Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

Oxford and Blenheim

As the excitement for tomorrow’s Harry Potter tour grows, our visit to Oxford was a great prelude to get into the magical spirit. Today, Oxford is full of recognisable Harry Potter sets but it’s hard to miss the embedded historical culture that also surrounds the city. Oxford is the birth place of Alice in Wonderland (we saw where Alice lived) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (we saw where C. S. Lewis got his inspiration). Yet, Oxford is probably most famous for being the pinnacle of English education. The University of Oxford was one of the first universities in Europe and the first English speaking university (1249) and our blue badge tour guides gave justice to the history of Oxford and the famous historical figures that have contributed to Oxford’s rich history.

In the afternoon we moved on to the breathtaking Blenheim Palace: the only Palace to not be associated with royal or ecclesiastical establishments. We toured the magnificent house, the birth place of Winston Churchill, and ventured through the vast gardens. This included getting lost in the maze, catching butterflies in the Butterfly House, having lunch in the ‘secret garden’ and admiring the luscious scenes of fountains, lakes and exotic gardens.