A Year of Oxford Reading Lists | Holly Goes Abroad

What do we have here? A Holly Goes Abroad post on a Wednesday?! Indeed. A few weeks ago someone commented asking if I could share all of my required reading lists from my year studying at Oxford, so that’s what I’m going to do today. I’m posting this in the middle of the week because it’s more about books than the traveling aspect itself… besides, I have so many of these abroad posts that I want to write and not enough Sundays to post them on!

Here’s how my required reading works: about a month before each term begins I get reading lists for the primary and secondary tutorials I’ll be taking next (primary meets every week, secondary meets every other). I usually try to read all of those books during my five-week breaks between term because once term begins I’m inundated with mountains of secondary sources (mostly literary criticism articles from JSTOR) which I use to write my weekly essays. Doing so much prep reading is arduous to say the least, but it definitely pays off in the long run because it eases some of the pressure of term-time. To be honest, I don’t know how people survive without doing any prep work at all– especially English lit students!

The following lists are all of the primary texts (mostly novels, but also some essays and poems) I’ve had to read for my tutorials–and yes, I’ve read every. single. one. of. them. (If you’ve wondering how I’ve managed to double my Goodreads reading goal already, this is why.)

Primary: Victorian Literature

  1. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses’
  4. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, ‘The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point’
  5. Robert Browning ‘Porphyria’s Lover’; ‘Fra Lippo Lippi’
  6. Matthew Arnold, ‘Dover Beach’
  7. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  8. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  9. Christina Rossetti, ‘Goblin Market’
  10. DG Rossetti, ‘Jenny’
  11. Augusta Webster ‘A Castaway’
  12. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
  13. Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
  14. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  15. Bram Stoker, Dracula
  16. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  17. E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread

Secondary: William Faulkner

  1. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  2. Light in August by William Faulkner
  3. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  4. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  5. Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner

Primary: English Literature 1910-Present

  1. Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells
  2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  3. Not So Quiet: Stepdaughters of War by Helen Zenna Smith
  4. “Peace” by Rupert Brooke
  5. “Glory to Women” by Siegfried Sassoon
  6. “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen
  7. “Dulce et decorum est” by Wilfred Owen
  8. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
  9. Night by Eli Wiesel
  10. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  11. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  12. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Secondary: Writing Feminisms

  1. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  2. Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner
  3. “This Sex Which Is Not One” by Luce Irigaray
  4. “Fin de Siecle, Fin de Sexe: transsexuality and the death of history” in Doing Time by Rita Felski
  5. Many, many, many poems by Emily Dickinson
  6. Memorial: An Excavation of the Iliad by Alice Oswald
  7. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  8. Playing in the Dark by Toni Morrison

Primary: Postcolonial Literature

  1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  2. The Bacchae of Euripides by Wole Soyinka
  3. Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka
  4. Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera
  5. Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo
  6. The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid
  7. Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
  8. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  9. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  10. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundati Roy

Secondary: Virginia Woolf in Modernist Contexts

  1. The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
  2. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  3. Ulysses by James Joyce (only the first few sections)
  4. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  5. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  6. How to be Both by Ali Smith
  7. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  8. Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into what I’ve been reading for the past year… it’s a lot! I don’t know how I managed to read all of these AND sneak in some books for fun along the way… SO. MUCH. READING.

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

Have you read any of these books before. What did you think of them? Have you taken courses like this before? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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I actually get to eat an ice cream sundae?!?! | Holly Goes Abroad

Recently I discovered one of the best food places I have ever been in my entire life: Yorica! Located on Wardour Street in London, Yorica is a sweet shop that serves ice cream, frozen yogurt, shakes, crepes, waffles. I’m sure that at this point you must be asking: But Holly, how can you possibly enjoy anything here when you have a severe nut allergy? Answer: it’s all nut free.

I repeat, italicized and bolded for maximum impact: it’s all nut free. 

