Summer is here (finally). Time to join every other Oxford
student in the University Parks. For those of you who enjoy
spending your afternoon in close proximity to a hundred sweaty
bodies, I highly recommend it. However, others of us seek more
space, more solitude in our escapes. For such spatially conscious
folk, I suggest taking a little trip to Port Meadow. This beautiful bunch of fields has much to recommend it. First
of all it’s not too far away. In Oxford student terms it
might be unreachable but, for those of you who can walk more than
a few metres without having a coronary, it’s just past the
Phoenix Picture House. Go to Peppers (and pick up a kebab to
rival the offerings of that greasy van opposite St John’s)
and turn left. There you’ll find a vast expanse of green, flowing rivers
populated by geese and swans, and long paths that lead to the
Trout, itself a haven too oft missed by many an insular Oxonian.
The walk to the Trout is a lovely one. A few miles along the
river, past the ruins of a twelfth century abbey, and over an old
stone bridge. And at the end of that all the Pimms you can drink
without passing out. A sweet way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But the best thing about Port Meadow is that, while in reality
you are only a stone’s throw from the city centre you feel
as though you’ve been transported to some distant location,
a tranquil piece of the countryside. It’s expansive,
beautiful and, best of all, empty. So make haste. Get there
before word gets around and Port Meadow becomes more packed with
the upper middle classes than the south of France.ARCHIVE: 2nd week TT 2004