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Tolkien’s Oxford – a city of literature

Tolkien’s Oxford – a city of literature

Tolkien’s Oxford – a city of literature.

Visiting Oxford is like a tour around Tolkien’s imagination – if you wander around this marvellous city, you can imagine where Tolkien found an inspiration to write “The Lord of The Rings” and “The Hobbit”. It’s an unusual place, full of academic atmosphere and history, full of magic places. If you arrive here, you feel this literary atmosphere, because of which Oxford is so famous. Another famous writers based in Oxford are: C.S.Lewis, Phillip Pullman or Lewis Carroll. It’s very easy to book a walking tour around the city centre, when a professional guide will guide you to the places connected with those authors.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

The easiest way to get to Oxford.

Just book a flight to London, there are so many cheap airways, f.e. Ryanair or Wizzair. You have to get to London Victoria Station and switch to Megabus. If you book ticket about two months before, you can buy a ticket from London to Oxford for 1 GBP! Please, remember that Megabus does not have to have a logo on the bus – they sometimes use other coaches, so ask a driver if it’s the right bus.
Stop in Oxford:  Oxford Bus Station (Gloucester Green Bus Stn, George St, Oxford OX1 2BU). If you would like to stay in Oxfordshire for a longer, you can get from this station f.e. to Stratford – Upon – Avon or any other villages in Cotswolds. There is also a bus straight to Oxford from Luton Airport – check National Express coaches.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

I would like to invite you for a short walk, which will give you a glimpse of Oxford and will inspire you to visit this beautiful place. I love Oxford and I will be back not only once for sure! My favourite season is Autumn, Oxford is full of incredible colours, the city is so mysterious and picturesque at that time.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

This post is about J.R.R. Tolkien’s places in Oxford, so let’s start! I will show you some places where you can feel his soul and influence. I won’t tell you about Tolkien’s biography, if you are reading this post, you probably know a bit about one of the most famous writers of our times. Oxford is a place where Tolkien worked on in a university for many years and where he wrote his most famous books. You can see Tolkien’s impact in many places: pubs, restaurants, bookshops, museums & exhibitions.

Some facts about J.R.R.Tolkien:
1. He was a teacher of literatury in Oxford University (Pembroke College & Merton College).
2. He was one of The Inklings – an informal literary group.
3. He was born in South Africa, then he moved to Birmingham and finally – he moved to Oxford. His addresses in Oxford were:
21 Merton St, 76 Sandfield Rd, 99 Hollywell St, 3 Manor Rd. 20 i 22 Northmoor Rd and 50 St John’s St.
4. The love of his life was Edith, he met her when he was 16 years old.


The Eagle And Child pub
49 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LU
Opened every day 12:00 – 11 p.m.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

It’s probably the most famous connected with Tolkien. It’s one of the five most popular historic pubs in Oxford (from 1650) – it was a place of meeting of informal literary group “The Inklings”. They had meetings regularly, they were inspiring each other during long conversations, they shared their ideas while drinking beer.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford

Regular meetings started in 1933 until 1962, Tolkien stopped attending meetings in 1950. This place is full of souvernirs after the group. The Eagle and Child is a very famous pub, on Fridays it’s full, so I recommend visiting Monday – Thursday and Sunday. It’s not so cheap (especially for me, earning in PLN), but if you really want to visit place where Tolkien’s ghost is still visible, you really need to come here and you won’t be disappointed!

Pembroke College

Pembroke Square, St Aldates, OX1 1DW
It’s a place where Tolkien worked as a professor for 20 years (1925 – 1945). Pembroke College has the most beaufitul university chapel in Oxford.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Merton College

Merton Street, OX1 4JD
After Pembroke, Tolkien was a professor of literature in Merton College for the next 14 years.
It’s one of the oldest colleges in United Kingdom – it’s from XIIIth Century. It houses one of the oldest biblioteques in Britain.

Exeter College

Turl Street, OX1 3DP
Tolkien studied here from 1911 until the beginning of 1st World War.

