Tuesday, 14 March 2017

On the 275 to Oxford: Great bus journeys of our time

All aboard the Oxford Flyer

Mike and I sat towards the back of the Red Rose operated bus from High Wycombe to Oxford. We imaged this part of the bus to be analogous to business class.  The bus departed dead on time. No announcements from the flight deck about delays.

We sat back with a sense of well-being for the seventy or so minute journey. It was a sunny day going there and back. The route took us along country lanes, past villages and farm shops, through Police Speed Check Areas, was all enchanting.

The bus squeaked throughout the journey, like a chirping sparrow. Fellow passengers dozed, tapped on laptops, and engaged the driver in conversation; the lady in front of me was deep into her puzzle book.  

The return journey, leaving Oxford at 14:30, was as exciting. It was the same route and several of the same passengers. The lady, now sitting several rows in front, was on a fresh puzzle.

Bike City

A flight of Victorian fancy

Arriving back at the  High Wycombe bus station we disembarked, thanked our driver, commenting on the number of greetings he enjoyed for people en route. He told us he’d been doing the same route, each day for the last six years, a fine example to public service.

Oxford: Mike’s alma mater and lunch in Morse's pub

Once in the town Mike, a trencherman of some merit (recently having has a successful stall in Borough Market) wasted no time in guiding me through Oxford Covered Market.
Oxford Blue cheese was purchased.

Wandering further we popped into Mike’s alma mater, Keble College.

A remarkable piece of architecture, the work of one man, William Butterfield (1814-1900) a Gothic Revivalist. He is well known for his use of polychromic brick materials, and Keble is an excellent example.

I had visited a gem of his, St. Anne's Church, Dropmore, Littleworth Common, Buckinghamshire (1866) on only a couple of weeks back. 

Leaving Keble, turning right and right again took us straight into the arms of The Lamb and Flag, an establishment that has enjoyed much custom from Mike and his fellow students some year back!  Interestingly St John’s College owns the pub.  Numerous episodes of Morse have included its comfortable bar.  Mike and I each enjoyed an amazingly generous Ploughman’s Lunch.

The day was a fine adventure and thanks to the good advice from the Oxford tourist information office (now called the Oxford Experience) we explored onward bus options. Soon we might find ourselves in Cheltenham.

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim