"Watching the rowers on the Thames" Top 5 Page for this destination Christ Church Meadow Tip by King_Golo
Christ Church Meadow, Oxford: 5 reviews and 7 photos
The grounds of Christchurch are vast and very beautiful. They stretch down towards the Thames and end in a nice meadow where you can relax in the shade of old chestnut trees. Sitting there reading a book, watching the ducks, geese and swans being fed by passers-by or simply enjoying life is one of my favourite good-weather weekend activities.
The meadow is also a great place to watch the numerous Oxford rowing teams practicing. All different kinds of rowing boats from single sculls to eight oars with coxswain are training hard to do Oxford's rowing teams credit. I'm not really familiar with all the techniques and boat types, but even for an amateur it is really interesting. The teams start their course down the river at Iffley Lock (see another tip) and move upstream in what seems to me an incredible speed. Shortly before Folly Bridge, their trainers who accompany them by bike on the Thames Path will give them a sign to stop rowing and slow down. On weekend afternoons, they are immediately afterwards urged to free the area behind the finishing line as there are so many practising teams. In case you want to know which college the rowers belong to, check the boat itself: On its front or rear end, there is always a little abbreviation that tells you the college. E.g "SEH" stands for "St. Edmund Hall", "WDH" for Wadham and so on. Alternatively, you can purchase a book or a postcard which shows you the colour of the blades and which college they belong to.
Directions: The meadow is best accessed via the tourist entrance to the Christchurch grounds. Another entrance is in an alley on Merton St., another one at Rose Lane. Keep in mind that the grounds close for the night - in winter as early as 3.30pm, in summer at 9pm.
Phone: +44 1865 276150
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