Oxford or Cambridge?


The days are creeping by at their usual rate, and with the passing of each one I’m getting that much closer to my departure date.  I’m so freakin’ excited I can’t even handle it.  That being said, I thought I should start laying out the broad plan of my two week stay, and found some space in the middle that would be perfect for a little adventure of my own.

I’ve always wanted to visit Oxford and Cambridge. Everything about what they were in their glory days just makes me beam with satisfaction. Yes I’m all too aware of the sexist and classist nature of their origins, but to think of the sheer number of people I admire that have come out of there just boggles my brain.  Not to mention the leg meltingly beautiful campuses…and I haven’t even really seen them yet.

A bit of background for you too, the University in Canada that I attended, Trent University, is based on the Oxford and Cambridge College system. This means that in your first year you will live in a building that is called a college, and will always be associated with that college through out your years at the University.  Your academic advisor’s are all in that building (if you could find them), your food usually came from there, there were inter-college rivalries, tournaments and  of course some classes were held within the building as well.

Champlain College at Trent University

Champlain College at Trent University on a snowy day.

The most important thing about the college system though, was how you made your friends that first year.  Ninety percent of the people I knew from school had made friend circles strictly within their college. Most other Universities seem to facilitate friendships within one’s program, who you take classes with and so on, but at Trent we lived and shared most of our experiences outside of class, with the people who shared our College. Mine was called Lady Eaton.

The similarities to the Oxford and Cambridge template did not stop there, we even hosted a huge rowing tournament on the Otonabee River called Head of the Trent which was a major event each year. Teams from across Ontario came and competed for the prestigious title, and all year round we would see rowers up at the crack of dawn practising for it.

My point in all this being the Oxford and Cambridge system of schooling is subconsciously ingrained in me and I had always secretly dreamed of going there some day. It’s too late for me to attend classes (unless I sneak into one…which would be an AWESOME IDEA), but gosh darn it, I’m gonna visit! The problem is I think I only have time to tackle one of them and am having a hard time choosing.

Cambridge is the one that stands out at first, being the home of such greats as David Attenborough, Stephen Hawking, Douglas Adams, Nabokov, Isaac Newton, Laurie & Fry, Darwin,  Cleese & Idle just to name a few off the top of my head. After looking at the list…It’s just ridiculous.



Oxford though, holds the names of Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, Oscar Wilde, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, Hugh Grant, Neil MacGregor…again the list just goes on and on.  How on earth am I going to choose between the two?



It will likely boil down to which location fits better along my travel plans, and that’s looking like Oxford on the way-ish from London to Coventry, but I would love to make the time to see them both. And dont worry, I”ll be sure to tell you all about it when I get back!

I’m open to opinions and if anyone has a story or recommendation, please, I’d love to hear it!

Wish me luck!


Miss Hailey Jane


5 responses to “Oxford or Cambridge?

  • Azrael001

    Oxford has prettier buildings, and Trent already has a pretty river, which will make the one at Cambridge seem more boring.

    • haileyjw

      Yeah, I was considering that too, It’s going to be a tough call. I’m leaning toward Oxford at the moment, even thought I think more significant people went to Cambridge…but it’s not like they’re going to still be there…which is too bad because that would be fantastic.. I’ll likely spend most of my time in the libraries anyway. Hooray for books!

  • Robyn

    I haven’t been to Oxford, but I can safely say that Cambridge is beautiful. I have been there several times. Not just the university but the town itself.
    You can take a train from Coventry to Oxford but it is not on the way from London Euston to Coventry (it is a different line).
    Just so you know the quickest way to get to cov is by train but the cheapest is by national express (from London Victoria bus station to Coventry pool meadow bus station).
    Hope that helps more than confuses.

    • haileyjw

      Thanks Robyn, that’s actually really helpful. I usually take the train because it’s easier and I know most of the stations pretty well, but cheaper is always good too. I’ll keep you posted when I nail down my plans.

  • Robyn

    Here is the link to the national express website.

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