What’s On in Oxfordshire – Spring 24

Spring in Oxfordshire 2024

It’s time to shake off winter’s chill and dive straight into spring in Oxfordshire, and as the county begins to bloom again, there are an array of exciting events awaiting. Bid farewell to your winter blues with our guide to the best seasonal events happening across Oxfordshire this spring.

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SPRING GARDENS

  • University of Oxford Botanic Garden

    The Oxford Botanic Garden was founded in 1621, and today it is home to more than 5,000 plant species, making this a green oasis in the heart of the city centre. During Spring the garden experiences a flourish of colour from beautiful tulips, with more exotic plants such as the white waterlilies kept in the many greenhouses. Weekends can be quite busy, so we recommend pre-booking online.

  • Harcourt Arboretum

    Just 5 miles from the centre of Oxford is the famous Harcourt Arboretum, which offers visitors the chance to explore more than 130 acres of rare and endangered trees. Spring is an excellent time to visit, especially as the stunning bluebell wood will be in full bloom. We also recommend a trip to the beautiful park which is home to many fragrant daphne flowers.

  • Greys Court – Henley-on-Thames

    This stunning 16th century mansion is a famous Oxfordshire landmark, and during spring the tranquil gardens are an excellent place to visit. The grounds feature a series of walled gardens amid medieval ruins, a Chinese-style moon bridge, a maze, and a striking tower, with interconnected spaces that will offer something to enjoy for everyone.

Festivals

  • Oxford Literary Festival 2024

    Mark your calendars for the Oxford Literary Festival, returning in 2024 from March 16th to 24th. This 9-day literary extravaganza, set in Oxford's central university area, hosts renowned authors and public figures in prestigious venues such as Blackwell’s Bookshop, Sheldonian Theatre, Bodleian Library, Weston Library, and Worcester College. Explore the festival's full lineup on the festival website, which includes details of the various authors events.

  • May Morning

    This traditional event stretches back over 500 years and is a free day out that the whole family will enjoy. On May 1st from 5.00am the crowds will begin to gather under Magdalen Tower, Magdalen Bridge, and High Street. Then at 6:00 am, Magdalen College Choir will perform atop the 144ft Magdalen Tower, followed by an amazing bell chime. A lively procession through the city then begins, followed by hours of revelry, dancing, and spontaneous music, fostering community spirit.

Food & Drink

  • Thame Spring Market 2024

    Visit the vibrant Thame Spring Market from 8-10 March taking place on Thame High Street. This popular festival always offers a blend of amazing food stalls and unique crafts, with this year promising a curated mix of ethically sourced and handmade arts, clothing, jewellery, and accessories. Bursting with fun and flavours, immerse yourself in the festival feel on Friday (11:00 am – 5:00 pm), Saturday (9:00 am – 6:00 pm), and Sunday (10:00 am – 5:00 pm).

  • Wilding’s Winter Wine Series

    Indulge in Italy’s diverse wine regions with the series of events hosted by Kent Barker, Owner and Wine Director of Wilding, Oxford. Held on selected Tuesdays until February 20th, join Kent on a journey exploring regions like Sicily, Tuscany, and Piedmont. Enjoy up to six carefully selected wines per event, complemented by artisanal breads and oils. Tickets at £35 per person offer an intimate, captivating experience, where guests will learn more Italy's rich winemaking heritage.

Theatre and Concerts

  • Spring Song 2024

    The Spring Song weekend takes place from April 19th-21st, and promises visitors a melodic feast of recitals, study events, and Young Artist Programme auditions. Hosted in Trinity College's new building, purchasing a Spring Song Pass will offer guests a full weekend of immersive song experiences, providing guaranteed seats at all recitals, unlimited access to auditions, and the study recital event.

  • Rapunzel – a traditional family panto

    LVP presents "Rapunzel," a family-friendly pantomime filled with comedy, magic, and live music. Enjoy a traditional experience with free puzzle sheets for children and glowsticks in the interval. The Thursday morning "Relaxed Performance" caters to those needing a more accommodating environment, offering adaptations like low lighting and minimised loud noises, with all profits donated to the Bicester Autism charity. The organisers recommend purchase e-tickets for convenience, with performances running from February 14th to 17th, at Cooper School Performance Hall.

  • The Oxford Revue: A Room with Revue

    Celebrate the 70th birthday of the Oxford Revue, with an evening that is brimming with sketches, music, and more! The laughter-filled evening guarantees a memorable experience, with guests describing the evening as a "masterclass in laugh-a-minute sketches," "absurd, dark, and comedic," "clever and very funny." Join the fun and discover why audience members have left such brilliant reviews. The event runs on 11th and 22nd February at 7.30pm.

  • Woman in Rock Live

    Celebrate five decades of iconic female rock legends in the electrifying Women in Rock UK tour at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, on March 9th, 2024. This one-night-only show pays homage to legends such as Blondie, Janis Joplin, and Pink. With world-class musicians and vocalists delivering a two-hour performance filled with hits, the show promises an unforgettable experience for the whole family. With soaring vocals, costumes changes, and audience interaction, secure your tickets for a night of non-stop entertainment!

