No matter where in the world you place yourself, eventually the things you hear and see each day will start to become ‘normal’. Sometimes looking back I feel like we got used to life in Bangkok so much that we didn’t explore as much as we should have. We’ve been in London for a while now too and whilst loving it, there’s no surprise we fancy seeing something new every once in a while.
If you’ve been following us on Twitter you will have seen that we’ve been buying a lot of new toys over the last few months, mostly in preparation for running away again later this year. It’s only natural that we would want to take them out for a little play but to do that we needed to mix things up. We’ve seen all of the major London hotspots a hundred times and whilst they could be captured a million different, creative ways we needed to see something fresh and new to inspire us to get to grips with our new equipment.
After all, once you’ve seen Big Ben a few times you often forget to look up…
So this past weekend we got up early and jumped on a train heading out of the capital to somewhere we’ve been meaning to check out for a while, Oxford. Of course it’s mostly known for being home to one of the best universities in the world but not really fancying spending my weekend studying (I’m nowhere near intelligent enough anyway) it’s something else that attracted us to the city.
The fact it’s a simple one hour journey from London Piccadilly Station is a big reason but more importantly are the charming, typically English streets, Oxford has the feel of a village turned town, turned city that has at no point lost any of it’s original look and feel.
Oxford Museum of Natural History
Our plan for the day was vague, beyond arriving we didn’t really have a lot planned other than a short walk from the station into the city centre. The many colleges that make up the University are dotted around the city and each one is impressive enough in it’s own right. However, spread across the city centre you feel as though you can’t turn a single corner without coming across something new and just as impressive as the last. We passed hours just wandering around and seeing what we could find and of course snapping away at the same time.
Oxford High Street
Could this be any more English?
What turned out to be the highlight of the day was actually just stumbled upon by chance. We’d stopped to look at the Radcliffe Camera and have a little look around when I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye at the top of St Mary’s Church. “Lets go!” Poi blurted out as soon as he realised what I was looking at.
All Souls College
In the church there was quite a queue to head up the tower and we were lucky to get up at all, entry finishes at 4:30pm and we were the second to last couple allowed in. Once you’re up there it’s easy to see why only so many people are allowed up at a time, the original viewing area hasn’t changed since it was built and is only wide enough for one person at a time with only one entry/exit point.
The walkway does however go right round the church tower tower and gives you a great view in all directions across Oxford. From here you can see just how traditional the town centre still is, yes there are all the modern shops but there’s no ghastly office tower block to ruin the view in any direction.
View from St Mary’s Church Tower
Oxford is one of those places that after about five minutes you have the first ‘Shall we move here’ thought, the idea of strolling through the picturesque everyday would appeal to anyone and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that many students stay on beyond their studying years.
The GoPro version of the view
The picture that sums up our day…
This was only our first outing with the new camera equipment and was more about the learning experience than the end product when it comes to the pictures (which could have been much better) but learn we did. The decision to go somewhere new for inspiration was also a great idea, we spent far more time behind the cameras than we would have in London and seeing everything for the first time definitely ultimately made us more excited.
So where should we go next to continue our photography training? Well that question has already been answered as next weekend we’re heading to Ghent in Belgium!