Oxford at Christmas: December 21st Supporting SeeSaw

Oxford at Christmas: December 21st Supporting SeeSaw

Regular price £10.00 Sale

Choose to donate £5, £10 or £15 above

Supporting Seesaw:

£5 will go towards running the event and the remainder of your sign up fee will go to support Oxford based SeeSaw.

One of our favourite charities, which "provides support for children, young people and their families in Oxfordshire when they have been bereaved or when somebody close to them is terminally ill."


Beautiful City

Starting out from Oxford Station, we take in 10 festive miles around this truly magnificent city. The walk explores hidden areas, you would never normally see. Starting with a peaceful stretch of the Thames, we soon find ourselves admiring the grandeur of Christchurch College, as we wander around it's beautiful meadows, over Magdalen Bridge and up through South Park to explore Oxford's only Distillery - the perfect last min Christmas gift stop!
We head back down in to the many ornate colleges, via University Parks with a quick visit to find the secret hidden deep in the chapel of one of the largest and most spectacular colleges. We head up through the festivities of the Christmas markets and finish the walk at the oldest pub in the city, which as been around for nearly 800 years!

The Details:

  • 9:45am meet, prompt 10:00am start.
  • Oxford Train Station.
  • Approximately 10miles.
  • Duration 5+hours.
  • Walk rating: Moderate (explained here
  • Leader: Sharon/Chris meet our leaders

Important info:

  • A WHATSAPP group will be created to share info and photos on the day. In signing up to the event you are agreeing to be added to this group, which will contain other participants. This is necessary so that details can be shared in the run up to the event, including last minute changes, reminders or cancellations.
  • Charity involvement: many of our walks are being run in partnership with charities. As such, sign up information is shared with the charity involved for the purpose of running the event and communicating its purpose, which is to help raise awareness and funds for the charity. By signing up, you are agreeing to receive information from Get Outdoors and the charity.
  • Remember waterproofs, walking boots/shoes and a packed lunch & water.
  • Please note you may need to pay for parking.
  • Dogs are welcome, but are entirely the owner's responsibility and must have a lead and be under close control at all times.
  • If encountering livestock do not walk too close or get between a cow and calf. If threatened, let go of your dog so it can escape and reduce the risk to yourself.
  • Please keep to the indicated public rights of way and respect the landowner’s property at all times.
  • There are often stiles to negotiate on this type of walk.
  • Countryside walking can often include hills and uneven terrain. Our group ethos is to support everyone in group to achieve their maximum potential in terms of completing the route. As such, we endeavour to walk at a pace all participants are comfortable with. We apologise if this causes any frustration to fitter walkers.
  • Please consult your doctor if you are at all worried about your fitness and ability to take part.
  • Please inform the walk leaders, Get Outdoors, of any underlying health conditions that may affect your walking ability before signing up.


Required Form:

We need a few more details from everyone, so we know how best to look after you. Once you have booked your walk above, please follow this link and complete some simple questions ASAP: Applicant Information Form


 Places on the route:

South Park:

South Park occupies 50 acres of open space, with magnificent views overlooking Oxford. The park was handed to the Council in 1951 with a covenant preserving it as an open space for the benefit of the public. The scene of many great events, you can even catch a hot air balloon flight with Adventure Balloons between April and October.

Oxford Artisan Distillery: Whisky, Gin, Vodka:

Founded in 2017 in the Old Depot of Oxford City Council at the former Cheney Farm.
The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD, previously known as The Spirit of TOAD) is the first ever legal distillery in Oxford, England. Also the first certified organic "grain-to-glass" distillery in the United Kingdom, covering all parts of the distillery process.

The largest still at the distillery is nicknamed "Nautilus" and has a capacity of 2,400 litres, with a column of 42 plates in two parts. A smaller still with a 500-litre capacity is known as "Nemo". The stills are named after the submarine and its captain in the Jules Verne 1870 science fiction novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. Both were built by South Devon Railway Engineering and are in a steampunk style, made of copper.