In fact, Yorica prides itself on being free from the top allergens, with the exception of soy. According to their website: 

We’re a friendly, curious bunch. Always learning, growing and creating fab free-from treats for everyone. Free-from means freedom. Simple. So everyone’s invited to indulge without worry. All recipes and ingredients are free from wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts and all entirely vegan. Yorica! is where the love is. From process to product. Bye-bye allergens and intolerances! It’s our outta this world, earth-bound ingredients that makes Yorica! so divine. All free-from. All certified and traced, from crop to cone.

You can imagine my delight and astonishment when I walked into this place and realized that I could choose to eat anything they serve. I could probably count how many times I’ve had this foodie freedom in my entire life on one hand, maybe two. Eating out is always a fairly stressful experience for me, especially abroad. I can’t even remember the last time I was able to get ice cream at a shop that wasn’t plain vanilla soft serve, and I’ve never been able to casually order an ice cream sundae. I’ve always said that if I could get rid of my allergy for just a single day, the first thing I would do is march myself to an ice cream stand and order the largest sundae they have.

And yet here was Yorica, this miraculous place where I could suddenly choose whatever I wanted without having to worry about possible cross-contamination, effectively communicating the severity of my allergy to the server, or researching the menu ahead of time. When I walked up to the counter I could hardly believe my eyes. So many flavors to choose from! So many toppings! Dessert I could eat that wasn’t just fruit?! Unheard of!

On this particular day my mom and I decided to eat ice cream for lunch, so we went for something extravagant: ice cream AND waffles. I got a scoops of vanilla brownie and double chocolate with brownie bits and chocolate sauce on top. (Can you tell I like chocolate?) The waffles come in smaller pieces that are warm, fluffy, and perfect for fitting into your sundae cup. My finished product looked like this:

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this sundae was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. This whole experience was such a foreign luxury to me that I savored every bite, so grateful that a place like this exists. There are countless things in life that are more challenging and painful to deal with than my nut allergy, but the truth is that allergies still really suck. Places like Yorica help make me feel normal, which doesn’t often happen in food-orientated settings. I always try to tell myself that countless things in life are more important than food, but it’s challenging to maintain that mindset when so many events and experiences often revolve around eating. I’m so appreciative of companies and organizations that go above and beyond to make allergy sufferers like me feel safe and comfortable. Yorica definitely deserves an A++ in that category! (And an A++ for DELICIOUS ice cream!!)

I’ve already been back to Yorica since that first time, and I’m really hoping to go at least once more before I head back to the States in about a month. If you’re vegan, have various food intolerances, or suffer from allergies, I HIGHLY recommend checking out Yorica. {And kudos to my mom for finding this place!}

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

Have you ever been to Yorica?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Blenheim Palace | Holly Goes Abroad

When my mom came to visit me in Oxford we decided to get out of town one morning and take a short trip to the nearby Blenheim Palace. Countless travel guides and fellow students had recommended that I visit this remarkable landmark, but I had never had the time due to work and scheduling conflicts. What better time to do it than during my sprawling five-week spring break, especially with my mom?

Blenheim Palace is located in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, which is about a 20-30 minute bus ride from the Gloucester Green bus station near the center of Oxford. The palace was built between 1705 and 1722 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It is home to the Dukes of Marlborough but is perhaps most famous today for being the birthplace of Winston Churchill, to whom an entire exhibit is dedicated inside the palace. Today the palace is open to visitors (albeit for a quite expensive fee) and is a careful blend of home and business. Often it is used for filming, such as with the 2008 television series Young Victoria and scenes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007). The surrounding gardens are also open to the public to stroll through, with many winding paths and small footbridges to traverse.

I had never taken a regular city bus before in Oxford, so I was a little worried about timing and figuring out where to get on and off. However, everything went incredibly smoothly and left me wondering why I waited so long to do it in the first place. The S3 bus from Gloucester Green drops you off within sight of the palace gates, making it easy to come and go. The timing was reliable and the determining which stops to use was quite easy. I would highly recommend this way of getting there if you’re ever in Oxford!

