Annual Events in Oxford

Whatever your interests, and whenever you decide to visit Oxford, you’ll always find something to do.

To help you plan your visit, here are just a few of the annual events in Oxford.



Pantomime: A new year may have begun but that’s no reason to completely leave the festive season behind. Head to the Oxford Playhouse for their annual pantomime.



Turl Street Arts Festival: A collaboration of Lincoln, Exeter and Jesus Colleges for a week of performance arts. Jazz gigs, theatre performances, poetry readings and film screenings.



Oxford Literary Festival

Oxford Literary Festival: Each year Oxford welcomes hundreds of writers from all different genres, as well as actors, directors, and journalists to discuss everything Literary. From individual interviews, to panel discussions, Q&As and book signings, you’re sure to find something of interest.

Details of the full programme and tickets are found here



University Boat Race: OK, so technically this event isn’t in Oxford but it is an iconic battle between the Oxford and Cambridge University Rowing Teams.




Photo Credit: ©Romanempire

May Day: Beginning at 6:00am, the May Morning celebrations begin with the Magdalen College Choir singing from the top of Magdalen Tower. Crowds gather along the High Street and Magdalen Bridge to enjoy the general revelry, including music and the traditional Morris Dancers.

Oxfordshire Artweeks: For three weeks throughout the county local artists open their studios and other workspaces to the public for free, showcasing a variety of work including painting, sculpture, photography and ceramics etc. More information can be found on the official website.



Lord Mayor’s Parade: A large public event usually held in Gloucester Green with stalls, music and a variety of activites.




Alice’s Day: Join Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts on July 2nd at various locations across the city for fun, games and nonsense. Dress up, have fun, and even enjoy a picnic. Check the website for details.

Cowley Road Carnival: Every year the parade has a different theme, but every year there are stalls, food and drink vendors, music, dance, and other performers.



Fairpoint’s Cropredy Convention: Each year around 20,000 people descend on the village of Cropredy, just under 30 miles north of Oxford for a folk and rock music event that runs for 3 days. Details and tickets are on the website



Open Doors: One week a year Oxford Preservation Trust offers the chance to see behind the closed doors of some Oxford’s hidden gems. Visit college rooms, archives, museums, parks and gardens that are often kept secret from members of the public. All of the events are free but pre-booking may be required for some of the more popular attractions. Visit the website for details.

Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials: Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country are the highlights of this four day event in the picturesque surroundings of the historic Blenheim Palace.



Oxford Ghost Fest: Throughout October the Oxford Castle is home to some seriously spooky events, guided tours and activities for all ages. See the website for details.




Christmas Light Festival: Stalls, fairground rides, and a music stage bring the festive season to Oxford, along with a parade of light sculptures created by local schoolchildren. 

Santa Fun Run: Register to take part, receive your Santa suit and then take part in this annual festive event that takes place across the city, raising money for Helen and Douglas House (a hospice for children and young adults.) – once you’ve finished the 3.5K run you’ll receive a medal and a mince pie.

Register here but be quick as tickets sell out quickly.



Christmas at the Castle: Each weekend in December the Oxford Castle has specifically themed tours and events to welcome the festive period to the city.



What are your favourite annual events in Oxford

What annual events take place locally where you are? 

Let me know in the comments.




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