We’ve written this section from the perspective of a normal Oxford term to give you an idea of all the typical partying and entertainment that’s available in Oxford. However, COVID-19 and social distancing requirements will likely impact the running of certain events like BOPs and club nights so please check our COVID-19 section and the freshers timetable for more info!
“Bops” happen four times each term and are a big part of college life. It is basically a disco, held in the soundproofed ‘Events Room’ in Kendrew Quad. These are a great chance to unwind and have a good time with your friends in college cheaply. Drinks are very cheap and there are big speakers with student DJs in charge of the music (it’s easy to get involved with DJing at a bop!) Each bop has a theme for costumes and everyone usually dresses up to some degree, which keeps things different each time. They last from 22:00-01:00 and we order in pizza at around midnight which always goes down well.
Be careful at your first bop – have fun but take it slow and know your limit! – Sofia
The main club nights amongst Oxford students are Plush Tuesdays (our LGBTQ+ club), Park End Wednesdays (at Atik but generally called Park End), Bridge Thursdays and Fever Fridays. All of these are within walking distance to College and will be full of other Oxford students. Also look out for special events at the Bullingdon Club (nicknamed the Bully) further afield in Cowley. Brookes students generally have other nights such as Broke Monday which Oxford students can, of course, go to.
Oxford is generally a very safe place; however, you can never be too cautious. For example, you should never leave your drink unattended. Also it is always safer to travel in a group, but if this isn’t possible you can call Nightline (Oxford’s independent listening and support service) or the porters to stay on the phone while you walk.
Porters: 01865 277 300
Nightline: 01865 270 270
Pre-ing / Prinks
An important part of going out is preing as students generally can’t afford to buy the expensive drinks at the club. This may involve playing drinking games or just chatting. It’s important to not force others to drink in this kind of environment. We recommend always pouring your own drink when playing a game so you can make it as strong or weak as you like, and if you want to slow down on drinking just pour yourself a mixer so you can keep playing.
~ The cardboard box game ~
Required: a flat piece of cardboard (usually found in the form of a pizza or cereal box), a sharpie, and a coin. The name of each player is written in a circle on the cardboard. Players take turns to flip a coin onto the cardboard. If it lands on a blank space they can create a new rule which is written in a circle in that space. The rule is played when the coin lands next in that circle. Continue until there is no space left! – Ellie, Biomed
The College Bar
With a much more relaxed vibe than other colleges, the college bar has a host of unique cocktails invented by our barman Yannick, at a very cheap price of £2.40 a pint, £3.70 for a weaker cocktail or £5 for a stronger one. They also sell spirit mixers for the less adventurous and soft drinks for the non-drinkers. There’s no need to worry about cash for the bar as everything can be paid with your Bod card.
Oxford is home to an extraordinary wealth of institutions dedicated to its nightlife. Among these are its numerous and well known pubs; you are unlikely to encounter many cities with a greater density of these anywhere. Far from us to tell you which are the best and which to avoid (it’s all a matter of opinion, after all), but you might do well to know that within a couple of minutes’ walk of College there are, among others:
- The Lamb & Flag (in the walkway between the Tommy White and Kendrew quads – beware, this is cash-only)
- The Eagle and Child (just across the road, on St Giles’)
- The King’s Arms (adjacent to Wadham College, on Holywell Street – a students’ favourite)
- Turf Tavern (antiquated but popular, with extensive outdoor seating for the summer months)
- The Bear Inn (on Alfred Street – founded in 1242…)
It is worth noting that pints in Oxford can, in some instances, be upwards of £5. You might be better off sticking to the college bar! It is rumoured that in deepest, darkest Cowley, there is a Spoons with a pint that only costs £1.79!! Good luck finding it.