Blenheim Palace is absolutely gorgeous, both inside and out. At first I wasn’t sure how many rooms inside the palace we would actually be allowed to walk through, but seeing everything actually took us much longer than I initially expected. We walked through sitting rooms, meeting rooms, dining rooms, the enormous library (my personal favorite!), long corridors and even a surprisingly large Winston Churchill exhibition. There are artifacts and old photos everywhere you look along the way, making the journey slow but certainly worth while. I knew practically nothing about Blenheim Palace before visiting other than a vague idea of its association with Winston Churchill; however, the exhibits are so informative that I left feeling like I could teach someone else about the history of this beautiful place fairly easily. I also loved how you didn’t necessarily need a guided tour in order to get a lot out of your visit to Blenheim Palace; a self-led tour suited my mom and I just fine.

While I loved perusing the inside of the palace, my favorite part of our visit was definitely walking around the grounds. The landscape is so beautiful that it almost feels like you’re walking through a fairy tale! Despite the fairly cloudy weather (and looming possibility of rain!) we managed to walk all over the grounds, past countless hedges, statues, and quaint little spots to rest on cute little benches. There is a path that leads you on a lovely walk by the lake and even a small waterfall next to an adorable little building that my mom and I took photos at for ages. I can only imagine how beautiful the grounds are when the sun is shining and flowers are in full bloom! We were able to walk through the inside of the palace and around the surrounding grounds in just a few hours, meaning that we were back in Oxford by the afternoon.

I’m so glad we decided to take a short journey over to Blenheim Palace–what a hidden gem! If you’re ever in the area and are looking for something with a bit more nature than the city has to offer, definitely check out Blenheim Palace.

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

Have you ever been to Blenheim Palace? What are some places you’ve been to that feel too much like a fairy tale to be real? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

The British Library | Holly Goes Abroad

I love libraries, so it’s no surprise that the British Library was on my list of must-see places in London. Both the national library of the United Kingdom as well as the largest library on the globe, the British Library was something I couldn’t leave England without visiting at least once. Fortunately my mom, always up for fueling my bookishness, kindly agreed to make it the second stop on our London adventure.

Although we only walked through a small part of the British Library, I was amazed to learn how enormous the building actually is. Established in 1973 when it separated from the British Museum and became its own entity, the British Library has over 170 million items in its collection. The primary function of the library is for research purposes; however, they do have some exhibits that the public can view for free, which is what my mom and I walked through on our brief visit.

The first exhibition we explored was Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound. Not only was this exhibit a fascinating look at how the way we experience sound has changed and developed since the invention of the phonograph in 1877, but it also contained some really fun interactive elements. For instance, there were these big circular seats that allowed you to blast a wide range of different songs, from classical music to the Doctor Who theme (my personal favorite). Sitting in this strange chair made me feel like a kid playing on some futuristic playground!

The highlight of the visit for me was the remarkably impressive Treasures of the British Library exhibit. Nearly every item in this exhibit made me gasp out loud: music from Beethoven! Writing from Jane Austen! Shakespeare texts! The original Magna Carta. I was taken aback by the range, scope, and rarity of this astounding collection (and the fact that it is all free to the public!). I also enjoyed listening to the recordings available with headphones placed throughout the exhibit, especially the ones of writers talking in various interviews and reading various texts. Hearing the voices of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce for the first time was incredible… I never expected them to sound the way they did!

All in all, the British Library is well worth visiting if you’re ever in the King’s Cross area of London. Whether you’re a history buff, literature fiend, or simply interested in seeing some amazing items, there’s something for everyone in these amazing exhibitions!

