This college is much more commercialised than some. It is centrally situated in Broad Street although once you enter the grounds, you could be forgiven for feeling you are miles away from a city centre! There are beautiful gates leading out onto a quad although visitors enter a few yards along at a smaller gate. Here you pass through the kiosk where you pay your £2 for adults and £1 for seniors. You are given a map and a route is drawn for you to follow. You can also buy a small guide leaflet for £1 which gives you information on the college and postcards. You then enter the grounds via a low automated gateway. Facing you is a beautiful quad with green grass and trees. (You leave by the same entrance doing a circular route). Walking down the gravel path, you see the chapel in front of you. The buildings of Balliol are behind a wall on your left which you can see. The chapel itself is rather darker than some, more so because of the wooden panelling. It is Baroque with wonderful wooden carvings. You leave the chapel and re-enter the second quad, student accommodation is all around you except for one side where there are fine gates and railings fronting a very beautiful garden to your right. This is very large with lots of grass and tables and chairs for the students to relax on. The herbaceous borders are wonderful and gardeners were hard at work on our visit. As we toured the gardens and savoured the beauty and fresh air, we eventually followed the path which brought us round in a square to the entrance again. Once more we found ourselves in a busy city centre with a sightseeing bus in front of us, tourists milling around and the tourist office a short distance along the road. Oh well, it was nice to enjoy the peace and quiet that the students have to study in tranquillity.
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