The distillery exclusively contracts five specially selected local organic and regenerative farms on over 300 acres of English countryside, mostly within a 50-mile radius of our distillery in Oxford. These farms grow ancient heritage grains, the likes of which have not been grown extensively in England for well over a century. 


Part of the grounds of Headington Hill Hall, previously owned by the Morrell family, bought by Oxford City Council, and leased to Oxford Brookes University since 1992. The landscaping for the park was originally designed in the 1850s by William Hart Baxter, curator of the Oxford Botanical Garden. The park was bought by the City Council in 1953 and landscaped with trees and ornamental shrubs.


Mesopotamia Walk:

Mesopotamia means “between the rivers” presumably because it sits between the upper and lower levels of the river Cherwell. But also when you look at the map it lies between the Cherwell and Thames rivers. As the walk crosses the Cherwell we are then located between the 2 rivers before they join, which is where central Oxford is located.

From 1914, attempts were made to introduce wild ducks and geese to the area, which proved fruitless due to a predatory otter population. Until 1926, a ferryoperated from a point halfway along the Walk, when it was replaced by a footbridge.



Offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of the City, but conveniently located right at its heart, is the green oasis offered by University Parks – with something to please everyone.

For those that enjoy sport there’s the opportunity, depending on the season, to catch a game of cricket, lacrosse, tennis, football or rugby. Harry Potter fans may even encounter a game of Quidditch in play.

The cricket ground is the only first-class cricketground in the UK where spectators can watch free of charge as admission cannot be charged for entry into the Parks. The Parks has, since 2002, hosted the first-class Varsity Match in even-numbered years.


With more than 800 bright and curious students, Keble is one of the biggest colleges at the University of Oxford. It has been around since 1870. As originally constituted, it was for men only and the fellows were mostly bachelors resident in the college. Like many of Oxford's men's colleges, Keble admitted its first mixed-sex cohort in 1979.

It remains distinctive for its once controversial neo-gothic red-brick buildings. In 1875 a writer in The Guardian dismissed Butterfield's Chapel as "fantastically picked out with zig-zag or checkerboard ornamentation".

The Light of the World:
This famous painting, which hangs in the Side Chapel, is the original by William Holman Hunt, painted in 1853. It was begun when Holman Hunt was in his early twenties, and took a number of years to complete. Part of the reason for this was his desire to perfect the dawn, and he did not feel able to do this until his travels in the Middle East took him to Bethlehem where he saw the perfect sunrise. A larger replica, painted by Holman Hunt when he was nearly 70, hangs in St Paul’s Cathedral, London. The colouring and details of the replica are not so exact.

The painting was given to the College by Mrs Martha Combe, who with her husband, was a great patron of the Oxford Movement and admirer of the Pre-Raphaelites. The Combes funded the building of St Barnabas, Jericho, and the patronage was given to Keble.

There are two lights shown in the picture. The lantern is the light of conscience and the light around the head is the light of salvation with the door representing the human soul, which cannot be opened from the outside. There is no handle on the door, and the rusty nails and hinges overgrown with ivy denote that the door has never been opened and that the figure of Christ is asking for permission to enter. The bright light over the figure is the morning star, the dawn of the new day, and the autumn weeds and fallen fruit represent the autumn of life. The writing under the picture, which is rather hard to read, is taken from Revelation 3 ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me.’



Founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford, the Museum of Natural History holds the University’s internationally significant collections of geological and zoological specimens. Housed in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture, the museum’s growing collections underpin a broad programme of natural environment research, teaching and public engagement. Among its most famous features are the Oxfordshire dinosaurs, the only soft tissue remains of a dodo, and the swifts in the tower.



A student got spot. The Turf Tavern (or just "the Turf") is a historic pub in central Oxford, England. Its foundations and use as a malt house and drinking tavern date back to 1381.[citation needed] The low-beamed front bar area was put in place sometime in the 17th century. It was originally called the Spotted Cow but the name was changed in 1842, likely as part of an effort to extinguish its reputation as a venue for illegal gambling activities.

