Oxford Christmas Market: The Complete Guide
Oxford is a city located in the county of Oxfordshire, England, which is about 56 miles outside of London. Despite being the only city in the county, Oxford is known all over the globe as a prominent university town. It is home to the University of Oxford, the oldest operating university and among the most prestigious academic institutions in the world.
However, more than just its student atmosphere, Oxford boasts a vibrant and unique culture and ambiance, especially when the Christmas season starts to approach. Even though the weather gets cold during winter, the city comes alive with a number of exciting events and festive celebrations throughout the holidays. In fact, it won’t be hard to come across Christmas markets and festive fairs during your stay.
If you have plans to spend Christmas in this lovely English city, you should definitely check out our list of the best Christmas markets in Oxford. Don’t forget to store your bags and other belongings at a luggage locker in Oxford so you can keep your hands free to do some Christmas shopping.
Oxford Christmas Market
If you are looking for a truly magical Christmas experience, all roads lead to Broad Street in the heart of the city center, where you can check out Oxford Christmas Market - the city’s most famous holiday market and the top destination for festive joy and all things Christmas. This 2022, the Oxford Christmas Market returns to the beautiful and historic Broad Street and will run from the 1st to the 18th of December.
This spectacular fair has everything you need for an unforgettable experience! Here, you will find choirs singing Christmas carols, wooden stalls adorned with all types of Christmas decorations, market traders offering unusual and handmade gifts and independent businesses selling tempting treats that are in season, such as traditional mulled wine and Bailey’s hot chocolate. There will also be performances by local bands and performers throughout the market’s run. You can view the full lineup from the Oxford Christmas market official website.
What to do near Oxford Christmas Market
After a busy day of exploring the market, you may want to take a break from the festive atmosphere and check out the History of Science Museum, which is located just along Broad Street. The museum houses an incredible collection of scientific instruments that as far back as the Middle Ages.
Waddesdon Christmas Fair
Get into the festive spirit and visit the Waddesdon Christmas Fair, a lovely festival held at the Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. Boasting an incredible backdrop of the floodlit North Front, the centerpiece of the fair is the 6-meter-tall Christmas tree that’s surrounded by curated stalls found in charming wooden chalets.
The Waddesdon Christmas Fair also happens to be one of the best places in Oxford to shop for gorgeous handmade gift ideas, such as artworks, crafts, decorations and more. There are also numerous vendors offering festive food like mulled wine and other seasonal treats. For 2022, the Waddesdon Christmas Fair will take place from November 12 to December 18.
What to do near Waddesdon Christmas Fair
Take a break from all the Christmas shopping and check out the Roald Dahl Children's Gallery, which is just a short distance away from the fair. As its name suggests, this museum is filled with exhibitions and displays inspired by characters created by prominent author Roald Dahl.
Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival
Taking place in the city since 2009, Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival is a three-day event meant to celebrate the festive season through arts, community and culture. Taking place in the Oxford city centre, the gathering involves a festive market, sound and light installations, live performances and several other exhibitions and programs that are all free of charge.
Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival has teamed up with several cultural partners such as Film Oxford, Oxford Contemporary Music and Fusion Arts, to name a few, to offer incredible performances throughout the weekend. Not only is the event made to bring a festive atmosphere to the city, but it also aims to bring the community together. This 2022, the Christmas Light Festival will take place from the 18th to the 20th of November.
What to do near Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival
With its location in the city center, it's not hard to find cool attractions to visit nearby. One of the best places to visit not too far from the festival is the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, which is the oldest public museum in Britain and home to an incredible collection of ancient art and archaeological specimens.
Henley Christmas Festival
One of Oxfordshire’s most prominent Christmas markets, the Henley Christmas Festival is a must-visit when celebrating the holidays in the city. The quaint but vibrant holiday market is held at the Henley-on-Thames Town Centre and features hand selected stalls selling all sorts of irresistible gifts, handmade crafts, decorations and more unique items. While doing their holiday shopping, guests can enjoy the sounds of choirs singing Christmas carols and appreciate the twinkling trees adorned with dazzling Christmas lights.
If you happen to be traveling with kids, don’t forget to stop by Santa’s grotto and catch the children’s lantern parade. Unlike previous years, the Henley Christmas Festival will take place in a span of three days this 2022 in order to give more opportunities for local businesses and encourage a more inclusive atmosphere. The Christmas fair will take place from the 25th to the 27th of November.
What to do near Henley Christmas Festival
If you are overwhelmed by the Christmas spirit at the festival, take a breather and unwind by the banks of the River Thames. There is an extensive parkland by the riverside that also happens to be a famous hangout and picnic spot in town.
The Christmas Market at Blenheim Palace
The Christmas Market at Blenheim Palace is an annual holiday bazaar that offers a luxurious Christmas experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Held at the stunning Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, the festival features wooden chalets of vendors that sell various products such as seasonal food and drinks, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, bags, Christmas-themed objects, home decorations, ceramics and more.
With the range of items being sold here, Blenheim Palace's Christmas Market is one of the best places to shop for unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones. Apart from the interesting stalls, this Christmas Market at Blenheim also hosts a range of fun attractions such as the Illuminated Trail and The Kingdom of the Snow Queen experience. For this coming holiday season, the Christmas fair will run from November 18th, 2022 until January 2nd of 2023.
What to do near The Christmas Market at Blenheim Palace
After a full day of holiday shopping and fun Christmas activities, take the chance to learn about the region's history at the Oxfordshire Museum. Housed inside an 18th century building, the museum tells the rich and colorful history of Oxfordshire and the town of Woodstock.
Choirs singing Christmas carols and more in Oxford
While Oxford is an excellent destination all year long, the city becomes even more special during the holidays. If you want to have a one-of-a-kind holiday this year and truly feel the Christmas spirit, you should definitely consider visiting Oxford to check out the lovely fairs and festive markets happening all over the city and in nearby towns.