FAMILY FUN

  • Bugs & Beasties Family Day

    Discover the wonders of wildlife at the Vale & Downland Museum's family activity day this February 14th! Engage in bug-themed crafts, colouring, and storytelling, with visitors also invited to delve into the world of bees and beekeeping with the Vale & Downland Beekeepers. Priced at £6.50 per child, booking in advance is essential. Although the event is perfect for primary-aged children, all are welcome with younger ones just needing more adult assistance.

  • Archaeology Festival of Discovery 2024

    This interesting event is perfect for both older children and adults alike and promises to transport guests to the past by showcasing Earth Trust's Roman and Iron Age digs. Uncover a hidden Roman villa and expansive Iron Age settlement through a pop-up museum, specialist talks, and hands-on workshops by DigVentures archaeologists. Discover ancient lives, from prehistoric pantries to Britain's first pet dogs, providing amazing insights into Oxfordshire's history. The event runs on February 17th-18th, from 09:30 to 17:30, offering free museum entry, alongside £5 specialist talks, and additional £40 workshops per person.

  • Ancient Adventurers Activity Day

    Embark on an extraordinary half-term adventure at Ancient Adventurers, a captivating experience that immerses children in the wonders of prehistoric Britain. Led by expert guides, young explorers’ step into the role of time-traveling tribes, navigating the 21st century surroundings around Wittenham Clumps and into the woods. From setting up camp to cooking with modern ingredients and enjoying campfire stories, this unique journey into ancient history offers an unforgettable experience for ages 7-12. Taking place on 13th February from 10am-2pm, with tickets priced at £20 per child.

  • The Torpids Boat Race

    Throughout Oxfordshire there are many famous boat races, but The Torpids which is held from 28th February to 2nd March is a truly exhilarating event to watch. Held on The Isis, the narrow Thames stretch prompts 'Bumps' racing, where boats pursue and 'bump' the one ahead to ascend rankings. The goal is to become 'Head of the River' creating a dynamic spectacle for those along the Isis banks.

SPRING OUTDOORS

  • Cherwell Boathouse Punting

    The punting season starts mid-March, with the Cherwell Boathouse being a great place to begin a punt through the countryside surrounding Oxford. The river passes great parks, pubs, and picnic spots, and this is a great activity for novices and experienced punters alike. There is no need to commit to a specific length of time and with 80 punts available, you will be able to relax and enjoy the experience.

  • White Horse Hill to Ashdown Walk

    Spring is a great time to explore the ancient chalk downs of Oxfordshire, and this challenging walk from White Horse Hill to Ashdown will take in many stunning sights along this ancient ridgeway. The walk is 7.7 miles in length and includes slopes, climbs, and paths through fields, so it will be an invigorating challenge with the award of being able to explore neolithic sites.

ARTS & CRAFTS

  • Crafting Papers for Collage

    Join artist Emma Williams to master the art of crafting stunning patterns and textures on paper, perfect for collages and other creative projects. Dive into collography and process printing techniques, using various materials including inks, wax crayons, pastels, and bubbles. Participants will also be able to unleash their creativity by constructing a collaged animal and developing a unique set of papers for future artistic projects. The workshop takes place on February 11th from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM at Hunsdon House Garden School. Admission is £40.00.

  • Oxfordshire Artweeks Festival 2024

    From May 4th to 27th visitors are invited to explore a diverse array of paintings, photography, textiles, sculpture, and more, presented by hundreds of artists across unique venues. From ancient churches to pop-up galleries, the festival offers visitors a change to explore multidisciplinary artistry and engage with creators. The festival unfolds in stages across Oxfordshire, with more details available via the festival website.

  • A Place For All Seasons – A West Ox Arts Exhibition

    This exhibition will showcase the amazing Kelmscott Manor with a series of paintings and sketches, with each peace capturing the Manor's timeless beauty across the changing seasons. The exhibition also celebrates the work Kathy Philson, with a section dedicated to her work. This gallery fosters emerging artists work, and this exhibition is no exception. The event runs until February 10th, with free admission and lift access. Open Tuesday-Saturday 11.30am-4.30pm, Sunday 2-4pm.

Enjoy SPRING in Oxfordshire with our guide to the best events!

There are plenty of brilliant things to see and do in Oxfordshire, and with spring just around the corner, we hope this guide will help you to plan lots of activities over the coming months. To find out more about any of the events or for more recommendations of things to do in Oxfordshire, please contact our team and we will be pleased to help.

Whether you explore the renowned Oxford Literary Festival or enjoy the traditional May Morning celebrations, this spring there is something for everyone across the county. Whether you are into art, music, or history, we hope that our list of potential events will offer some great ideas for those who either live in Oxfordshire or those who are visiting this amazing county. 

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