Oxford is one of those rare cities where it’s not only possible to cycle around safely but where it’s actually an ideal way of getting around and seeing the city. There are cycle lanes on nearly every road, and several through nice patches of countryside away from the traffic but still central.
During this pandemic, it’s also a really nice way of getting out of school for a change of scene in a safe way (plenty of space from other people) and to revel in the occasional ray of winter sunshine. The closest route close to school that’s away from the road is through Marston and into University Parks on the dedicated cycle path; it goes through a pretty green area including the river that runs through the park. This area is usually a great vantage point to watch tourists laughing hysterically while falling off punts, but for the time being is mostly populated by ducks.
From University Parks, you can also cycle through Museum Road (a good place to stop and admire the dinosaur footprints!) and do a bit of sightseeing in the oldest and prettiest parts of the centre, which are nice and quiet during lockdown. For those keen on a longer and ultimately more green trip, you can cycle through Jericho to the southern end of Port Meadow, and then follow the river either north through the meadow or south into the city centre.
Lots of famous film and TV series have been filmed in Oxford, so there are also routes to follow that focus on recognizable locations from those, if that’s more your cup of tea. Given the weather, a warm pair of gloves are definitely a necessity, as well as the hi-vis jacket and helmet the school provides with our bikes to be safe.
Overall, cycling is a fun form of exercise, a great way to get out and about during lockdown, and definitely the most ‘Oxford’ form of transport second to a punt!
Written by Tara Doe, House Parent at EF Academy Oxford