Oxford Preston Train
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Oxford is a city and county town of Oxfordshire and is roughly 25 miles to the north west of Reading and 50 miles to the north west of London. The city lies on the River Thames and River Cherwell which both run through the city centre.
Oxford is perhaps most famous for being home of Oxford University which is the oldest university in the English speaking world. The University was first mentioned in 12th century records with the oldest colleges being University College (1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264).
The architecture of Oxford demonstrates examples of many different architectural styles since the arrival of the Saxons which includes the mid 18th century Radcliffe Camera. Oxford is also known as the "city of dreaming spires" which is a term coined by the poet Matthew Arnold.
Oxford's city centre is quite small and its centre is Carfax which is a cross roads which forms the junction of Cornmarket Street, Queen Street, St Aldate's and The High. This area has many retail outlets, national chains and smaller independent stores, local government buildings and the police station. Oxford also has two small shopping centres: The Clarendon Centre and The Westgate Centre.
The city of Preston was granted city status in 2002 and is located in the north west of England in the county of Lancashire. Preston was transformed during the 19th century from a small market town to a much larger industrial town. Innovations which occurred during the second half of the 19th century, such as Richard Arkwright's water frame (which was invented in Preston) attracted cotton mills to many northern towns in England, including Preston. The prosperity of the town led to it becoming the first town in England after London to be lit by gas.
The River Ribble forms Preston's southern border and the Forest of Bowland lies beyond the city and the Fylde coastal plain lies to the west. There are a number of museums worth visiting in the city. These include the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, the Broughton Cottage Museum, the Queen's Lancashire Regiment Museum and the Ribble Steam Railway. The city, and its surrounding area, is also home to a number of nature reserves: Grange Valley, Holls and Hollows, Pope Lane Field and Boilton Wood and the Fishwick Nature Reserve.