University Parks | Holly Goes Abroad

Recently my friends and I have discovered a hidden gem in Oxford: University Parks. This expanse of green grass, woodsy alcoves, and a meandering river is the perfect place for a study break in the midst of reading literary criticism and writing essays. The weather here has actually been surprisingly nice thus far, so we’ve spent plenty of beautiful afternoons strolling on these paths. I’ve taken so many photos of this gorgeous place– I’ll try to restrain myself from including dozens of them in this post!

Uni Parks was created in the nineteenth century when the land was initially purchased from Merton College. Back then it was used by grazing sheep and cattle as much as by people leisurely walking. Today there are still some animals to be found munching on grass, mostly on small farms that border the Parks’ land. One day my friends and I stumbled upon a farm with several horses and we now visit several times a week when we need to step away from the books. (We named this white horse Marshmallow!!)

I was pleasantly surprised and very relieved to realize how much green space exists in Oxford. I’m from a fairly rural area back in the States and before coming here I was worried that Oxford would be solely an urban area with very little nature in it. Fortunately, that’s definitely not the case! Uni Parks is only one of many green spaces in the city, but it’s by far the best one I’ve encountered. Walking through nature paths like this is like the ultimate reset button for me: all of my stress goes away as soon as I see those adorable horses and smell the fallen leaves on the ground. There’s nothing like some time outside to make everything inside feel better!

If you’re ever in the Oxford area, I highly recommend giving Uni Parks a try! It’s free, fun, and a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Click here to check out other posts in my Holly Goes Abroad series!

Do you go to parks often? Which ones are your favorite? What would you have named that lovely white horse instead of Marshmallow? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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14 thoughts on “University Parks | Holly Goes Abroad

  1. Ohh these pictures look lovely πŸ™‚ I’m just like you – I enjoy a bit of nature in my urban areas, and Oxford is surprising that way. I’m so happy you’re having such a lovely time, Holly, I love hearing your adventures there πŸ™‚

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  2. I can definitely relate to this. Coming from Michigan, I was also worried about missing the trees and water. I live in the industrial area of Germany, so I didn’t know what to expect. But I actually have some beautiful, green parks within walking distance of me, and they’ve been so comforting.

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    1. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one with this worry! I’m quickly realizing that parks are the greatest thing ever ❀ Do you live in a large city?

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      1. You’re definitely not! The city has about 300,000 people in it, but it’s quite spread out. I’ve lived in bigger cities population-wise that are much more compact and easier to get around. Does living in Oxford make you want to live in a city later in life, or do you think you’ll stick to a more rural area?

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      2. I really like Oxford because it’s urban but still feels sort of rural, but I can’t imagine myself living in a city larger than this in the future. I love the quiet outdoors far too much to permanently stay in a bustling city!

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  3. I went to Uni Parks with my cousin in September (still sucks that I missed you by 2 days grrrr) and it was really nice! We had a picnic that we had to defend from some greedy squirrels and w alkyd around. I was amazed by how much green space oxford had (also the Christ Church meadow and all the other things) and how Uni parks was so big despite being in the middle of a city. I would have probably called the horse fluffy or something dumb like that XD

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