Radclife Camera

Radcliffe Sq, Oxford OX1

It’s the most photographed building in Oxford. It’s not surprising, the architecture is incredible!
I have spent a beautiful morning just staring at Radcliffe Camera and eating breakfast. Radcliffe Camera was built between 1737 and 1749. Now there’s a library, but it’s not public. Only members of the university have this wonderful opportunity to come inside. Radcliffe Camera was an inspiration for Sauron’s Sanctuary in “The Lord of The Rings”.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Bodleian Library

Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BG

It’s the most important biblioteque in Oxford, one of the European’s oldest libraries. Books are collected here from 1602, until now it includes more than 11 millions of manuscripts. There are Tolkien’s manuscripts and graphics for “Lord of The Rings”, but those materials are available only for chosen.
There is an opportunity to sighsteeing Duke Humfrey’s Library.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Botanical Garden in Oxford

Another place connected with Tolkien – our Master spent here so much time looking for an inspiration. It is a must to see this place – it’s a perfect idea for beautiful walk and having a rest in the city, especially during the Summer and Autumn. There was a Tolkien’s favourite tree but it was cut in 2014 after 215 of existence and we won’t have an opportunity to admire it. Now we know what was an inspiration for the Ents from “The Lord of The Rings”.

Addison’s Walk

Tolkien, C.S.Lewis and Hugo Dyson trail of literature disossions and ideas. If you want to get here, you have to buy a ticket to Magdalen College. I didn’t had a chance to visit this old and famous college (it was closed for visitors), but I promise I will show you Magdalen College next time!

Tolkien’s Grave

Wolvercote Cemetery,
Banbury Road Oxford Oxfordshire OX2 8EE

If you want to pay a tribute to this legendary author, you need to visit his grave on Wolvercote Cemetery. It’s a resting place of Tolkien and his wife. I was expexting a place with bunch of flowers, big monument etc. It’s just a simple grave of J.R.R. and his wife, Edith – only with few plasti flowers and small dragon figures, maybe a celtic cross too.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Encryption on the grave:
1889 – 1971
1892 – 1973


If you want to know more about the places connected with “The Narnia Chronicles” author, C.S.Lewis, here are some useful informations:

C.S. Lewis Walking Tour of Oxford Centre

For such kind of walking tour you have to reserve 2 hous and it’s only outside sightseeing. Tour starts at Magdalen College during the hours when college is open for visitors (between 2 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. everyday).

Here are some places you will visit during the walking tour:

1. Blackwell’s Bookshop on Broad Street.
2. White Horse + The King’s Arms pub (on Hollywell Street) + The Mitre – two “The Inklings” pub, they were meeting there during the WWII.

You will probably be very, very hungry after visiting all those places in Oxford.

Where to eat in Oxford?

I want to recommend you some nice places to eat or simply have a rest with a cup of delicious coffee.

1. Thaikhun Oxford –restaurant with Thai food. Very interesting interior, a really nice plae in the centre of Oxford. Close to the coach station.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

2. The Turtle Bay – Jamaican food, the most energetic staff I’ve ever met! If you want to eat something really, really spicy – it’s for you!

3.  Vaults And Garden Cafe – what a wonderful place for breakfast and lunch break. Such a picturesque setting – it’s next to Radcliffe Camera and University Church! Just grab a breakfast set, it’s very, very tasty!

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

4. The Grand Cafe – it’s on the place of the oldest cafe in Oxford.

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave
5. Cafe Loco – cafe with perfect cakes, coffee and beautiful view. Right after Christ Churh sightseeing and wandering around The Christ Church Meadows, it’s the best place for having a rest and sweet feast. Look at this “Alice in Wonderland” wallpaper!

Tolkien's Oxford - a ity of literature. Post by Catherine The Brave

Check other Oxford related posts HERE

This BBC documentary might be really interesting for you 🙂

Merlose Abbey – one day trip to Scottish Borders

Merlose Abbey – one day trip to Scottish Borders

What about one day trip to Scottish Borders? I can highly recommend a Melrose Abbey one day trip – a XIIth Century magnificent ruins, where the heart of Robert The Bruce is resting in peace. It’s only 45 km from Edinburgh!
Beautiful and charming Melrose town is situated in the south – east Scotland, upon river Tweed.
Visiting Abbey was a part of my one day trip to Scottish Borders, it’s one of the most touristic places in Scotland.

How to get to Melrose Abbey?

