The Gleaming Spires

Date of Publication: 30 July 2014

Oxford can be beautiful in all types of weather, be it snow in winter covering the Bodleian, or the mist on an autumn morning on Christ Church Meadows, but really it is in the sun that Oxford is at its best!

When the sun is shining the buildings in Oxford gleam, the local sandstone catches the light and throws it back on you – the intensity of it makes it seem as though the ancient buildings are alive, dancing with light and vibrancy.

Of course, England is often known for its rain and its dodgy weather – so it isn’t everyday that you see the buildings in their full glory. But when you do it truly is breath-taking.

We had a day like that yesterday, a warm front had come in, and the weather was pushing 19 oc which is great for England at this time of year. Warm enough to be outside without a coat, it felt like the best of spring. The sky was cloudless and so the sun was shining brightly – and the buildings were a dazzling spectacle of gleaming stonework – when Oxford is like that it is a million miles away from the outdated stereotype of doddery old Dons shuffling around in gowns from place to place with piles of papers in their arms. Instead it feels like it is surging, breaking out, straining the bounds of the possible.

When the Colleges gleam like that the University feels like a place where truly anything can happen, where the latest breakthrough is only a moment away.

It is rare to have that experience during Hilary Term (our spring term) – but it reminded me of last summer. We had a beautiful summer here in Oxford last year, and when you walked into the centre the Colleges felt just like that. It is such a buzz to be in the city when all around you the Oxfordshire stone is glistening in the summer sun.

So come along next summer, and experience Oxford at its brightest and best!

Read more about Oxford’s history here: Is history really around every corner in Oxford?

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