nut free nerd

thoughts of a nut allergic book lover

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!




15 responses to “University Parks | Holly Goes Abroad”

  1. I am really enjoying your posts from Oxford. These pictures are gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have parks where I live because I live in a forest. But I do like them, and thus one looks lovely!


  3. Ohh these pictures look lovely 🙂 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 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Marie! ❤ I can't imagine living somewhere without any green spaces… it would feel so claustrophobic!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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?


      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?

        Liked by 1 person

      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!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Those photos are so lovely to look at. That park does look like a wonderful break from studies and stuff. Also, I think that horse is definitely a Marshmallow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you agree with our name choice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 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

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww Christ Church Meadow is so gorgeous! And OMG I know it would have been so amazing to meet up in person!!!!! ❤


  7. Uni Parks look lovely! If I ever go to Oxford I’ll definitely visit it 🙂 Also Marshmallow is an adorable horse and the name fits it well


  8. […] aesthetics  💛 Em @ Yellow’s The Word shared her Autumn/Winter Primark wishlist 💛 Holly @ Nut Free Nerd shared some beautiful university parks 💛 Savannah @ The Book Prophet talks about giving books low ratings without reading them 💛 May […]

    Liked by 1 person

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About ME, Holly

former english major, current twenty-something book lover, allergic to nuts. drop me a line at or on instagram.


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