My Favourite Places: Susan McCormack
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Susan McCormack was the innovator for live events and interventions to the V&A in London before moving to Oxford in 2007. Since joining the Ashmolean she has introduced the museum’s critically acclaimed Live Fridays. She lives in Oxford with her husband and three children. Here are her favourite places.
The walk along Otmoor
This is a loop walk in North Oxford and it’s quite unusual, quite mysterious. You need welly boots for stomping in puddles. You can take children as it’s about 2 miles long, but it’s not a buggy walk, you’ll get stuck! I have three kids and they’re all quite spaced out in age so it’s a challenge to find a walk we can all do, but this one ticks all the boxes. We end up having a fabulous lunch at The Abingdon Arms (above) in the charming village of Beckley.
Go fruit picking at Medley Manor Farm, Binsey
You can walk or cycle straight here from Oxford’s Port Meadow and as it’s very close – only a 30 minute walk. You can pick strawberries and other fruits, and the owners make fantastic ice cream with it too. This was the first place I really discovered when I left London and the moment I thought, ‘Aha, OK, I get the point of the countryside.’
A coffee in the Ashmolean Dining Rooms
Objects of Use, Market St, Oxford
I think this is a fantastic shop, it makes everything you do from home more fun! It’s in central Oxford so it’s handy for me too. www.objectsofuse.com
There’s this perception that the University has its back to the public but that’s not the case at all. You can go to the college open days, take tours of the Bodleian (above), the University museums are amazing, and so is the student theatre – in June there’ s a floating production of Merchant of Venice at Worcester College! And I always love to watch the summer rowing – The Bumps along the Isis are really good fun.
The Cherwell Boat House restaurant
The food is lovely and the scene by the river is gorgeous, plus they do ice creams and take aways. The restaurant has a relatively small inside space but there are lots of tables outside under awnings. I’d say it’s at the upper end of budgets for family eating but there’s nowere better on a sunny day. I’m still too scared to go punting though – it doesn’t come naturally to me, I’m Australian! – and I need someone to take me out. www.cherwellboathouse.co.uk/