Two cities, both alike in dignity, in fair England, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny… This is not Romeo and Juliet, but an older rivalry with a lot less bloodshed. This is the original red versus blue. This is the Oxford and Cambridge Tour and now it’s time for you to pick your side. If you still hesitate between both places for a day tour away from London, we’re here to help you decide.
These two cities both have a tremendous history and both are home to universities of prestige. The universities in question are some of the oldest in the world; Oxford is the second oldest in the world and Cambridge is the fourth. The trouble all began in 1208 when a group of scholars left Oxford to get away from angry townsmen. Since then, the two institutions have never really been able to get along. Battling it out in the realms of academics and sport, here are the guidelines needed to make up your mind.
The towns themselves are both extraordinary places to visit and boast a lively student life. They’re rich in culture and host many historical anecdotes if you’re passionate about British heritage. Take a guided walk and panoramic tour around the cities and take it all in. Which city do you find more pleasing to the eye?
We give you a few suggestions of must-see iconic landmarks and places on your trip.
Christ Church and Kings College
Visit both Christ Church and Kings College which are iconic, and a treat to see. Christ Church is one of Oxford’s Treasures. It has produced 13 Prime Ministers and has been referenced in several works of fiction. The building itself has been the inspiration for many universities including the National University of Ireland. The city of Christ Church in New Zealand was named after the institution and was used in The Harry Potter films.
Kings College in Cambridge is the most well-known building in oxford and has been featured in a number of films. The first Prime Minister of Britain was a graduate of Kings College and so was the mathematical genius and father of computers, Alan Turing whereas the members of the band Radiohead attended Oxford University.
Some Oxford and Cambridge Alumni
So now we have the battle of the graduates. In the blue corner graduating from Oxford we have Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean), David Cameron, J.R.R Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, C.S Lewis, Joseph Heller, Bill Clinton and Oscar Wilde. And in the red corner graduating from Cambridge we have Stephen Fry, Monte Python, Sylvia Plath, Stephen Hawking, Douglas Adams, David Attenborough, Ted Hughes and Ian McKellen. Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd was born and raised in Cambridge.
Both of these cities have so much to offer and even if you can’t pick a favourite just because they are rivals doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy them both equally. Our Oxford and Cambridge Tour runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays from May to September and is really a must-see this summer.