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The historic university city of Oxford is located in the county of Oxfordshire and is roughly 35 miles to the east of Cheltenham and 30 miles to the south west of Milton Keynes. Although known for its university the economy of Oxford is also reliant on car making, publishing, science and technology, bellfounding and brewing. Several of the University's colleges had private breweries which includes Brasenose College whose brewery survived until 1889.
Oxford used to be an important port of the River Thames, although the section of the Thames that runs through Oxford is called The Isis. To accommodate commercial traffic the Oxford-Burcot Commission in the 17th century took steps to improve the navigability of the river. The Oxford Canal was constructed in the 18th century in order to connect Oxford with the Midlands. Commercial traffic has given way to recreational use of the river and canal. Oxford was the original base of Salters Steamers and there is a regular service from Folly Bridge downstream to Abingdon and beyond.
Interesting attractions in the city include the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, Christ Church Cathedral, The Headington Shark, the Museum of History and Science and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and is located on the south coast of Wales. The city has undergone a dramatic transformation over recent decades transforming it from an industrial city into a modern, lively, capital city. Cardiff's industrial past, where it was once one of the most important ports in the world, has been transformed by developments like Cardiff Bay (sometimes called Tiger Bay) which is home to landmarks like the National Assembly for Wales and the Wales Millennium Centre.
Although popular with visitors all year round the summer months may be the best time to visit as the city hosts festivals and the visitors and residents alike can relax in the many cafes and restaurants that offer al fresco dining. Cathays Park is perhaps one of the worlds most beautiful civic centre, comprising expensive white Portland stone buildings in a range of classical styles, all surrounding the formal gardens of Alexandra Gardens whose center contains the beautiful national war memorial of Wales. Most people stop at the first 3 buildings facing the city center (City Hall, National Museum and Law courts) and fail to experience the architectural beauty and tranquility of the park and surrounding buildings.