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The great thing about Oxford, which makes it quite different from most other cities, is all the wonderful colleges built close together in the centre. If you haven't been there, it's definitely somewhere to put on your list for the future.
At times a board outside the college will indicate whether it is open to the public who can take a tour around certain parts. By chance, Balliol College was open, so I popped in to have a look. The first thing that strikes you with all the colleges is that they are much bigger on this inside.
When you stand in the Front Quadrangle, you have to take a deep breath and realise that this College, founded in 1263, has stood on the same site longer than any other college in the English speaking world. John Wycliffe, translator of the Bible was Master in 1360, Adam Smith, author of Wealth of Nations and founder of the science of economics was there in 1740, poets Gerald Manley Hopkins, Robert Browning, novelists Aldous Huxley and Graham Green lived in those rooms, just over there! Wow!
The chapel was designed by William Butterfield.
Further up, Keble College comes into view. Founded in 1870 and designed by William Butterfield, alumni here include Ed Balls, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Katy Brand.
Next up is Oriel College, just a sneaky glimpse at what's behind the grand wooden doors. The fifth oldest College, it was founded in 1326. Alumni include Sir Walter Raleigh, Baden Powell and Rachel Riley
Lastly Nuffield College whose invitation to look at the grounds but not to enter the buildings, I couldn't resist. Founded in 1937. Alumni include Mark Carney
Actually 44 colleges and halls make up Oxford University, 27 prime ministers, 26 Nobel prize winners and 125+ winners of Olympic medals came from Oxford. Amazing!
Although the above colleges weren't all open, Christ Church College was but deserves a post of it's own.
Watch this space!