Oxfordshire Local Customs

  • Medieval Haphazardry on Market Street
    Medieval Haphazardry on Market Street
    by johngayton
  • Intrigueing
    by johngayton
  • A Slightly Chipped Chippy Town Hall
    A Slightly Chipped Chippy Town Hall
    by johngayton

Oxfordshire Local Customs

  • Pronunciation

    Oxford Local Customs

    Oxford has some intuition-defying pronunciations. If you really want to sound like a native you'll have to say Bay-lee-ill for Balliol (college), Bod-lee-inn for Bodleian (library), Maud-Lynn for Magdalen (College & Street), Wuuster for Worcester (College).

  • May Day

    Oxford Local Customs

    May Morning is one of Oxford's most popular celebrations. Very many Oxonians (and tourists) party the whole night through only to gather on Magdalen Bridge at the unchristian time of 5.30am. The bridge is horribly crowded, every second person is drunk or stoned, some esoterics are carrying a huge paper sun labelled "Happy May Day, Oxford!"... And...

  • Punting

    Oxford Local Customs

    Punting is a very popular passtime, particularly in the summer. I think punting is exclusive to Oxford & Cambridge - I've never seen it elsewhere. It's a lot more difficult than it looks - have a look at my punting travelogue for more...

  • Rowing

    Oxford Local Customs

    Rowing is one of the most popular sports at Oxford, and amongst the colleges the competition is fierce. Whilst the drawbacks of rowing are all too obvious - early starts at 6am, training 7 days a week, early nights, cutting back on study and/or a social life, and counting calories (in some cases), there is something about the sport that continues...

  • Oxfam - the charity that began in Oxford

    The international charity Oxfam, originated in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. Its office, in Broad Street, Oxford, became the world’s first ever permanent charity shop. Opened in 1948 it is still there today.The Oxford Committee began as a means to help civilians blockaded by the Nazi’s. They then extended their brief to ‘the...

  • The Full English Breakfast

    At all of our B&Bs and the guest house too, we had the option of having a full English Breakfast as part of our accommodation costs. There were many variations on this theme, but it always involved tea or coffee with toast, bacon, sausage and egg! Usually there were delicious fried tomatoes and mushrooms thrown in as well. The beans in this case,...

  • In the summer (June) is when...

    In the summer (June) is when the Finalists sit exams. Unlike many other UK universities, Oxford tends to give degrees primarily based on one set of Exams (as opposed to modular courses). If you hang around Exam Schools (large building at the Magdalen Bridge end of the High Street) at around 12:30 and 5:30, then you are likely to see students coming...

  • There are two worlds in...

    There are two worlds in Oxford. The Oxford residents and the students. They don't tend to mix, and people seem to have the idea that everyone in Oxford is clever and posh. Well thats rubbish, its a totally normal city with a good and bad side to everything!

  • There is a river/canal...

    There is a river/canal etiquette and certain procedures to follow when faced with a queue at a lock. Make sure you know the right thing to do and more importantly for anxious boaters is.....patience please and wait your turn. A copy of the Waterways Code can be downloaded for free from http://www.britishwaterways.org/default.asp?E0 or just go the...

  • I'm not saying the Cotswolds...

    I'm not saying the Cotswolds is not 'touristy', that'd be a lie! But it seems like a real little old English village probably like they used to be goodness knows when. So it's I think like seeing a little bit of original English culture before modernisation.

  • Oxford students don't mix...

    Oxford students don't mix terribly much with the 'townies' - ie the people who live in Oxford. However both get hacked off with tourists in the Summer (when you have to fight your way to lectures through the crowds). Hence there are a couple of pranks that are commonly played on the unsuspecting tourist: 1) THERE IS NO UNIVERSITY. Oxford university...

  • Do not do what one Japanese...

    Do not do what one Japanese tourist did to me. He stopped his car in the centre of Oxford and asked me where the University was. Not being a local I paused a moment, and gestured in each possible direction in turn, saying 'Over there', then I gave up, held up my hands, and said 'Everywhere!'. The colleges and other facilities of the University are...


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Oxfordshire Local Customs

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