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

Have you ever been to the British Library? What is your favorite thing to see there? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Best Cafes to Study at in Oxford | Holly Goes Abroad

Staying in Oxford over spring break made me discover a new favorite pastime: studying in cafes. During term time I tend to do work in Mansfield College’s cafe or in the library, simply because that is where the majority of my friends do their work as well. However, being here over spring break when most students were away gave me plenty of time to explore beyond the reaches of my usual studying sphere. Here are a few of the great study spots I stumbled upon this spring:

Waterstones Cafe

My favorite part about this cafe is the location. Not only is it in the heart of city center, but it is also on a top floor of a bookstore. It has amazing floor-to-ceiling windows that look out at the bustling intersection below, letting in plenty of natural sunlight (or grayness, depending on the day!). Bookshops, windows, and a great view… what more could you ask for?

Cafe Nero in Blackwell’s

How could I not mention the cafe in my favorite Oxford bookshop? Not only does this cafe have a friendly, welcoming vibe, but it also looks out at the Bodleian Library and has the most comfy chairs. I particularly enjoy spending afternoons reading here with a nice cup of tea. It’s also in a pretty convenient location, which makes it enticing to pop into whenever the weather is a bit damp.

George Street Social

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this may be my favorite cafe for studying in Oxford. I adore the relaxed, fun, quirky vibe it exudes as well as its bookishness. Used books line shelves all along its walls and nooks and crannies as part of a book swap, meaning that anyone can take or leave a book. The staircase is even painted to look like book spines with names of bookish cocktails! George Street Social also always has an awesome playlist playing, which is a bonus.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my cafe adventures! Stay tuned for even more cafe fun…

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

Do you like studying or doing work in cafes? Do you have a favorite cafe you always go to? What is it like? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

I visited Platform 9 3/4!! | Holly Goes Abroad

It’s happened, folks. I’ve become a wizard, which means I’ve officially peaked.

While my mom was visiting me in Oxford for a week during my spring break we decided to spend two days scurrying around London, trying to fit in as much as possible. When she asked me what I wanted to do during those two days, I immediately had one request: go to the Platform 9 3/4 sign at King’s Cross Station. I’ve wanted to visit this iconic location ever since learning years ago that such a sign actually exists making it the perfect first stop on our London adventure.

Interestingly enough, J.K. Rowling was apparently thinking of Euston Station instead of King’s Cross when she wrote her famous series. The platform sign is actually located between platforms eight and nine due to the fact that platform ten is in a different building and there would be no convenient brick wall on which to build this magical scene. There are attendants organizing the photo-taking process and even a photographer taking photos of each wannabe-wizard, although it is absolutely free to take your own photos. A cute Harry Potter gift shop is next to the sign with everything from small souvenirs to an impressive selection of fancy wands. We waited a little over half an hour to take a photo, so keep waiting times in mind if you’re planning a visit.

When it’s your turn to take a photo, the attendant asks you which Hogwarts House you’re in to determine which scarf you’ll where. You can imagine my dilemma as a self-declared Ravenpuff/Huffleclaw when I realized this was how it worked. I had to pick just one House?! The injustice! The indecision! As you can see from my photo, I ultimately went with Gryffindor on a whim. (I’m studying abroad for a year–that counts as courage and determination, right?) Who knows? Maybe this is the beginning of my Gryffindor identity?!?!

Waiting in line to take a photo in front of a random sign marking a platform that doesn’t even exist may sound ridiculous, and perhaps it is. But it is worth it. Everyone in that line was ecstatic to be there, grinning from ear to ear as the attendant wrapped a scarf around their necks and handed them a wand to take a photo. I couldn’t help but marvel at all of the people who traveled great distances just to celebrate a fictional world that they love. If this doesn’t speak to the power and importance of books–especially ones that so many of us associate with our childhoods–then I don’t know what does!

All in all, I’m so glad I was able to visit the Platform 9 3/4 sign like my eleven-year-old self always dreamt of doing. If you’re ever near King’s Cross Station and have some time to spare, I highly recommend checking out this incredible place!

