Christmas lights and illuminations in Oxford

Christmas lights at Westgate Oxford
Christmas lights at Westgate Oxford

See the city at its most sparkly with Oxford’s 2021 Christmas lights and illuminations at full beam.

Even the most Christmas-averse individual cracks a blissful smile at the sight of a magical Christmas light display. And Oxford is never in short supply of some thoughtfully put together ones.

From the well-trodden streets of the city centre to the lesser-known locales, we’ll be updating this list with noteworthy Christmas lights and illuminations in Oxford – in the hope that a trip to any one of these displays lighting up our city will fill your heart with a surfeit of cheer.

Westgate centre – Now on

Westgate centre has put up these massive (in every sense of the word) wreaths down the length of South Arcade and Leiden Square (outside John Lewis). It features elegant robins nestled among the giant snowflakes and pine cones, all bathed in twinkling lights.

The Christmas lights theme continues upstairs with a Christmas tree on the roof terrace – just by Victors restaurant. Go for the lights, and stay for the shopping (or the cocktails, as the case may be).

Queen Street, High Street, St Aldgate’s and George Street

Earlier in November, we spotted Santa’s helpers setting up the Christmas light decorations on Oxford’s Queen Street – just outside the Westgate Shopping Centre. The Christmas light decorations run along Queen Street, all the way to the western end of High Street.

The lights were switched on during Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival that took place the weekend of 19 to 21 November.

Christmas lights at Queen Street in Oxford
Christmas lights at High Street in Oxford
Christmas lights at St Aldgate’s in Oxford
Christmas lights at George Street in Oxford

The Christmas light decorations run all the way along Queen Street, up to the western end of High Street and the northern end on St Aldgate’s. The theme is repeated on George Street.

Bonn Square

Christmas lights at Bonn Square in Oxford City Centre

Enjoy a few minutes in the warm glow of the Bonn Square trees festooned with lights, which is always a delightful sight…

Oxford Castle Quarter

Christmas lights and decorations outside the Oxford Castle Quarter

…or dine outside beneath sparkling lights at the Slug & Lettuce and Prezzo at the Oxford Castle Quarter.

Broad Street

Christmas lights at Broad Street in Oxford

Over on Broad Street, there’s a large illuminated reindeer just outside Balliol College.

The Ivy and The Old Bank Hotel

Usually, the curbside Christmas lights and decorations at The Ivy Brasserie and the Old Bank Hotel are worth crossing town for! But this year, We are afraid that both seem rather underwhelming.

Christmas lights and decorations outside The Ivy Oxford Brasserie

The Ivy’s Christmas fairground carousel theme is inspired by the beautiful sights and intoxicating smells of German Christmas markets and the captivating theatre of the Victorian carousel. If only there was a bit more ‘drama’ in this rather playful and fun-filled façade.

Christmas lights and decorations outside the Old Bank Hotel

And further along, on the High Street, the inside of the Quod restaurant is bathed in the warm glow of thousands of Christmas lights. But there’s barely a sparkle to be seen on the outside.

Editors note: We gather that Quod restaurant/Old Bank Hotel is in the process of adding some sparkle to the outside the building. We’ll update the picture and commentary in the next few days.