of port meadow and chilly adventures

We love the idyllic grassy expanse of Oxford’s old Port Meadow. The meadow, ringed with ridges and trees, runs the length of the western edge of town, from north Oxford up to the city centre. The Isis (river) curls along its western edge and it is bisected with streams and worn paths in the grass. The “freemen and commoners” of Wolvercote have grazing rights, and hairy cattle and horses dot the landscape. It’s about 1.2 miles from our door, through a few quiet streets, up and over the huge railroad bridge, and into the northern gate of the meadow. Saturday dawned cloudy and cold, but we set off on foot, stopping on the way at a little playground for some joyriding.

Our plans were a bit hazy when we started over the bridge, but when we saw the meadow,  empty and slightly foggy, it was clear what we needed to do.  We decided to walk across it and have lunch in town. It is a trek over three miles, but we probably made it much more, running to and fro, chasing ducks and photographing cows.

Halfway across, we were nearly cut off by a leaky stream. But the water wasn’t deeper than the wheels of Harriet’s chariot, so we made use of a few branches and crossed with minimal muddage. Thus a little spice of adventure. More spice was added by this white horse, which, because I had fallen inadvertently in love with him, I was incautiously approaching. Thinking that I must have come provided with treats, he charged. {Ahh!} It was time to move on. Quickly. Alex was laughing at this point. I guess he felt sorry for the horse.

We climbed up on the docks to get over another stream and, cheeks wind-whipped and hungry as bears, found ourselves in Jericho for lunch. Bread, olives, and hot pizza: what could be better? It was a lovely day in a lovely place.

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4 Responses to of port meadow and chilly adventures

  1. Rachel says:

    such beautiful pictures…especially love the one of you and norah. gorgeous.

  2. Ashlea says:

    So picturesque. Sounds like a fun adventure! Though the tired Mommy part of me thought, “When they finished eating and had to head home, did they take the same route or was there an easier way home?” Ha!! I love these windows into England living. I am glad you have had a chance to be there. It suits you. I wish I could visit!!!

  3. What lovely English fun. You are all so cute, and I spy you’re wearing our favorite shirt ; )

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