Running along one side of the pub is one of the remaining sections of the old city wall. Due to the illegal activities of many of its original patrons, the Turf sprang up in an area just outside the city wall in order to escape the jurisdiction of the governing bodies of the local colleges.

The Turf Tavern is also where future Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a Guinness World Record for consuming a yard glass of ale in 11 seconds in 1954.[4] Other public figures who have dined or drunk at the tavern include Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Blair, CS Lewis, Stephen Hawking and Margaret Thatcher.[5] It also served as a hangout for the cast and crew of the Harry Potter movies while the nearby colleges were used as locations throughout the filming of the series.[citation needed] The Turf Tavern also claims to be the location where future American president Bill Clinton, while a student at University College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, famously smoked "but did not inhale" marijuana. It was also featured in the ITV TV Series Inspector Morse aired between 1987 and 2000.

Bridge of Sighs:

Hertford Bridge, often called the Bridge of Sighs, is a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane in Oxford, England. The bridge links together the Old and New Quadrangles of Hertford College. Its distinctive design makes it a city landmark. was completed in 1914, despite its construction being opposed by New College.

The bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because of its supposed similarity to the better known Bridge of Sighs in Venice. There is also a Bridhe of Sighs in Cambridge.

There is a false legend saying that many decades ago, a survey of the health of students was taken, and as Hertford College's students were the heaviest, the college closed off the bridge to force them to take the stairs, giving them extra exercise.

The building on the southern side of the bridge houses the college's administrative offices, whereas the northern building is mostly student accommodation. The bridge is always open to members of the college, who can often be seen crossing it. The bridge is Grade II listed.

Radcliffe Camera:

The Radcliffe Camera is an iconic Oxford landmark and a working library, part of the central Bodleian Library complex. It is linked to the Bodleian Old Library by the underground Gladstone Link. The Radcliffe Camera is home to the History Faculty Library (HFL). The Camera, from Latin camera, meaning 'room', is a building of the University of Oxford, England, designed by James Gibbs in a Baroque style and built in 1737–49 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. It is not open to the public.

The Bodleian Old Library:

One of the oldest libraries in Europe. Part of the larger Bodleian Library complex, (Twenty-six libraries across Oxford, including the central University library) it is connected to the Radcliffe Camera by the underground Gladstone Link. It has three historic reading rooms: the Lower Reading Room, the Upper Reading Room and Duke Humfrey’s Library.

Shop in Old School Quad:
You can enter our gift shop at the Bodleian Old Library from the Old School Quadrangle – the courtyard is accessible via Catte Street, using the Great Gate.

Bodleian Old Library:
You can access the Bodleian Old Library site via Catte Street (east) and from Radcliffe Square (south). We recommend entering via Catte Street, using the Great Gate, which provides direct access to the Old School Quadrangle and the Bodleian Old Library.

Old Schools Quadrangle:
Once you reach the Old Schools Quadrangle, the Bodleian Old Library entrance faces west. Through the glass doors behind the statue, you can enter the Proscholium (the entrance hall to the Divinity School). From the Proscholium you can access the Divinity School, where all tours start.

Sheldonian Theatre:

An architectural jewel in the Oxford skyline and ceremonial home of the University of Oxford. The University acquired the site soon after the Restoration, and in 1664 to 1669 the present theatre was erected. The architect was a young Christopher Wren, then Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, with as yet little practical experience of building. Inspired by drawings of Roman theatres, he adopted their D-shaped plan. However, the open arena of Rome, unsuited to the English climate, had to be covered.


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Join us for a hike in beautiful places like the Brecon Beacons, Cotswolds, Malverns, Chilterns, Peak District and Oxford. The perfect way to start your training for a challenge like a 3 Peaks or simply to get out into the countryside, while being sociable.


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