I developed some kind of unreasoning personal hatred of the place during my undergraduate years or anything…

  4. Erp says

    The English take gardens seriously. I suggest visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew if you can.

  5. grumpyoldfart says

    Oxford looks a bit too high-class for me.

    I’m in South Australia where I can visit exotic places like:
    Snake Gully,
    Humbug Scrub,
    and Mount Hopeless.

  6. Suido says

    I’m currently lucky enough to live and work near the Roma St Parklands in Brisbane. Going for a lunchtime run through the park is a perfect tonic in the middle of an office-bound day. Far better than the botanical gardens and river-side pathways on the south edge of the CBD.

    Rainforest gardens, flower gardens, lawns, ponds and waterfalls throughout, the photos in the link above barely do it justice as an escape from urban heat, traffic and noise pollution.

  7. Johnny Vector says

    I think if I were to visit Oxford, I’d be carrying all of Connie Willis’ time travel books, either matching the places to the descriptions or just using them as a map. And then I’d end up spending the whole time reading them again.

  8. says

    I resoundingly second Erp’s suggestion!
    In fact if it’s not making too much Noyse:

    “Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac-time, in lilac-time;
    Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn’t far from London!)
    And you shall wander hand in hand with love in summer’s wonderland;
    Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn’t far from London!)”

  9. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’ve only had one chance to visit Europe, though the visit was most of a summer long. Of all the things that stood out to me, (besides the moment when some very nice person, who, in retrospect, might have been hitting on me, asked if my accent meant I was from Paris) the gardens and parks are #1. It’s not even the individual gardens & parks. It’s that one can simply expect that there’s always an amazing garden somewhere nearby whenever the mood to visit one strikes. The cumulative effect of garden after garden has stayed with me.

  10. duncanbooth says

    Sadly the news reports today are that they are going to cut down the 215 year old Black Pine that is said to have influenced Tolkien. Judging by this report there may still be some of it left when you get there:
    Oxford Botanic Gardens aren’t the largest (the Cambridge gardens are substantially larger), but they are worth visiting.

    I would actually disagree with the comment above: Magdalen College is a nice enough college to wander around and has decent grounds and a city-centre deer park. Not so sure it’s worth the £5 entry though, I usually only visit when it’s free.

  11. Rich Woods says

    Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the Ashmolean either. They’ve finished all their refurbishments and it looks fantastic.

  12. duncanbooth says

    True, the Ashmolean looks fantastic, but there are other excellent museums in Oxford. The Museum of the History of Science (in the Old Ashmolean building which is the oldest custom built museum in the world) has a vast collection of scientific instruments, and the Pitt Rivers museum has an eclectic anthropological collection (including shrunken heads) with entry via the museum of Natural History so two museums for the price of one (although no actual saving as they are all free with the exception of some special exhibitions).

  13. itto says

    Duncanbooth: Seconded, the Museum of the History of Science (fantastic Steampunk exhibition a few years ago) and the Pitt Rivers/Natural History museum (every marble column a different type! Strokeable exhibits! In the Pitt Rivers, below the display cases are drawers: many of them Are Not Locked! Go on, pull them out and have a look!)

    If anyone wants to meet up at the Botanical Gardens, I’d be interested. It is a lovely garden to stroll through. For refreshments and chat afterwards, five minutes’ walk away there’s The Rose teashop onThe High, good quality tea for those who like it, or another five minutes’ walk away there’s the Turf Tavern, olde olde pub with outdoors tables and shade. And room for larger numbers of people.

    Anyone free next week? PZ, what day did you have in mind?

  14. duncanbooth says

    My wife and I walked round the Botanic Gardens this evening. They have cordoned off quite a large part of the garden to keep people a safe distance from the tree. I posted a few photos on my Google+ stream in case anyone wants to see.