Melrose Abbey
Abbey Street

National Grid reference: NT 548 341
Telephone: 01896 822 562


There’s a public car parking space 75 m from the Abbey / extra paid.

Audio tour

I think it’s a must – you wander around the Abbey with atmospheric monks chorals in your ears.
Handsets are available to borrow free of charge. Audio tours include a version for visitors with learning difficulties.

Short history of Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey was built in 650 AD by monks (it was called The Abbey of Old Melrose or Mailros) – they came here from St Columba’s monstery on Iona (A Scottish island). You’ve probably heard about St Cuthbert – he became Prior of Melrose Abbey in 664 AD. In 839 AD Melrose Abbey was destroyed by Kenneth McAlpine (a King of Scots). In 1136 it was rebuilt by Kind David I and Cistercian monks from Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire. Twelve monks were working to rebuilt this beautiful place. In 1385 AD Abbey was burnt by king Richard II, last devastation came in 1544 AD because of Henry VIII who married two years old Maria Stuart.  He destroyed everything on his way. Last monks died in Melrose Abbey in 1600 AD.

What kind of view can you see here?


Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland
View from the roof top

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland
The south transept of Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland
The Presbytery Roof
Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Stone Effigy


Melrose Abbey, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Melrose Abbey one day trip to Scottish Borders


Melrose Abbey one day trip to Scottish Borders


Melrose Abbey one day trip to Scottish Borders

Highlights of the visit:

A bagpipe pig – look around you, you will find it easily!
The Commendators House + Museum
A resting place of Robert The Bruce’s heart – his body is in Dumfermline Abbey.

Melrose Abbey one day trip to Scottish Borders

Opening hours:

1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm

1 October to 31 March:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.


25 and 26 December
1 and 2 January


Member/Explorer Pass holder: FREE
Adult: £5.50
Child aged 5–15: £3.30
Child under 5: FREE
Concession: £4.40

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Concession price: this applies if you can show proof that you’re aged 60+ or unemployed.

More about Melrose Abbey

Visit Scotland page
Undiscovered Scotland


Highland Experience Tours


  • you can find their office on Royal Mile

Check my Instagram acount!

Szimpla Kert – Szimpla Pub + Szimpla Farmer’s Market, Budapeszt

Szimpla Kert – Szimpla Pub + Szimpla Farmer’s Market, Budapeszt

Szimpla Kert Market w Budapeszcie

Szimpla Kert to pub i wyjątkowy niedzielny targ w jednym miejscu. Historia tego miejsca sięga 2000 roku. Szimpla Pub funcjonuje codziennie i jest jednym z najpopularniejszych pub’ów w Budapeszcie. Znajduje się w dzielnicy Kazinczy, słynącej z tzw. ruin pubs, które tworzą niezwykły klimat. Można wręcz powiedzieć, że są bardziej “ruined” niż nasz macierzysty, krakowski Kazimierz. To, co łączy obydwa miejsca to umiłowanie do staroci, recyklingu i specyficzny, absurdalny klimat. Tworzenie czegoś z niczego, nawiązanie do historii, kultury i tradycji, ale nie przekształcanie jej na siłę, a adaptowanie do współczesnych realiów. Do mnie takie miejsca przemawiały zawsze i przemawiać będą, za cel postanowiłam sobie zatem choćby krótką wizytę w Szimpla Pub, o którym czytałam już podczas pierwszej wizyty w Budapeszcie. Obowiązkowo wypiłam również kawę podczas niedzielnego targu.

Szimpla Pub, Budapest

W Szimpla Pub jest gwarno i tłoczno, to miejsce bardzo popularne, mające swoją legendę i przyciągające nietuzinkowych ludzi. Nie ma dwóch takich samych krzeseł, są za to obdrapane, pokolorowane w różnoraki sposób ściany, obwieszone Bóg – wie – czym.  Pewnie nawet on nie wie. Pomieszczeń jest kilka, centralne pomieszczenie i wejście od bramy udostępniane jest na niedzielny targ. Na górnym piętrze odbywają się koncerty, polecam Wam live music co czwartki. Należy nadmienić, że dzielnica ogólnie jest centrum alkoholowym Budapesztu, co osobiście odczułam mając nocleg naprzeciw synagogi, która to nocami zamieniała się w kamienny toi – toi i miejsce wycia pijanej młodzieży. Nic to, wracamy do Szimpla… Oto migawki ode mnie, zapraszam!