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

Have you ever been to the Platform 9 3/4 sign? Which Hogwarts House do you most identify with? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

The Ashmolean | Holly Goes Abroad

Spending spring break in Oxford has given me plenty of time to do some extra exploring that I couldn’t squeeze in during the past two terms. One of my recent excursions has been spending an afternoon at the Ashmolean, the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. Founded in 1683, it is the world’s first university museum as well as the oldest public museum in the world. (Not too shabby!) As someone who loves strolling through museums back home in the States, I was eager to finally spend some quality time in the Ashmolean.

The first thing that strikes you as soon as you walk into the Ashmolean is the sheer number of artifacts it holds. From coins and ceramics to sculptures and paintings, this museum has a little bit of everything. It’s refreshing to have such a variety of pieces all in one place–when you’ve seen enough Egyptian tablets to suit your fancy, you can head on over to the Impressionist paintings. With that said, I would definitely recommend grabbing a map at the entrance before you dive into any galleries. I got lost too many times to count and ended up doing laps around certain floors in order to find the way out!

The front of the Ashmolean.

While I must admit that I did miss my usual favorites from museums back home (especially Monet!) it was lovely to explore art by artists that I wasn’t familiar with before. One of my new favorites is Camille Pissarro, to whom the Ashmolean has nearly an entire room dedicated. I particular adored his painting Bouquet of Pink Peonies (1873) because it is so beautiful and peaceful. I must have spent several minutes just standing there admiring it!

Pissarro’s Bouquet of Pink Peonies

I also really appreciate the fact that this museum is free, although they do encourage donations at the door. In a city largely populated by students for many months of the year, I think it’s incredibly important to keep art and history accessible to people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Free entry also gives people the flexibility to come and go from the museum throughout their time at Oxford without worrying about trying to cram everything into one visit. Rather than try to see everything the museum has to offer at once, museum goers can leisurely explore the galleries at their own pace.

I would highly recommend visiting the Ashmolean if you’re ever in Oxford. Whether you adore paintings, ancient artifacts, or simply want to spend the afternoon in a peaceful, quiet environment, this remarkable museum is a must-see!

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

Have you ever been to the Ashmolean? What’s your favorite kind of museum? Do you have a favorite museum in particular? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Carfax Tower | Holly Goes Abroad

I’ve been fortunate enough to have quite a few friends and family members visit me in Oxford throughout my year abroad here, meaning that I’ve developed a bit of a “tour” of Oxford that I like to take them on. One of my favorite stops on this mini tour is Carfax Tower, which my dad and I discovered when we first arrived in Oxford. Not many people seem to talk about it, but I think it’s one of the fun hidden gems in town!

View from the top!

Carfax Tower (also known as St. Martin’s Tower) is located at the intersection of St. Aldate’s, Cornmarket Street, Queen Street, and High Street in Oxford. Standing 74 feet tall, the top of this tower offers an amazing view of the surrounding city, especially on days when the sky is clear. The tower was built in the twelfth century as a church, but now it is mainly a tourist attraction that you can pay a few pounds to climb up. The steps up to the top of the tower spiral upwards in quite a narrow tunnel, but it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to walk all the way to the top and see the open sky once more.

Another view from the top!

I love climbing up Carfax Tower for many reasons. Not only does it provide a remarkable view of the city streets below and the rolling hills surrounding the town, but it also lets you get away from the bustle of everyday life for a few minutes and take in a different perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of reading, researching, writing essays, going to lectures, and meeting with tutors during term. Sometimes it’s nice to remind yourself of where you actually are: this wonderful city with so much history, beauty, and places to explore.

Me when I first climbed the tower.

 

If you’re ever in Oxford, be sure to check out this tower! (And if you’re ever visiting me, get ready to climb to the top!)

