The poet, Matthew Arnold, described Oxford as “the city of dreaming spires”. This description perfectly captures the essence of this university city and is the magnet which draws visitors from all parts of the world. But how, in a relatively short time, is it possible to discover the ‘feel’ and ambiance of this special place?
Perhaps the best way is on foot in the company of a qualified guide. It’s a city of contrasts – a modern western city founded 1300 years ago and an internationally recognised 800 year old university. These contrasts are emphasised by the buildings. Many of the colleges and historical sites are found down narrow streets and alleyways and are difficult or impossible to reach by car. However, the city is relatively flat and walking not only enables the visitor to admire them but also to soak up the unique atmosphere of this university city.