Oxford Christmas Market

Returning for its 10th year, the Oxford Christmas Market opened its doors to the general public on the 5th of December 2019. Ready to get everyone into the festive spirit in the countdown to Christmas, the market is open from 10am – 8pm Thursdays to Saturdays and till 6.30pm Sunday to Wednesday.

At just a short 30-minute drive from Hardwick Parks, and with plenty of parking available in the city centre, our guests love a day out to the historic city of Oxford. The city has so much to offer, from the stunning spires that fill the skyline to the modern and diverse high street, there’s plenty to love. The Christmas Market brings crowds of tourists to the city, ready to enjoy the festivities with a steaming mug of mulled wine and delicious food from one of the market’s diverse range of exhibitors.

The traditional wooden stands, decorated with wreaths and lights, sell a whole wealth of Christmassy hand-crafted goods and gifts. Treat yourself or buy some extra presents for your friends and family. There’s almost too much to choose from with around 60 stands sprawling across Broad Street. Traders include:

Oxford Candle Makers – handmade candles using distinctive beeswax make the perfect Christmas treat. They even sell an exclusive Christmas range including Nordic Pine, Figgy Pudding and Silent Night scents.

Amica Felt – specialising in beautiful handmade felt crafts, these fair trade gifts and decorations are adorable and make perfect presents for children.

Shany Design Studio – browse unique jewellery designs featuring modern geometric patterns inspired by elements of nature, the perfect romantic prezzie.

Moonlighting – individually hand-crafted bottle lights that add an ambient glow to the room.

Feeling peckish after browsing all the stalls? No worries! The market features some tempting local traders bringing you a range of delicious eats for everyone, including vegan and vegetarian options. Why not try The Chipsmyths, a father and son street food business serving delicious loaded chips, or for something more traditional, a hog roast is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit. What’s more, a Christmas market wouldn’t be complete without some currywurst or hotdogs from German Bratwurst or even a steaming mug of Glühwein from Winter Warmers.

Got a sweet tooth? There’s no better time to dig into some delicious sweet treats than Christmas. Oxford has got you covered with Crêpes O Mania serving up mouth-watering sweet and savoury crêpes, or get a taste of Mexico with Los Churros Amigos dishing up freshly made churros bursting with cinnamon and served alongside a melted chocolate dip.

The market has something for everyone this yuletide season. The kids will love the classic Victorian Carousel and why not treat them to a surprise visit to Santa as Father Christmas himself will be visiting on the 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th and 21st of December. Performances from local choirs and singers throughout the month will also fill the town centre with Christmas spirit, the 2019 market is certainly not one to be missed.

The beautiful city of Oxford is always bustling with events and exciting activities. Come to Hardwick Parks with your caravan, motorhome, campervan or tent and enjoy a fantastic day out in Oxford. Book ahead to avoid disappointment. Or call us and discuss buying your very own home from home on the banks of our lakes. Not ready to buy your own? Make use of one of our modern static caravan let fleet to enjoy your holiday in style.

Exploring Henley-on-Thames

Located just outside of the Chilterns to the south of Witney, is the town of Henley-on-Thames. This attractive market town is well known for its beauty, having been voted as one the best places to live in the countryside by The Times and is a regular recipient of Britain in Bloom awards. The town’s looks are enough to warrant a visit on their own, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all that Henley-on-Thames has to offer. So join us as we journey to the south of Oxfordshire and explore this Thames-side town, within an hour’s drive of Hardwick Parks.

Henley started hosting its Royal Regatta in 1839 and has run the event every year since – apart from during times of war. Unlike other regattas around Britain, the focus of the event at Henley is competitive rowing. Every July, visitors and competitors flock from all over the globe to watch as a whole fleet of rowboats race along the 1 mile and 550-yard race course. With the whole town getting involved in the festivities, creating something of an Edwardian atmosphere, there’s no more exciting time to pay a visit to Henley than during Regatta season.

Further cementing their place in the world of boating and rowing, Henley is also home to the River & Rowing Museum. Opening in 1998, the museum delights visitors with the history of the town, the River Thames as well as the town’s favourite pastime and method of transport.

Henley-on-Thames isn’t just about boating however, the town has a place in motoring history too. Henley was once the home of Morris Motors founder and philanthropist, Sir William Morris – later known as Lord Nuffield. Nuffield Place, as the house is named, is maintained by the National Trust and has been preserved just as it would have been left – giving visitors an honest glimpse into the lives of Lord and Lady Nuffield. Of special note is Lady Nuffield’s Wolseley Eight luxury motor car, which is kept on site and is the only road-worthy historical vehicle owned by the Trust.

For fans of ITV’s Midsomer Murders, Henley-on-Thames may offer some all-too-familiar sights, with several of the towns landmarks, pubs and streets being used in multiple episodes. The aforementioned Henley Regatta was even used as the ‘Midsomer Regatta’ in the episode “Dead in the Water”. Several tours are available for fans of Detective Barnaby’s exploits, including self-guided foot and car tours as well as bookable boating and guided tours. If you’re not a Midsomer fan, then Henley is surrounded by many other famous filming locations, including sites used in Downtown Abbey, Poirot, James Bond and of course, Inspector Morse.

Between the pomp and festivities of the regatta, the family home of one of England’s leading car manufacturers and the connections with an all-time British favourite TV show, there’s something quintessentially English about a visit to Henley-on-Thames. Just an hour’s drive from Witney, the home of Hardwick Parks, Henley-on-Thames makes for a perfect stop off point between Witney and London or the South, or as the venue for a day out filled with traditional English fun.

To learn more about the area surrounding Hardwick Parks, or to make a booking for the 2019 season, visit our website today.