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5 reasons to head to Westgate Oxford

The shackles are finally off, so grab your handbag, put on some make-up (if you can remember how) and head down to Westgate Oxford. See you there!

Going outside? IN PUBLIC? What’s that, then? Yes, we know it’s all a bit overwhelming and highly unusual, but the roadmap out of lockdown has decreed that we are now allowed to shop, eat and drink (while still using cautionary measures) so where better to do all three than at Oxford’s Westgate?

Hit the shops

Non-essential retail is now allowed so that means that thousands of shops are opening their doors for the first time this year. Not only that, shops are allowed to open until 10pm with a view to giving the customer more time to shop, which will hopefully ease up congestion. Westgate’s core hours are Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm, Sat, 9am-8pm, Sun, 11am-5pm, but there are exceptions. For instance, Primark will open from 8am to 9pm every day except Sunday. *Phew*. Reiss and Joules are pushing on to 7pm and 7.30pm respectively, and Zara will be pulling late hours too, opening until 8pm. Check the website here to find Westgate shops’ individual hours.

Enjoy lunch with a view

Outdoor dining (or you know, just drinking) is back with no curfew and we can’t think of anything better than sipping on a cocktail while watching the sunset over the spires, can you? For crazy concoctions featuring colour changing sprits, flames and, erm, washing up liquid (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it) head to The Alchemist, no booking required. Or the always fabulous Victors is taking bookings for drinks and its small plates menu. If you’ve got the kids in tow, you can’t go wrong with Pizza Pilgrims, also taking bookings on the terrace.

Or, you know, just get takeaway

Rather sit in a sunny park with five of your besties (gorgeous Christ Church Meadow is just a five-minute walk away)? Head to Westgate Social Street Food for food-on-the go from Benito’s Hat, Tommi’s Burger Joint or Ned’s Noodle Bar.

Park in the new Cycle Hub

Lockdown has given us a new-found love for our bicycles. And, thankfully, Westgate has heeded that call and opened a new Cycle Hub that is open from 7am-11pm, and gives members (membership is currently free) a parking lot and extra security and access control. So you can breezily cycle into town first thing, grab some food, browse the shops, meet with friends and breezily cycle back home, all without any additional cost. What’s not to love?

Keep the teens entertained

Escape Hunt

Escape Hunt is not opening its indoor puzzle rooms until May but there are two outdoor games that will keep young minds (8 years old or over) at a state of high alert for an afternoon. Operation Mindfall and Magic Portal both take around two hours and require teams of two to four people to roam around Oxford’s streets (2km on average) to find the clues to crack their particular case. Loads of fun and low on social distancing anxiety.

Find more ideas here

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