A small but lovely modern art collection exists on the upper floor of the newly refurbished Ashmolean Museum. It contains pieces by lesser known artists in addition to lesser known works by famous artists. I was amazed to see Tea Party in America, one of the first paintings by Howard Hodgkin, created when he was just 16! In addition, until 20 February there’s a special exhibition of sculpture by contemporary British artist Thomas Houseago, the Ashmolean’s first collaboration with Modern Art Oxford.
This theatre company is an exciting organisation set up to give touring experience to gap year students and recent graduates.
I've seen all three of their productions so far - Talking Heads, Canterbury Tales and Aesop's Fables, and the standard is seriously high, especially given how young and inexperienced they are. Their productions are simple, relying on well-acted plays rather than fancy effects and costumes, and are well worth a look.
Get up early enough on 1 May and you're in for a riot of English tradition at its best. Revellers from the previous night's balls join city folk, morris dancers and tourists to listen to the eerie Hymnus Eucharisticus that echoes from the choirboys who ascend Magdalen Tower for the occasion. Meanwhile, the drunker and more foolhardy of the students (often dressed in black tie) leap from Magdalen bridge into the murky waters of the river Cherwell below.
Outside Magdalen college tower, High Street near the Plain roundabout.
So it's where they filmed Harry Potter. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, Tom Tower and its bell are landmarks of the city. The vast Tom Quad opens out on a variety of other niches, including the college's very own art gallery and the smallest cathedral in Britain.
Christchurch, St Aldates
Rowers, or "boaties" to some, are the bane of many other students' lives. However, come the annual Head of the River race, all flags are flying in voluminous support and beer, Pimms and testosterone abound.
College Boathouses off Christchurch meadow
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