For the last three mornings, I have thrown back the curtains to look out across a valley of rolling hills, vineyards and circling kites.
In the stillness of the early Oxfordshire morning, graceful kites soar within feet of my bedroom window. So close I feel I could reach out and touch them, or at least feel the rush of air as they soar past.
It’s an idyllic setting to catch up with family, friends and a perfect base from where I can explore the City of Oxford for the first time.
Steeped in history, Oxford was around in the 9th Century, Alfred the Great was responsible for its emergence and despite being raised to the ground by the Danes in 1009, it was quickly rebuilt. By the time of the Norman Conquest, it is said that there were 1000 houses in Oxford.
Over the next few hundred years, Oxford continued to grow and is now purported to be the city with the fastest growing population in the UK.
Oxford is lavished with some magnificent buildings, the Divinity School, built between 1427 and 1483 and the truly unique Grade I listed building, the Sheldonian Theatre, built by Sir Christopher Wren. It’s unusual D-shape was inspired by an engraving of an ancient Roman theatre.
Poet, Matthew Arnold, was so inspired by the city, he described it as the city of dreaming spires; ’tis true and I am here to enjoy the Oxford Literary Festival.