2017 Excursions – The Oxford Scavenger Hunt

photo (c) John Cairns

Date of Publication: 27 November 2018

What could be a better way to get to know the city of Oxford than a scavenger hunt? And what could be a better way to get to know each other than seeing how many of you can fit into a phone box?

To provide a true taste of Oxford, we ensure students have every opportunity to discover the joys of Oxford city life in between their studies. Striking a fine balance between modern city hustle and historic beauty, our students spend their first days acclimatising through an array of activities and personal exploration –

A list of quintessentially ‘Oxford’ things in hand, our students head off in groups to frantically track them down before time runs out. From a life-sized Dobby to the carved lion’s head which inspired the character of Aslan in C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, students hunt down those subtler details of Oxford which are all too often missed. While Oxford is famous for the standard of its education and its breathtaking architecture such as the Radcliffe Camera, it is these smaller things that give the city its character and make it such a unique and welcoming place to study.

Not everyone is aware, for example, of the Anthony Gormley sculpture ‘Another Time’ which features an iron man on the roof of Blackwell’s Art & Poster shop on Broad Street. He gazes over the city towards Balliol College, eerily still as he perches close to the edge. Similarly there are blue plaques all over Oxford; eager to tell the tales of those renowned people and groups who found fame in the buildings here. Perhaps less well known than the big Oxford names of J.R.R Tolkien and Lewis Carroll, but all rich contributors to British culture; artist William Turner and pre-Raphaelite muse Jane Burden, also known as Mrs. William Morris, lived in the city centre.

As you make your way through the list, you’ll also find your knowledge of British-English challenged – finding a ‘wheelie bin’, for instance, defeats a few, while telephone and post boxes are not immediately obvious to those unused to the iconic red boxes which dot streets throughout the UK.

Our scavenger hunt allows students the chance to orientate themselves both to Oxford’s personal geography and history; discovering useful landmarks and new friendships before trips further afield and the course starts in full.

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