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Top Rated Nightlife in Oxford

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Raoul's Bar

Raoul's Bar is an old favorite on Walton Street. It sells the strongest and tastiest cocktails you could want, at very good prices. The music is loud, but once you're cozily ensconced in a nook, you won't mind the lively, busy ambiance almost seems to demand the volume. While in some ways quite trendy, Raoul's is not at all intimidating as its decor gives it a mawkish charm.

Turf Tavern

The Turf is one of Oxford's oldest pubs. It is accessible only down a narrow alley, nestling up against a section of the old city wall. For trivia buffs, this was the scene of the hero's courting in Thomas Hardy's, 'Jude the Obscure'. Inside, the low-ceilinged rooms are arranged on two levels. Outside, there are rows of benches in the courtyard, which is warmed by braziers in the winter. The Turf offers a good range of beers, lagers and real ales, plus mulled wine on colder nights. Food is served from noon until 8pm.

Bear Inn

Dating back to the 13th Century, this pub claims to be Oxford's oldest pub. While it is very small, its popularity ensures that it is often packed in the evening. Located off the High Street down Wheatsheaf Yard, Bear Inn also be reached down an alley off St. Aldates, past Oxford Museum. This place serves real ales, ciders and fairly standard pub food is also available. While the dining room can seat just about 24 people, the heated garden can accommodate more patrons.

Three Goats Heads

The Three Goats Heads is a stunning town-center pub. Entering by way of precarious stairs, you find yourself in a light, airy, but somehow suitably seedy cellar bar. The curious German lager they sell is both cheap and tasty, and makes for suitable fuel for a good night out. The boudoir-like upstairs is dominated by red velvet—this is certainly the place to visit if you want to linger over your beer. They're not known for serving real ales, however.

Old Tom

The Old Tom, situated opposite Christ Church College, is one of Oxford's most famous and popular pubs. Its position and name clearly help it to pull in the passing tourist trade, but the pub is worth a visit in its own right. Its atmosphere is always calm and tranquil, bookish even, but don't be misled into thinking that this means dull. The Old Tom's Irish pub feel, with its superb Guinness and fine Irish whiskey, could easily make you feel as though you have been whisked away to the Emerald Isle.


The Wheatsheaf is hidden away down a tiny alley opposite the High Street entrances to the Covered Market, but it is marked by a barrel-sign hanging overhead. It has a reputation for being an old man's pub. That said, they also schedule regular gigs, including live bands, jazz and even improved shows, making this pub well-known as a live music venue. It does offer a good range of real ales, and standard pub food is served at lunchtime. There is also an outside seating area which is shared with The Bear.

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