Oxford, nicknamed ‘The City of Dreaming Spires’ by medieval poet Matthew Arnold, is a city in central southern England, which revolves principally around the highly prestigious University of Oxford, established in the 12th Century. It is small enough to walk across in just half an hour but packed full of activities to keep students busy.
First on the list straight off the bus, the students voyaged onto the River Cherwell to complete their first punting experience. Punting is a traditional cruise down the river, a favourite pastime enjoyed by residents, visitors and students alike. The students hopped in the small wooden barges, aiming to steer and propel the boat using a ‘quant’ as they are referred to, or put simply a long metal pole. Punting provides quite a tour of Oxford in itself, passing Christ Church Meadows, Magdalen College, Botanical Gardens – that’s if you can steer the boat straight enough to see it all.
Next the students embarked on the walking tour, learning about the university, passing the world-famous copyright Bodleian Library including the Radcliffe Camera, Christ Church College and Oxford Castle. Students learned what life could be like as an Oxford University student, providing inspiration to the students to work hard to maybe come here one day!
After a busy day, most of the students slept on the bus ride home, before taking part in lots of sporting activities run by counsellors upon their return. Tomorrow we welcome some fresh faces into St Mary’s Ascot; we look forward to meeting everyone!