Oxford Nightlife

Oxford life isn't only about work or societies - there's also loads of opportunity to have relaxed fun with your friends, especially at nights! This page is a general page including many of the ways to spend an evening: if you're particularly interested in clubbing and want a brief description of each of Oxford's main clubs, follow the link to the clubbing page.

Pubs

Oxford is famous for its pubbing scene, and most of Oxford's many pubs are great places to go for a pint or a glass of wine. Some of them have incredible histories from when they were frequented by well-known historical figures who studied at Oxford, and it's worth checking quite a few out as you will soon find yourself a personal favourite! My personal recommendations would include: Kings Arms, Chequers, Eagle and Child, Jericho Tavern, Jude the Obscure, Royal Oak and Victoria Arms - but there are many other great pubs in Oxford to spend a lazy summer's afternoon or a quiet evening, including, of course, a couple of Wetherspoons.

Cocktail Bars

Oxford also has quite a few cocktail bars that are amazing places to hang out with friends over great-tasting drinks! The Duke of Cambridge on Little Clarendon Street, which is probably the closest to Keble, is a popular place to go to after a formal dinner in Keble's Hall. Another popular option is Freud's in Jericho, especially on its special events which take place throughout a term. The Varsity Club just outside the Covered Market in town has overpriced drinks that are made up for by the rooftop garden that looks out over the whole of Oxford's “dreaming spires”, and another popular option is Turtle Bay, a restaurant that becomes a cocktail bar at night due to its extensive cocktail menu and reasonable prices. There are also other options, especially a bit further out of town, which students frequent for a more classy evening out.

Clubs in Oxford

College Bars

One of the great things about Oxford's collegiate nature is the wide variety of College bars. Most of these bars are subsidized by the college so are really cheap ways to spend an evening, as well as great ways to see other colleges. Many of the colleges have their own signature drinks that are only sold in their bars, such as the Worcester Sting and the Balliol Blue, and those too are worth experiencing at some point, perhaps on one of the college bar crawls that regularly take place.

Keble's own college bar is one of the largest, offering very reasonably-priced drinks such as a pint for as little as £2 and soft drinks from 50p. It is normally equipped with a table tennis table, table football, a darts board and a TV as well as many chairs, tables and sofas so is a good place to hang out during a relaxed evening. The Bar also hosts a large number of college events, particularly before and after formal dinners in Hall and also the regular BOPs.

BOPs

BOPs, which apparently stands for “Big Open Parties”, are big college parties that happen regularly - Keble generally has them on the first and last Saturdays of each term. They are run by each college's elected Entertainments (Entz) team, who come up with a theme and organise the event. They are usually funded by the JCR and so often have free (or at least cheap) drinks and are loads of fun! They're always fancy dress, but the standard of fancy dress ranges from the last-minute to the elaborate so don't feel bad if you're too costumed or if you're not costumed at all!

How they are run vary from college to college, with some colleges hosting them in special entertainments venues, their bar, or even a club off their college site, and most of them allow visitors so, if you know someone from another college, going to another college's BOP is a great way to experience the social life of another college. At Keble, we have them in our college bar and they typically start at 9pm and finish at 1am. Our bar is large enough to host loads of people so if you want to invite friends from other colleges, you're normally able to do so!

Crew Dates

Crewdates are an experience quite unique to Oxford and essentially they're when one society, sports team or group of friends go out for a meal with another group to a local restaurant and afterwards to a club. Normally involving a lot of rowdiness and with special traditions, crewdates are an experience that are not for everyone but if you do want to get involved then most societies do have crewdates so go along to those!

Balls

One of the biggest of Oxford's unique culture, especially in Trinity (Third) Term, is the extensive opportunity that students have to go to amazing black and white tie balls. Every year, lots of different colleges and societies host balls - colleges hosting them in the college whilst societies often hire out one of the venues around town. Prices vary from around £50 for a small one run by a society to over £200 for the most elaborate of white-tie balls.

Keble has a black-tie ball at the beginning of Trinity Term every year, and it has the reputation throughout Oxford of being one of the best, if not the best, black tie balls so make sure that you do not miss out! You have the opportunity shortly after joining Keble for joining the committee involved in running next year's ball and if that is something you're interested in then do make sure that you sign up for that! Otherwise, make sure that you budget for approximately £90 in order that you can attend the ball - to see how impressive it has been in previous years, do view the galleries here.

Films and Plays

Of course, alcohol-fulled events are not the only aspects of Oxford nightlife at all. One way of having a great evening out is to watch one of the many films or plays that are shown in Oxford. Oxford has a couple of ODEON cinemas that show the latest box office films, but for a different aspect of the film scene the Phoenix Picture House in Jericho shows a number of cool arty and foreign language films.

As well as that, the drama scene in Oxford is thriving and, even if you aren't interested in getting involved in producing or acting in a production, there are always opportunities to watch the latest student plays all around town. Many of the best plays are in Keble itself, with the O'Reilly theatre on site being the largest college theatre in the whole of Oxford. Other colleges too host productions and if one seems particularly interesting then make sure you do go and watch it as they are normally very high quality as well as being reasonably priced!

Other

Many societies and clubs at Oxford host events where you can enjoy your evening. Check out societies at the Freshers' Fair during Freshers' Week, and a lot of them will give opportunity throughout the week to attend an event to enjoy yourself and to get to know people from other colleges. Some societies, including the Oxford Guild, the Oxford Union and Blackwell's Bookshop, put on interesting talks and events with famous speakers, including influential global personalities, which are always well-attended.

Of course, you can spend your evenings however you like them: a popular thing to do is to spend an evening in Keble's JCR watching a film or playing Playstation with your friends. Others prefer to go to Keble's gym for a workout or to hang out in each other's rooms - Keble's accommodation is large enough to host a large number of people in your room, which can lead to great evenings hanging out with people you love! Regardless, it's unlikely that you'll ever be in a place in Oxford where you don't have any opportunity to enjoy yourself - there's so many different ways to have a good time!