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Oxford or Stratford?

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Sydney, Australia
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Oxford or Stratford?

I am travelling with my 15 year old son in June. I am tossing up a night in Oxford or 2 nights in Stratford Upon Avon, which will enable a full day exploring Warwick Castle which I think he may enjoy more? Just hoping I could get some feedback on whether Oxford (which I think i would enjoy) would hold great attraction for a teenager?

Thanks!

Oxford, United...
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11. Re: Oxford or Stratford?

There's still some quirky shops in the Covered Market and Little Clarendon Street although these also now appear under threat...

As you are coming in June and if your son is a keen sports fan you may be lucky and also see some fairly high level (County) cricket for free when you wander through the University Parks.

Edited: 11:27 am, February 20, 2012
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12. Re: Oxford or Stratford?

Oddly enough, only the other day I was talking to somebody about Stratford, and saying very much what has been said here already. There is a lot of stuff there to do with Shakespeare, which is of course great, but once you have seen all the Shakespeare things there's not really very much to it. It is a wonderful place to go to the theatre in the evening, but unless you are absolutely obsessed with Shakespeare I would give it a miss.

Oxford, on the other hand...

I am somewhat copying and pasting what I have said elsewhere in praise of Oxford, but here goes, in case it helps:

The Pitt Rivers Museum is great, as is the University Museum of Natural History, which is in the same location. You will find all the information you need here (there are about a dozen museums, large and small, in Oxford, all of them of great quality):

ox.ac.uk/about_the_university/…index.html

http://www.museums.ox.ac.uk/museums

ox.ac.uk/visitors_friends/…index.html

For some insight into the city, as well as the university there is this one: http://www.oxford.gov.uk/museumofoxford

If you still have time on your hands there is Modern Art Oxford.

Of course, much of your time will be taken up with visits to individual colleges, the University Church, and Carfax Tower. Don't overlook Christ Church Meadow and Port Meadow, and if you are really adventurous you can walk down to Wolvercote or in the other direction to Iffley.

You could spend several days in Oxford and still not have seen everything. Whereas in Stratford it's pretty much just a matter of seeing all the Shakespeare places, in Oxford there are museums and art galleries of genuinely world class importance, and of course architecturally it is probably the most important concentration of great buildings anywhere in the country (i.e. London has more great buildings, but spread out across a much larger area), everything from Wren to Jacobsen.

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13. Re: Oxford or Stratford?

Well, I am prob the one of the biggest supporters of Oxford as a destination and have posted on this thread earlier as well and have already given my thoughts...but I reckon Stratford is getting the short end of the stick...there are definitely positive aspects of it including wonderful tudor architectures - among the best around.

And OP did mention a 15yr son who would prob like Warwick Castle.

So I reckon those would be positives for Stratford. Anyways, will leave it to OP to post of Stratford to and let the Straford crowd defend their own...

Between Stratford and Oxford, I will still return to Oxford, as I have done consistently whenever I want to get away from London for a day...

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14. Re: Oxford or Stratford?

OK, a fair point that Stratford does have something going for it. I just think that if one has to choose one or the other then there is no real contest. I wonder whether the OP could manage both. Certainly I am not saying that Stratford is not worth a visit, just that if it's a toss up between Stratford and Oxford then I would think that Oxford has rather more going for it. Absolutely right about Warwick Castle though. It is certainly worth a visit. Again, the question is whether it is more worth a visit than Oxford.

As for which location would be more interesting for a teenager, it all depends really on the individual. Some 15-year-olds would love Christ Church Picture Gallery, others would prefer Warwick Castle, yet others would prefer a football match or a rock concert at Wembley. The OP will know what her son likes best. Oxford is basically going to be art and architecture plus some good museums, whereas Stratford is going to be lots of Shakespeare plus Warwick Castle. Of course, if they are going to be in London some of the time too then there is ample art and architecture there too, unbeatable museums, and the Tower of London, not to mention many more castles just outside London, so I suppose it comes down to what there is to see that is unique: Shakespeare or the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

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15. Re: Oxford or Stratford?

And whether OP and family is a fan of Tolkien and CS Lewis. :)

16. Re: Oxford or Stratford?

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