Are you planning a visit to Oxford but are wondering what the best time to go is? If you’re looking for the warmest time, that’s (from highest to lowest temperature) July, August and June. But let me tell you about my favourite times of the year, and all the things you can do and see in Oxford in Winter (December to February), Summer (June to August), Spring (March to May), Autumn/Fall (September to November), as well as for the holidays, etc.
Is There a Best Time of the Year to Visit Oxford?
Let’s start by clarifying: Oxford receives visitors all year round. People flock to this amazing university city to appreciate its architectural marvels and gorgeous views from January to December. Although Oxford’s average temperatures vary, with colder months receiving considerable rainfall, if you compare it to the rest of the world, the weather is actually 27% pleasant!
One thing you can keep in mind when picking a time of the year to visit is whether it’s peak season from a touristic point of view. If you’re looking for a more relaxed visit, choosing the months between August and April will offer you quieter views (Oxford’s peak season is Sumer, from April to August, right after the exams finish).
Can you Visit Oxford University All Year Round?
Yes! Practically all colleges, libraries and museums remain open throughout the year. Their opening times remain the same, however the majority of colleges close at sunset – which is relatively early in winter (4:30 or so). You can check all opening times for colleges and libraries and how to visit them here: How Do you Arrange to Visit Oxford University Colleges?
Visiting Oxford in the Summer
Summer is a perfect time to visit the city of Oxford. Students are finally free and the local crowd rushes to the streets and parks to enjoy the beautiful weather. Summer in Oxford means also festivals, concerts, and a myriad of interesting events – plus the days are really long! April and May hosts the Oxford Jazz Festival, the English Music Festival, the Chocolate Festival, and Oxfordshire Artweeks, just to name a few. And from June to August you have the Oxford Shakespeare Festival, which features three classic plays performed by local companies.
The warmest month is July, with temperatures reaching around 23 degrees C. The night temperature rarely goes below 12 degrees, which means you can walk around in relative comfort. In short, June to August are quite comfortable and has moderate rains (5 or 6 days in a month). But keep in mind that this is also the busiest season – so accommodation tariffs will be higher than usual!
In Oxford this summer? Take a look at our guide: Top 10 Ways to Survive the Summer While Living or Studying in Oxford
Visiting Oxford in the Winter
Winters in Oxford tend to be cold and a little humid. If you’re used to hotter weather, this might be the season for your visit. However, from December to February there might be around 6 to 8 days of snowfall or rain. This means you could get to see Oxford city and its University covered in snow!
One of the main advantages of visiting Oxford in the winter is the lack of tourist traffic. It’s really next to none – so you can easily find accommodation and visit the colleges, museums and events in relative calm – all of which remain open.
Visiting Oxford in the Spring
The Spring months of March to May are relatively cold. The temperature ranges from around 19 degrees to 9 degrees, and there are frequent rains, about 4 to 7 days a month. If you’re visiting Oxford in Spring, you will see less tourists than if you do in Summer – that’s for sure. Occupancy will be reasonable, with decent prices for hotels and a lot of spaces when eating out.
What about the best places to visit in Oxford in the spring? The city has several parks and gardens for when the sun is shinning. The High Street and the Botanical Garden are very popular choices.
Visiting Oxford in the Autumn / Fall
The fall season in Oxford is…. absolutely beautiful. The city has plenty of green spaces – which turn to many shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple. The temperatures for Autumn vary between 20 degrees to 9 degrees, giving off a slight chilly feel. It’s relatively windy and humid, and it rains about 4 to 8 days a month.
In Fall, the tourist traffic has slowed down but there’s still plenty to do! Like any other time of the year, the colleges, museums and libraries remain open and the parks look incredible. Because of its beauty, Autumn is a great season to visit Oxford.
What's the Cheapest Time to Visit Oxford?
Definitely the winter – excluding the holidays. There are more hotels available but still a lot of things to do in the city. If you prefer to avoid the Winter, then visiting oxford in Autumn/Fall or Spring is best. The weather is more moderate, there’s less rain, and the trees look absolutely gorgeous.