Is that not the perfect Shakespeare quote for my blog title – WIN! This weekend Malorie and I set off on a whirlwind adventure to Warwick, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford. Despite the early start, we set off in full spirits on Saturday morning.
Warwick is this gorgeous little typical British town. It’s most well-known for Warwick Castle, the prettiest and best maintained castle I’ve seen over here. All the rooms were fully furnished with wax figures (that looked a little too realistic) and there were period actors everywhere. I feel like visiting Warwick Castle is their school excursion equivalent of us going to a museum or the botanical gardens. It was so gorgeous and I’m jealous that I didn’t get to visit a castle when I was growing up.
After spending a few hours being entertained and climbing up two of the castle towers we headed to St Mary’s Church, where all the Earls of Warwick are buried. We also went down into the crypt and climbed up the tower. I’m going to be having nightmares about stone spiral staircases for weeks!
Warwick is just such a lovely place and our B&B owners were too cute for words. Though we basically did everything on offer in Warwick in a day, it was a really nice place to visit and the castle was really incredible.
After a breakfast of homemade pancakes we headed to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare! We visited Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Nash’s House, the site of New Place and Hall’s Croft. We also saw the outside of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (Shakespeare’s wife, not the actress) and Mary Arden’s. Our final location was fittingly Shakespeare’s Grave. Pretty incredible to visit locations where the great playwright himself once lived.
Our final place of interest was Oxford. There were bikes everywhere, potentially more bikes than people, and around every corner was a place where Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, J.R. Tolkien or one of many Prime Ministers and Presidents had studied, lived and socialised. We went into Christ Church, an amazing college with the Dining Hall used in the filming of Harry Potter. We also visited part of the Bodleian Library, the biggest library in the world and the oldest lecture hall, the Divinity School, where scholars used to stand on a podium and argue their thesis before the days of mass produced paper. This lecture room was also the hospital wing in Harry Potter.
We visited “Alice’s Shop” where the young Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, used to buy her barley sweets. It was so cut and I’ve never seen so much beautiful Alice, White Rabbit and Mad Hatter merchandise. It was so hard not to buy everything on display! We walked around most of the colleges, visited Oxford Park where we ate pancakes and watch some cricket and bought the obligatory Oxford t-shirts.
I had such an amazing weekend and now it’s down to a huge week performing in four dance concerts. The Leeds University Union Dance Show is a huge production with performances from all 15 or so dance clubs. Somewhere in between all those concerts I need to get cracking on my essays before we head off to Spain on Sunday!