May Morning in Oxford is a traditional celebration of the coming of Spring and brings together Oxford's communities to enjoy dancing, singing and revelry from around the city. May Morning is celebrated on 1 May every year.
The celebrations in 2016 will start at 6am on Sunday 1 May 2016 with the choristers of Magdalen College choir singing Hymnus Eucharisticus from the Great Tower. Hymnus Eucharisticus was composed in the 17th century by a Fellow of Magdalen and has been sung every year from the Great Tower on May Morning.
This will be followed by the bells ringing out over the city for approximately 20 minutes.
May Morning Events and Breakfast
May Morning events and activities will take place across the city including Morris Men dancing in Radcliffe Square, Catte Street and Broad Street.
Many bars and restaurants across the city will be open for breakfasts including eateries in the city centre and East Oxford.
Transport arrangements will be the same as last year with Magdalen Bridge open to pedestrians and closed to traffic from 3am. Although the High Street is then officially closed until 9am, we have always been able to reopen the road much earlier than this in order to minimise the disruption caused to those using this route to travel into the city. We will reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so and for the latest updates please check the Oxfordshire County Council website.
The following road closures will be in place from 3am to 9am on 1 May:
- A420 High Street - From The Plain to West of junction with King Edward Street (Road closure including bicycles)
- Longwall Street - From junction with High St to south of entrance to Magdalen College (Road closure)
- Rose Lane - Entire road (Road closure)
- Merton Street - Junction with High Street (Road closed at junction with High Street - Entry and exit via King Edward St (bollard will be lowered))
- Queen's Lane - Junction with High Street (Road closure)
- Ship Street - Entry from Cornmarket Street (Suspension of 'prohibition of motor vehicles' and removal of 'one-way' restriction from Turl Street end.)
- Market Street - Entry from Cornmarket Street (Suspension of 'prohibition of motor vehicles')
The following road closures will be in place from 4am to 10am on 1 May:
- Broad Street and Catte Street from the Broad Street/Magdalen Street East junction to Catte Street / High Street junction between
Buses will be diverted. Visit the Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach websites for more information.
Westgate multi-storey car park has now closed until 2017 for the redevelopment of the Westgate shopping centre.
An extended temporary car park has opened at Oxpens, opposite the old Westgate car park. We suggest using this car park if you plan on driving to Oxford.
All long term coach and lorry parking has moved to Redbridge Park & Ride.
Oxford May Day 2013 Film including Morris Men and Pagan Band
Film by Roger Stotesbury from Jump Off the Screen.
May Day Fun in Oxford, but Don't Break Your Leg
Watch Maria Langler, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust Operations Manager advising people of the dangers of jumping off Magdalen Bridge.
Page last updated 11 May 2015