The first thing I did upon arrival at college was beeline for the deer park. This was criterion numero uno in selecting Magdalen so it behooved me (yup, pun intended) to confirm that I hadn’t made a horrible mistake (e.g. that The Grove was just a petting zoo with one sullen mule deer). Fear not! I was met with a bountiful meadow of frolicking white-tippetty Bambis. Pretty sure I also spotted some singing cartoon mice and butterflies.
I’m still swooning over how beautiful the grounds are and how rich the college’s history is. Highlights:
– The lawns are ridiculously verdant, and look like they’ve been manicured by a little Korean lady.
– The porters are so lovely. Kind of like living Quentin Blake illustrations (all wiry limbs, walrus moustaches and names like Bill Brimblecombe – I’m not even kidding here).
– The college is bounded by the River Cherwell (more a babbling brook…ok, a brook) which has a suite of punting boats. Totally cute, though less cute for the tourist couple I saw the other day who somehow managed to firmly wedge their boat between the river banks and were consequently hurling abuse at each other.
– The college is almost 600 years old! The ‘New Building’ was built in 1733 and was home to CS Lewis. I’ve already itinerised a day to check all the wardrobes for a Faun tour guide.
– Oscar Wilde also lived here! And a bunch of other venerable folk but CS and Oscar definitely tickle my romantic fancies.