On my last full day in Oxford, my friends and I packed our bags with snacks and swimsuits and trekked all the way to Port Meadow. I had heard fun stories about afternoons at Port Meadow, but I had never been before this trip. Located on a little dirt path that cuts between rolling fields on the outskirts of the city, Port Meadow is one of the most beautiful parts of Oxford that I’ve explored.
The first thing I noticed was the fact that there are wild horses there. My British friends, apparently used to this occurrence, tried to avoid the horses because they were afraid the horses would steal their snacks. I couldn’t believe that they were so nonchalant about it. There were horses. Roaming freely around this meadow. Was I in a fairy tale? What sort of magical place was this?
We sat by a little canal that had a bridge over it, and even though it was not that nice out (cold, although sunny) people were swimming in the water. Bravely I padded my way barefoot over to the middle of this bridge and jumped into the water below, chilly but glad that I took the plunge. It was so much fun!
Did I cut my foot on a rock walking in the shallow part of the canal? Yes. Did I get an itchy rash from stinging nettles when I ran through the meadow? Also yes. But was it worth it for this beautiful afternoon? Absolutely.
This is one of the countless reasons why I love Oxford: not only is it beautiful in its old architecture and sand-colored spires, but it also has so many pockets of nature hidden around its corners. From University Parks to Christ Church Meadow and now Port Meadow, it’s nice to know that there are always little ways to escape the hustle and bustle of this (albeit quiet) city.
Do you have a favorite park to visit? Have you ever seen wild horses? Tell me your stories in the comments section below!