Szimpla Pub, Budapest

Szimpla Pub, Budapest

Szimpla Pub, Budapest


Na stronie Szimpla Pub (swoją drogą – strona jest genialna!), zapoznać się można ze wszystkimi wydarzeniami, które wkrótce się tam odbędą. Strona jest bardzo żywa, aktualna.
Możecie tutaj także wynająć rower!

Szimpla Pub, Budapest

Zapraszam teraz na krótki spacer po Szimpla Farmer’s Market – targ żywnościowy, który od 2012 roku odbywa się co niedzielę między 9:00 a 14:00. Nie mogłam się oprzeć, by nie zawitać tutaj z aparatem w niedzielny poranek. Zwłaszcza, że mieszkałam na Kazinczy Utca, parę kroków dalej. Same ekologiczne pyszności, mnóstwo lokalnych produktów, wyśmienite pieczywo i sery, węgierskie przysmaki, wędliny, ostre papryczki. To też gratka dla fanów syropów, dżemów i miodów. Tanio niestety nie jest, ale Szimpla Market to miejsce dla łowców smaków, których do Budapesztu przyjeżdża zapewne niemało. Wszystkiego można spróbować, podyskutować ze sprzedawcą na temat pochodzenia produktu – jest to swoiste miejsce wymiany doświadczeń kulinarnych i bezpośredniego kontaktu z wytwórcami. Można zaopatrzyć się również w warzywa, owoce, świeże soki, wszelkiego rodzaju mięsiwo, zioła i kwiaty.

Atmosfera targu przyciąga już od wejścia, brama jest otwarta – nic tylko wejść, buszować i smakować!




Szimpla Pub, Budapest



Bamboo Park, Glengariff, Ireland

Bamboo Park, Glengariff, Ireland

Bamboo Park in Glengariff / Ireland is such an unique place full of exotic plants.

It was created in 1999 by Serge de Thibault and his wife, Claudine (which I had an opportunity to meet). It’s full of bamboos, tree -ferns, palms, fuchias, eucalyptus and many others.  So many different species in one place! Bamboo Park is probably the most romantic place in Glengariff 🙂 Plants are also for sale if you want take some of them with yourself. The Park is easy to find – you can not miss the entrance, a huge japanese style-gate on the main road, the N71 coastal road from Bantry to Kenmare in Glengarriff.

The Park is open everyday 9 a.m. til 7 p.m. If you want to read more about Glengariff, check this post.

You can get here travelling by Bus Eireann ( route 236, f.e. from Cork Bus Station – Parnell Place to Glengariff Pharmacy stop about 21 EURO per single ticket). There is also a route with change in Bantry, which is highly recommended – Bantry is a lovely place, really worth visit!

























































Best Instagram hashtags for Great Britain Instagram freaks!

Best Instagram hashtags for Great Britain Instagram freaks!


Photos of Great Britain – Instagram

Instagram is such a powerful tool! Everyone who use social media and online marketing in their work should know that. Especially travel lovers and travel bloggers. There are millions of Instagram users who post interesting pictures from all over the world but if you want to express yourself and share your photos with more and more followers, you have to use proper hashtags and descriptions under your photos.

I have prepared a separate post about how to tag your photos to become a succesful instagrammer, I hope you will enjoy it. To be honest, this post is also for myself to organise all tags in one place.

To creat a succesful Instagram account, you have to:

