Christmas fair
The Christmas Fair will take place on the weekend of 3-4 December

Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy

Oxford University’s Botanic Garden to hold first Christmas Fair

Matt Pickles

Oxford University’s Botanic Garden will hold its first ever Christmas Fair this weekend.

The Oxford Botanic Garden will install a heated marquee with a special Christmassy atmosphere inside. There will be music from the ‘Horns of Plenty’ and a brass band on Saturday and bongo drummers on both Saturday and Sunday.

On the menu will be mulled wine, cider, beer, coffee and hot chocolate; homemade mince pies and other seasonal sweets; and a wide range of stalls selling high-quality gifts.

Visitors can also stroll around parts of Britain’s oldest Botanic Garden during the Fair. Highlights of the Garden include magnificent trees and medicinal plants, and a sculpture of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland sitting in an ancient Mulberry tree.

‘The idea behind the Christmas Fair is to encourage people to visit who have never been to the Garden before,’ says Professor Simon Hiscock, Director of the Oxford Botanic Garden.

‘Many people do not even know we have a botanic garden here in the centre of Oxford.

‘So by holding events like this, and offering local businesses the chance to hire the Garden for evening events, we hope to bring ourselves closer to the community.’

The Christmas Fair will run from 10am to 8pm on Saturday 3 December, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday 4 December. Admission is £5 for adults, £3.50 for concessions, and free for accompanied children under 16.

The Garden will celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2021, and in the build-up to the anniversary it is highlighting one plant of scientific or cultural significance a week for 400 weeks.

More information on the Plants 400 project can be found here.