Oxford is not just about historic buildings and colleges. There is plenty on offer for the 'green' lover. River Thames (called Isis in Oxford) and one of its tributaries (River Cherwell) flow right through Oxford. In fact, the name Oxford originated from "Ford of the Ox", a ford being a shallow part of a river where humans/animals could cross. There are numerous beautiful and tranquil parks, gardens and meadows within this bustling city.
I. Botanic Garden
The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is an oasis within a stone jungle. Plants and flowers are beautifully arranged in this garden, which is also a research institution of the University. Numerous glasshouses also isolate flora in controlled environment. The Botanic Garden is located at the east end of High Street opposite Magdalen College. It is also the oldest botanic garden in Britain.
II. Christ Church Meadow
A vast expanse of green that lies between Christ Church and River Isis (River Thames in Oxford). This is opposite the visitor entrance to Christ Church and can also be reached via Rose Lane adjacent to the Botanic Garden.
III. University Park
The University Park is another large expanse of green that has numerous walkways, greens and fields, normally used for cricket, rugby and lawn tennis. It also offers convenient barbecue spots and picnic spots by the River Cherwell.
IV. Port Meadow/Wytham Woods/Burgess Field Nature Reserve
A bit off the track, Port Meadow in north Oxford offers a nice peaceful walking/cycling trail among grazing cows and horses. Port Meadow is also Englan's largest continuous meadow. Located on the easter edge of Port Meadow, Burgess Field Nature Reserve, once used to be a refuse tip. However, the reclaimed land is now home to many wild plants and small animals. Just past Port Meadow and the little village called Wytham lies Wytham woods, a woodland that now belongs to the University and is used for ecological research.
V. South Park/Headington Hill Park
On the east side of Oxford (en route to London if you take the coach) is South Park (not to be confused with South Parks Road bordering the University Park). This is the largest expanse of greenery in the city. From high up, the park offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Oxford and its "dreaming spires". A short 19th century bridge connects South Park to Headington Hill Park.
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