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There’s so much to see and do on an Oxford hen party, whether you’re a culture vulture or a party lover. This quintessentially English city, affectionately known as the City of Dreaming Spires, boasts 1,500 listed buildings from every major period of British architectural history. The town’s appearance wouldn’t be out of place in a Disney or Harry Potter film as the old town centre is like an enchanted fairy-tale city.
As the city is heavily influenced by historic culture, it seems fitting that there are various tours you can take part in during your hen do in Oxford. These will take you round all of the oldest and most pertinent landmarks. You’re allowed to wander round the university buildings without guidance. Though it’s fair to say, if you’re interested and wish to learn all the gruesome details of England’s bloody history then it is best to get a tour guide.
However, Oxford is so much more than the university, stifling lecture rooms and snap-happy tourists. There’s still a rich nightlife scene to explore and we have some unique day time activities to help you and the girls really let your hair down. So even if university and school are a distant memory to you, you can still come to Oxford for its eclectic mix of shops, bars and restaurants.
Being a student town, it’s no surprise that Oxford has its fair share of hen night friendly pubs, bars and clubs. Trust us, behind that posh and appropriate exterior is a fun town that really loves to party! Filled with sophisticated bars and restaurants and some of the best cocktail bars in the country, you really will be spoilt for choice in this glamorous city.
You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do on your hen do in Oxford. And it’s not just sightseeing. Theatres also play a massive role in what the city’s entertainment offerings. There are a few dotted over the town, so if you are wanting to get cultural, then make sure you do your research and book your tickets. Punting along the river is another great way to see the landmarks of the town and it is also great fun! It’s much harder than it looks, so if you don’t want to brave it alone, there are men who can do all the hard work for you – so you can sit back, relax and soak in the sights.
If you ladies fancy a quirky activity that’s more than a little bit cheeky, you’ve got to try hen party Life Drawing in Oxford. It takes place in a private room in a city centre venue where you’ll be greeted by your dedicated art tutor. They’ll be your guide through the world of nude life drawing, giving you handy hints and tips to help you create a masterpiece. They’ll also introduce the fully naked, professional, male model. He’ll de-robe and pose for you to draw every detail little and large (ahem!).
That might sound a little bit intimidating but don’t worry, the model is highly professional and won’t mind if you have a bit of a giggle and the focus of this tongue-in-cheek activity is always having fun in a laid-back atmosphere. If you’re feeling brave, you can ask the model to judge which one of you has best captured his likeness at the end. What’s more, you can even take your drawings home with you as a hilarious souvenir.
Celebrities who were born or studied here include theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, tennis player Tim Henman, Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, reality star Jamie Laing and authors JRR Tolkien, Lewis Carrol and CS Lewis. The bands Radiohead and Supergrass were also formed in the city.
A meal out is a great way to slow down the pace of your Oxford hen weekend, helping you to spend quality time together over good food while the conversation and drinks flow. From Michelin starred restaurants to cheap, quick takeaways, there’s something to tempt everyone’s taste buds in this city. Why not combine eating with a fun activity that everyone will love?
As Oxford is home to many of the world's smartest students, it seems fitting that the city has great pubs, bars and clubs for them all to hang out in and discuss the latest political forecast. So, Oxford isn’t all brains, it still seriously delivers with its nightlife. There are many, quaint little pubs and bars with higgledy-piggledy seating arrangements and wonky beams so you can get a real feel of the city’s history during your Oxford hen night. Some like the Eagle and Child just outside the city centre was home to a writer’s club called the Inklings, which counted CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien among its members.
There are also a ton of cocktail bars for you and the girls to treat and indulge yourselves with. There is plenty of money swilling around this beautiful city and these bars are the places to be seen and who knows, you might be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous whilst you celebrate that last weekend of freedom. If you and the girls don’t want to stop at midnight and are itching to get on the dancefloor, then there are three major clubs, Lola Lo, Emporium and The Bridge. All of which are within walking distance of the city centre and all of which are open 'til late so get ready to throw some shapes and leave when it’s almost light outside!
There’s always something going on in this city but here’s a few annual events you might enjoy. Fashionistas will be pleased to hear that March and October are host to Oxford Fashion Week where you’ll see the work of a big range of designers who flock to the city to show off amongst the trend-setters. It’s a generally fun time to visit the city with a general buzz everywhere you go. Oxford’s International Women’s Festival also takes place in March with a diverse programme of walks, talks, debate, screenings and workshops in a range of venues, most of which are free to attend.
Each year, the first Saturday of July celebrates the CS Lewis classic book with Alice’s Day. Expect loads of Alice-themed events and activities for all ages throughout the cities that bring the book to life including parades, tea parties, theatre performances, croquet, workshops and more. The Foodies Festival takes place every August and is a must visit for any food lovers on a hen do in Oxford. There’ll be live cooking demonstrations from Masterchef and the Great British Bake Off plus free food and drink samples, competitions, challenges and musical performances from bands and soloists.
Being such an exclusive university, it’s hardly a surprise that the area has direct connections to London Paddington Birmingham New Street and other popular destination. So, wherever you’re coming from, Oxford is a pretty painless commute. The Visitor Information Centre sells maps and guidebooks, so you can go and explore the city on foot or by bike if you want to! The students love their bikes and it’s one of the few cities in the UK with a unique bike sharing programming. These Mobikes could be a great way to get around or simply a fun activity to burn a few hours and calories from all that prosecco!
The city is also served well by buses and taxis will always be readily available after a night out, though if your accommodation is near the centre of town it’s unlikely that you will need to book one, as everything is an easy walk on an Oxford hen do, making it ideal for a bar crawl. However, after dancing all night, you might want to give your tootsies a rest and hop in a cab, especially if you’re wearing heels. No judgement from us.
This historic British city pairs beauty, brains, culture, nightlife and loads of fun things to do for a last day of freedom that the bride-to-be will cherish forever. For more hen party ideas in Oxford, check out our full activity listings now.
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