How to have a good night out in Oxford
Despite having a large student population, Oxford is not a late night party city. A lot of undergraduate revelry goes on in college where the bars are subsidised, and this leaves the town more or less to the townies. Restaurants tend to close early by continental standards (11-11.30pm). There is, of course, a clubbing scene - The Bridge (6-9 Hythe Bridge St, Oxford OX1 2EW; +44 1865 242 526; www.bridgeoxford.co.uk) with its under 18s nights and the cluster of nightspots down Park End Street, heading towards the station; Thirst Bar (7-8 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 2HH; +441865 242044 www.thirstbar.co.uk); Kukui (42-43 Park End St, Oxford OX1 1JD; +441865 240020 www.kukuiclubs.com); and Lava & Ignite (Cantay House, Park End St, Oxford OX1 1JD; +44 1865 250181; www.lavaignite.com).
Music and theatre
More traditional entertainment can be found at the city's musical venues, the Sheldonian Theatre, Holywell Music Room, Town Hall (St Aldates Chambers, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1EF; +441865 305305; www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decTH/Oxford_Town_Hall_occw.htm) and at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building (Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DX; +44 1865 276821 www.st-hildas.ox.ac.uk/index.php/aboutthejdp/jdpabout.html) next to St Hilda's College.
The New Theatre (George Street, City Centre, Oxford OX1 2AG; +441865 320760 www.newtheatreoxford.org.uk) and the Oxford Playhouse (11-12 Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2LW; +44 1865 305305 www.oxfordplayhouse.com) both receive theatrical productions and opera and you’ll find that students stage concerts and plays, often of a very high standard, in college buildings all over the city. Information about all concerts, productions, church services and even balls in Oxford can be found on the Daily Information website (www.dailyinfo.co.uk). This handy resource began life as a large printed sheet but now only exists in online form.
Outside the clubbing and cultural scenes, Oxford has an excellent nightlife based around its many pubs. You can read more in my guide Nightlife in Oxford: a pub crawl. The city is fortunate to have kept so many of its public houses in what approximates to their authentic state. Far too many British pubs have been gutted, modernised, themed and made so family-friendly that they have lost touch with their raison d'etre. The The White Horse, Kings Arms (Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3SA; +441865 242369 www.youngs.co.uk/pub-detail.asp?PubID=420), Turf Tavern (4-5 Bath Place, Oxford OX1 3SU; +44 1865 243235 www.gkpubs.co.uk/pubs-in-oxford/turf-tavern-pub/) Bookbinders (17-18 Victor Street Oxford OX2 6BT; +441865 553 549; www.oldbookbinders.co.uk) and Jericho Tavern (56 Walton Street
Oxford OX2 6AE; +44 1865 311 775; www.thejerichooxford.co.uk) make for a great circuit. For the more adventurous the bars and clubs south of the river, down the Cowley Road, offer the nearest thing Oxford has to a raw and raunchy drinking scene.
I will be writing a number of individual guides to nights out in Oxford over the next few months. My first guide is already on line Nightlife in Oxford: a pub crawl.