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Oxford or Cambridge

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Oxford or Cambridge

Planning a trip for June 18-23 in London. Travelling with my best friend, we're both recent college graduates and are looking to make a day trip to either Oxford or Cambridge, but can't decide between the two. Which should we do? Is one much easier to get to from London than the other, or one have more interesting things to see? We'd love to just wander around the campus, although I'm not even sure that's allowed.

Any help would be appreciated.


Redlands, California
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1. Re: Oxford or Cambridge

I've been to both and prefer Cambridge. If you go make sure you take a walking tour (in Cambridge they're available from the visitor centre). They'll explain the college system there, which is very different from ours here in the states. There isn't a "campus" as we know it. It is a collection of colleges throughout the city that are all part of the University. Some other activities in Cambridge are...

Punting on the Cam river

Fitzwilliam Museum

Brass Rubbings at the Norman round church

Unbelievably beautiful Kings College chapel

The market by Great St. Mary's church (climb up the bell tower for spectacular views)

The Wren Library at Trinity College (Milne's copy of Winnie the Pooh, and the first edition of Newton's Principa Mathematica)

London, United...
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2. Re: Oxford or Cambridge

I'm with ntz. I have a huge fondness for the more laid back style of Camrbidge. It's a smaller city, and feels more casual, compared with the bustle and stiff pomposity of Oxford. OTOH, Oxford does have a great museum in the Ashmolean :)

Does it tip the balance if you know, Elizabeth of Georgia, that you your near namesake Elizabeth George sets some of her novels in Cambridge? At least the rather good "For the Sake Of Elena" is set there, and I think some others are.

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3. Re: Oxford or Cambridge

There is no campus in either university. The colleges are spread around the town. My impression is that more colleges are open to the public in Cambridge.

Both have lovely museums and architecture.

Cambridge is 45 minutes from KIngs Cross and Oxford about the same from Paddington.

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4. Re: Oxford or Cambridge

I'll throw my tuppenceworth and say that I prefer Cambridge - it's easier to get to the nice bits. I remember going to Oxford and finding lots of sixties concrete buildings and awful pubs.

Plus the train service from Kings Cross is much more reliable that the equivalent to Oxford. Oxford does have a vastly superior coach service from London - The Oxford Tube and Oxford Espress.

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5. Re: Oxford or Cambridge

Cambridge is more compact, and better for a DAY trip.

Oxford is for a week-end or a few days stopover IMO.

Nice, France
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6. Re: Oxford or Cambridge

I won't argue against Cambridge, but I'll take the plunge and speak up for Oxford, which I've done as an easy day trip many a time. I find Oxford very easy to navigate (and have always visited via public transport), and there are plenty of things to do: The Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Botanic Garden, walking tours/ghost tours/open-air bus tours, a walk along the Isis, and the colleges.

Other ideas can be found here:


7. Re: Oxford or Cambridge

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