  1. Take good pictures🙂 You don’t have to have a professional camera, you only need a smartphone and use your imagination. If you want to prepared photo with heading on it, Canva can be perfect for it. It’s for free and it’s  really easy to use.  Think about what you want to share with your followers, what kind of knowledge you want to share, shoot something unique, from unique perspective. It has to catch an eye!
  2. Have an idea what your profile will be about – don’t mix the subject of your photos too much. If it’s a typical travel Instagram account, don’t put your selfies from private moments. If you are travelling Asia, don’t use hashtags about USA etc.
  3. Target your followers – if you have a specific target, the easier will be to create proper hashtags under your photo. Your followers is someone with specific interests and hobbies. This person does not follow you accidentally, remember it! Someone is following you because of similar interests, so share a content which will be interesting  for you too!
  4. Use proper hashtags – it’s not so easy to find you on Instagram, you have to put some effort to let your fans know that you exist. Find pictures that are interesting for you and check what kind of hashtags are used under the picture. Copy it, collect it, check how mamy people view your profile after you use this hashtag.
  5. Be active on other Instagram accounts! What is important – leave your comments and be sociable! People will read your comments, be interested about you and they will check your profile. Maybe they will follow you until of the test of their lives!
  6. Post constantly. If you are travelling, share at least one photo from each location at the time you are there. Use hashtags with your location, you will have followers interested in specific place. If you are in Oxford, don’t use only #Oxford hashtag but expand it to a whole area which is really interesting for people ( f.e. #Oxfordshire). You will gain more comments and maybe you will meet some local people because od this hashtag? Maybe someone will invite you for a meeting to show you interesting local places? Be creative, be sociable, express yourself, meet new people! That’s what Instagram and travelling is for!
  7. Instagram is mostly used when people get bored. Share a content which will catch an eye and push people to think, interact and will be attractive for them.
  8. Make a good description. The more interesting information you put under your photo, the more views it will have! If you post something from museum, add a description, tell your followers more about the item you post.

Let’s target! For travel photos, in this case – for British Isles lovers, I use specific hashtags and I encourage you to do the same😀 This post will be updated everytime I find a new interesting & popularne hashtag.

Here are some examples of tags for specific locations:


#photosofbritain #visitbritain #mybritain #capturingbritain  #bbctravvel #britisharchitecture #visitengland #england #unitedkingdom #UK_Enthusiasts #GreatBritain #igersuk  #englishtown #photosofengland #britcrowd  #stonecottage  #thisisengland  #lovegreatbritain

Cotswolds / English countryside

#britishvillage #englishcountryside #thecotswolds #englishcottages #charmingcities #Cotswolds #countrylife #britishcountryside #escapetothecountry


#cambridge #cambridgecolleges #cambridgeuniversity #cbgtown #capturingcambridge #capturingbritain #photosofcambridge #photosofengland #discovercambridge #opencambridge  #lovecambridge


#oxforduniversity #RadcliffeCamera #UniversityOfOxford #oxfordcity #OxfordLens #VisitOxford #Oxfordshire #oxforduni #oxforduk #thisisoxford #thequeenscollegeoxford #igersoxford #oxfordpop#visitoxford #myoxfordview #OxfordPhotoWalk #oxfordlife #igersofoxford #punting #iloveoxford #beautifuloxford #exploreoxford


#irish, #irishpassion, #wildatlanticway, #instacork, #icu_ireland, #insta_ireland, #instaireland #Irelandaily #wanderireland #wanderinireland #tourismireland #travelireland #irlanda #pocket_ireland #ig_ireland #lovinireland #irishcountry #irishcountryside #loveireland #irishhistory #thisisireland #tourismireland #visitireland #loveireland #Irelandcalling #Irelandcalling1 #DiscoverIreland #eire #IrishPub #Irelandpornmim #pictures_of_ireland


#hellocork, #ig_cork #westcork #CorkCity #RiverLee #VisitCork #LovingCork #corkcitycentre #CorkLike#corcaigh #InstaCork


Free Spirit's St Patrick's Festival 2016

Free Spirit's St Patrick's Festival 2016

I was so fortunate to take part in St Patrick’s Festival in Glengariff, West Cork in March 2016. Few days of wonderful music, crafty beer and friendly people! I won’t forget it! Can’t wait to see you again, hopefully next year.


Thank you Marie and John for gathering everybody in this incredible place.
John and Marie perform together as Free Spirit. As they decribe themselves – “Free Spirit are a musical duo. Playing a variety of traditional instruments. Ballads, Traditional Irish music. Folk. and self penned songs. Marie and John Corteen”.


They are creators of unique atmosphere of this festival.
Thank you John and Marie for giving us hours of wonderful music.
Thank you Bernard for making your pub a place for music, friendship and creativity!


Bernard Harrington’s bar fanpage:

Bernard. Harrington’s Bar And Lounge

More on Free Spirit’s Facebook fanpage

If you are searchig for nice place to stay in Glengariff, I can recommend this place

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