In the woodlands, fields and meadows of Oxfordshire, meteorological spring is officially underway with more daylight in the early evening and snowdrops bursting into life, slowly closing the door on winter.
This spring, perhaps more so than ever, is a great time to not only reflect but to celebrate new beginnings and life. And, what better destination is there to kick start your spring adventure than a visit to the vibrant Georgian town of Woodstock with its Royal Heritage, stunning period buildings and eclectic mix of art, fashion, history, food and drink.
Visit Woodstock between 26 and 31 March and discover for yourself all that the town has to offer, with many of the independent shops promoting offers with their newly arrived spring stock and personal service.
Browse for a Mothering Sunday gift or something special for yourself, whilst sipping a glass of chilled fizz at Loft Lifestyle, or perhaps you or your child(ren) might like to learn basic sewing skills with Gleide Home Décor’s tutoring package; here you will also find prints of the local area from one of the local artists.
If art is your love affair, where else will you find five inspirational galleries in one town? From contemporary art at Zuleika and Dantzig; paintings, prints, glass and sculpture at Iona House Gallery; a sense of well-being with Darl-e and the Bear to Libby Rak’s Gallery of Jewellery… just prepare to be dazzled. You can always grab yourself some fabulous sunglasses from Woodstock’s independent opticians.
If food is your thing, Woodstock has got you covered with more than 20 places to eat & drink. From relaxing and stylish coffee bars and cafes, pubs and gastro dining… dig into some locally sourced seasonal favourites, colourful plates and tasty cocktails; or perhaps a healthy, delicious caffeine-free beetroot latte.
Spring also brings new beginnings in the form of weddings and wedding planning; you’ll truly be spoilt for choice with everything in one spectacular place! The Town Hall or Church for the ceremony, perhaps, a choice of luxury hotels and function rooms for the wedding breakfast, the rings from Libby Rak Jewellery, and the menswear from the Cotswold Tailor.
Book an appointment with Ellie Sanderson Luxury Bridal on the Hello Spring, Hello Woodstock weekend, and the usual £35 booking fee will be waived. Nina Carrington will also be in the studio showcasing her handmade floral crowns and hair accessories. If you say “yes to the dress” that weekend, brides will also be gifted with a voucher to spend on accessories.
Woodstock itself is a charming historic Cotswold town in West Oxfordshire. A perfect place for an evening, day or long weekend break. Not only can you fill your days with shopping and dining, but culture too with two museums: The Oxfordshire Museum, which is free of charge and the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum who are offering a free annual pass upgrade to visitors during their spring promotion.
Both museums are surrounded by a beautiful garden where there’s always something to delight in, from the carpet of early spring bulbs around the ancient chestnut tree to the perfume of the early summer roses and lilies. Enjoy the café produce whilst admiring the garden from the vantage point of a table on the decking or picnic on the lower lawn.
Children will delight in Woodstock too. The museum includes exhibitions such as the amazing Dinosaur Garden, complete with a life-size Megalosaur and real 168 million-year-old dinosaur footprints from nearby Ardley Quarry, as well as a gift shop. And, if that’s not enough, just a short walk out of the town centre, there is a very good playground to burn off some steam.
Take home the spring feeling with you with a visit to Martha’s Attic and grab some spring bulbs and other gardenalia for your own outdoor spaces. Or simply be inspired to spruce up your interiors. You may also welcome the expertise of Woodstock’s own interior designers. Alternatively, you could order afternoon tea from EP Caterers to be delivered to your door or some gourmet delicacies from France with Mange Tout.
Woodstock does really have so much to offer, and unfortunately, all cannot be mentioned here. You’ll simply have to visit and explore for yourself. The mix of essential and unique shops and businesses work collaboratively in helping make Woodstock your new favourite place to visit or stay.