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

Have you ever climbed Carfax Tower? Do you like showing people around places you’ve lived or visited? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Student Accommodations | Holly Goes Abroad

Spring break is officially here! Since I’ll be staying in Oxford for the next six weeks in between traveling, I thought I would talk a little bit about where I live and how the experience has been thus far. The majority of students at Mansfield College live on campus, but the visiting students and a few matriculated students always live in off-campus housing. My particular building is about a fifteen minute walk from campus, whereas the other off-campus housing is about a twenty-five minute walk (I definitely lucked out!). As someone who has only ever lived in dorms on Wheaton’s tiny campus back home, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

My student accommodations are barred with a large gate that opens with a key we all carry. At first I wasn’t quite sure if I was in the right place when I first arrived, but then I noticed the large Mansfield crests hanging on the gate. This dorm is quite far from town, meaning that it feels more like a normal residential area than the more “academic” part of Oxford. Although it’s a bit of walk to town from my accommodations, we’re much closer to restaurants, bars, and shops. Definitely helpful when you don’t want to walk far for food!

Before coming to Oxford I had never lived in a room alone. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about not having a roommate. Would I miss having someone else in the room? While I was a bit lonely at first, over time I’ve come to really enjoy having my own room. Not only is it easier to be on my own schedule (I can go to bed and wake up whenever I want without having to worry about my roommate’s schedule, etc.), but it’s also nice to have some privacy whenever I go back to my room at night. While I would love to have a roommate again at Wheaton, I also wouldn’t mind having a single now that I know what it’s like.

My favorite part about having my own room is decorating. We’re not allowed to put much on the walls due to fire safety regulations, but we are given huge bulletin boards to cover as we please. I brought a few decorations from my dorm room back at Wheaton (the little flags, the “It’s OK” banner, the Wheaton pennant, etc.) and I’ve accumulated a bunch of postcards since coming here. Of course, my absolute favorite decoration are Polaroid photos. Pretty soon I’ll have run out of space for them all!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look into my student accommodation at Oxford! Living here in my own room has been much more enjoyable than I initially expected, especially since I had never lived alone before. It’s remarkable how quickly a place can feel like a home away from home!

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

Have you ever lived in a dorm? Did you have your own room or share it with a roommate (or two)? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

The London Underground | Holly Goes Abroad

Folks, I’m here to tell you that I have discovered my long-lost love: the London Underground. I had never used the tube until a few weeks ago when my friend and I made a spontaneous trip to London for the day (click here to see the resulting bookshop crawl) and now my life has changed. Without further ado, here are eight reasons why I love the London Underground:

1. It’s easy to use. I’m just going to come right out and admit it: I am a horrible navigator. Thank goodness I live in the age of Google maps and cell data because otherwise I would likely still be lost somewhere. However, the tube is SO EASY to use– so easy that even I can do it!

2. It’s efficient. Perhaps I went on a day that wasn’t that busy, but my friend and I hardly had to wait for a tube to arrive whenever we needed one. Definitely beats waiting for buses or trains!

3. So. Many. Escalators. Because the tube is underground there are many escalators leading up to the street level. Not only are very strange– you have to stand on the right side so people can walk up them on the left– they’re also SUPER steep.

4. “Mind the gap.” I love the vaguely passive aggressive announcements repeatedly reminding everyone to “mind the gap” whenever the tube stops.

5. Comfy seats. Honestly, how are some seats on the tube so comfortable? That’s one form of transportation that I wouldn’t mind commuting on!

6. The logo. The tube has such excellent branding. I love how simple the logo is and the fact that everything coordinates so nicely from stop to stop.

7. Oyster cards. Prepaid cards make using the tube in a hurry so much easier than buying tickets every time. It’s also nice to not have to worry about constantly keeping track of how much you’re spending.

8. Convenience. The efficiency and convenience of the tube allows for maximum touristy-ness and makes sightseeing all over London possible in just a single day. I was definitely grateful to not have to walk all over the city on our bookshop crawl!

And there you have it! I’m looking forward to (hopefully) seeing more of the London Underground in my last few months at Oxford.

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

Do you like riding on the tube? Do you have a favorite form of public transportation? Do you use public transport on a regular basis? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY