New city, new shoes

You have no idea how happy I am that Oxford is my new city. I made no secret of the fact that I disliked Reading (sorry!). I thought that it was pretty dreary and didn't have the facilities you'd want or expect from such a large town. (Sorry, sorry, just my opinion!)

I've only ever been into Oxford once before, but really liked it, so I have been very excited to explore our new city further. We do have a little train station about 10 minutes drive from our house, and you can get into the city on the train in 15 minutes. However, trains are very infrequent so we decided to give the Park and Ride a shot. I drove to Pear Tree Park and Ride, and got from home to the city centre in about 40 minutes, and all for £4.80 parking and return bus ticket. Not bad at all.

The main purpose of going out was to pop to the shops and buy the little man his first shoes, so we decided to get that job out of the way before exploring further. We managed to locate Clarks only to be greeted by this.

Come on! Who puts the kids shoe section upstairs in a shop with no lift?! We battled our way to the back of the shop to deposit the pushchair at the till, then battled back to the stairs at the front of the shop. Ok, it wasn't massively traumatic, but it wasn't particularly convenient with two kids in tow. And it was so busy in there. I almost just left the shop but knew I wouldn't get another chance to buy his shoes for a little while. Anyway, we coped and he is the proud owner of these bad boys!

I don't know what it was, but I really struggled to get my bearings in Oxford. It could have been all the little streets, or the fact that the whole place was teeming with tourists, but I was a bit confused for the whole of our visit. Still, we managed to locate the covered market, the main shopping areas, and some of the iconic buildings such as the Radcliffe Camera and the Bodleian Library.

We bought supermarket sandwiches to eat at Christ Church Meadows and after a lunch spent being pestered by a hungry duck, we headed for the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, as I'd promised a visit to the dinosaurs.

The OUMNH is a pretty small museum but we spent ages in there. Dinosaurs and insects - my daughter couldn't have been happier. My son also liked all the stuffed animals and happily spent his time doing the baby sign for "bird".

As it was a dry day we spent a bit of time just wandering nowhere in particular. We're a big fan of the I-Spy books and managed to tick a fair few things off in our newly purchased Oxford one. We did start walking up towards the castle area but the kids were getting a bit grouchy so we decided to call it a day mid afternoon and made our way to the bus stop - which I located very easily despite my poor sense of direction.

Now we have the journey sussed I'm hoping to make a dent in our  giant Oxford "to do" list. I'd also be grateful for any recommendations, so let me know your favourite Oxford based things to do!