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Which College?

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Which College?

Okay, so this is a bit of an ignorant question, but which would be the best colleges to visit during a day trip?

I visited Wadham and Merton on a previous trip and am thinking about visiting Hertford College on my next planned trip at the end of May. So which colleges are worth paying a visit?

Also, generally how much can one look around in a college? i.e what's off limits to the general public?

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1. Re: Which College?

"Best" is very subjective, based on your appreciation of art and architecture and those individual highlights one college has over another. For example, Butterfield's polychromatic essay in brickwork and the Gothic revival style may influence an individual to visit Keble College where the better version of Holman Hunt's "Light of the World" is displayed in the chapel. However to see a large extent of original city wall, Harry Potter film locations and one of the more atmospheric college dining halls, plus beautiful chapel and cloisters with an El Greco painting of St James, enamel painted windows by Reynolds and a Esptein sculpting of Lazerus, one might want to visit New College.

Dingle, Ireland
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2. Re: Which College?

What's open may depend on whether exams are in progress.

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3. Re: Which College?

Opening hours here: ox.ac.uk/visitors/…visiting-the-colleges As Henneth says it is very subjective as to which is best. For example I am no fan of Keble but I think Worcester and Magdalen are worth wandering round. Christ Church appeals to a lot of people. What is offlimits varies from college to college but typically accommodation, fellows gardens and libraries are not open to the casual visitor. On the other hand college chapels are normally open.

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4. Re: Which College?

Exams have next to no impact on what's open. As a rough generalisation, colleges open their quads (but not the staircases running off them), their chapel, usually their dining hall and their general (ie not fellows' and not master's) garden if they have one.

It's hard to see the point of visiting Hertford (unless you've got, or are pursing, some connection, the only interesting thing is the bridge over New College Lane that looks a bit like the Rialto, and nothing like the Bridge of Sighs. Even that's best viewed from outside the college). All Souls (by Hawksmoor) is the one obvious gap not already mentioned.

All colleges have something interesting to some people: but once you've seen Christ Church, Magdalen, Worcester (for its gardens), New College and All Souls, you're likely to start getting colleged out (and there's a lot of high quality architecture in non-college University buildings.) Keble is the Marmite of colleges. Personally, I think Queen's is among the most architecturally distinguished, but it's not open to general visitors,though the town Tourist Information Centre can arrange accompanied tours for a fee.

5. Re: Which College?

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