Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Port Meadow

Aside from its fabulous location and lively personality, Port Meadow is undoubtedly one of Jericho’s greatest draw cards. I felt a little like Lucy in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, slipping through the magical closet to discover Narnia the first time I visited. It really is like stepping into another world, and a very unexpected one so close to the city. 

I must admit that after moving to Oxford, it took me several months to discover Port Meadow, but why no one ever mentioned it has me baffled - This is one little treasure too good not to share!

Accessed from Walton Well Road, Aristotle Lane or via the tow path, Port Meadow is the largest area of common land in Oxford and consumes a staggering 440 acres. With its green grass and wild flowers stretching as far as the eye can see it has been home to grazing horses, cattle and geese for centuries.  

Port Meadow is a fantastic place for a picnic, to fly a kite, or to walk, talk and enjoy a romantic afternoon in the sun, but leave before sunset and you’ll have missed it at its best.

Spring is another particularly special time to visit when all the new foals and calves are born and 
vast areas of the meadow are carpeted with buttercups. Through autumn and winter much of the Meadow is flooded, bringing flocks of migratory birds and nature enthusiasts as well as the odd ice skater or two! 

There are lots of gravel paths with which to explore the meadow, but they are nowhere near as fun as sloshing about in your Wellies (gumboots), which I highly recommend. A fifty minute stroll along the banks of the River Thames, (which flows through the meadow) will even take you past the ruins of Godstow Abbey to Wolvercote, a small village in the north of Oxford.

Here you can reward your hard work with a pint on the terrace at one of Oxford’s most famous pubs, The Trout. The Perch Inn, is a worthy stopping point along the way, (famous for its association with Alice in Wonderland and its yummy French food.) But you’ll have to find it first - It’s a true hidden gem. Follow the signs down the winding garden path littered with fairy lights to find their enchanting beer garden.  

Aside from The Perch Inn, Binsey's most noted feature is the parish church of St Margaret. This Grade 1 Listed building dates back to the 12th century and is most famous for its Well, which was the inspiration for Lewis Carroll's, "Treacle Well" from in Alice in Wonderland.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...