10 Reasons... Why Headington is the place for Naomi Goldsmith

Headington is known for its shark - but it's not good enough to be in Naomi Goldsmith's top 10 reasons to live there

Headington is known for its shark - but it's not good enough to be in Naomi Goldsmith's top 10 reasons to live there

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1. Shotover nature reserve: Headington has a wealth of beautiful parks. C.S.Lewis and Tolkien regularly walked at Shotover nature reserve. Shotover seems to have these amazing characters living there, whose stories, C.S.Lewis and Tolkien captured and put into the Narnia books and Lord of the Rings.

2. Bury Knowle Park: There is some quite remarkable art work, mosaics and sculptures by the new swing park. It all looks very exciting.

3. Walks through Headington: One of my favourite walks is from Cornerstone Church in Quarry High Street through Bury Knowle Park along Cuckoo Lane to Headington Hill Park, with its ancient trees - a fantastic place to watch the seasons change. The whole way is through lovely parkland.

4. Headington Arts Week: I am getting to know Headington better, through my involvement with the church there and the Art Week project. I have teamed up with Jean Wykes who is the co ordinator for Headington and Marston Arts Week. It is through her efforts that Barclays Bank gave us permission to hold a pop up art show in the bank during working hours, so now when I walk past there I don’t just see a boring looking bank but a very active pro-art bank manager and the wonderful art show we put on.

5. Local businesses: Chancellors the estate agents are publicising the Headington & Marston Art Week Trail Map and delivering it all over the place for free. It makes me smile at what goes on behind the scenes here.

6. Jacobs and Field Deli and café: At the Jacobs and Field Deli and café with its rustic gorgeousness is where I had one of the best cups of coffee. I like to sit in there and write because it is like being in a different world, full of wholesome, natural fresh food and a timelessness of a world that is slipping away but for shops like these.

7. Charity shops: I think Headington has the best ones without it being a rundown area. They add to the particular buzz that is unique to the place.

8. Barmeze: I like to eat tapas and drink Turkish tea in Barmeze, the Turkish restaurant.

9. Coco Noir: Coco Noir, the chocolate shop and cafe brings the combination of chocolate that one dreams of. The atmosphere in Coco Noir is friendly and it has a real buzz about it. The owner has such a welcoming and relaxed manner that you feel as if you are guests in his front room. The chocolates and cakes on display are what you dream about when little indulgences are called for. So much to experience in such a small place.

10. Cornerstone Church: But the place that is dearest to my heart is the Cornerstone Church who have given me the run of the church all day on Saturdays. I can run The Artist Way courses in the mornings and art workshops in the afternoons. These encourage the congregation, family friends and Headington people to be part of a giant art project that will be on display during art week. This for me is a dream come true - Headington seems to have something in the air that promotes community art so that colour and artist buzz is popping up everywhere even in the most unlikely places, making the ordinary extraordinary.


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