As you might expect, most places adapt the meaning of "open late" to the number of customers coming in at the time. Establishments specifying a closing time of 11 or 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays may close half an hour earlier on less habitually busy days. Al-Shami on Walton Crescent open until midnight, and the Hi-Lo Jamaican Eating House on the Cowley Road does entirely what it feels like. In fact, heading east is the best option for late-night snackers; you'll be able to get a meal at an Indian restaurant on the Cowley Road up to at least 11pm; the Rice Box (Chinese) is open until midnight daily and G&D's (also open late on Little Clarendon Street/St Aldates) serve pizza bagels, ice cream and more until midnight nightly. Other Cowley Road fast-food joints open until 2am - and Kebab Kid at no. 146 opens until 4am (the latest we know of east of the Plain). Clubbers and other creatures of the night will be able to find sustenance until as late as 2am in central Oxford at most of the city's venerable kebab-vending vehicles, but Kebab King on Gloucester Green goes a step further and stays open until 5.
We do not suggest any particular course of action, merely provide the information. But if you can't wait until breakfast, Wheatley service station (just off the Oxford-Aylesbury road and the M40, two miles east of Wheatley (map) - approach by the A40 from Headington) opens 24 hours.
Here are some other options for situations of desperate nighttime need:
...listed with those nearest the centre first:
44-56 Oxford Road, Oxford OX4 2DT
Tel 01865 715506
Mini-market with the usual range of convenience foods, tobacco, Lotto tickets etc. Cash machine.
44-48 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2LG
Tel 01865 718692
BP Wolvercote Roundabout
Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 8LA
Tel 01865 557164
Helpfully located on the edge of the Oxford ringroad, with all the usual amenities.
Shell Pear Tree
A34 Peartree Hill Roundabout, Oxford OX2 8JZ
Tel 01865 511639
Next to the North Oxford Park & Ride
Tesco Extra, Abingdon
Marcham Road, Abingdon OX14 1TU
Tel 0345 677 8994
Enormous supermarket, open 24 hours Mon-Fri, until midnight on Sat and 4pm on Sun.
Our full list of Oxford takeaways is the best resource, but for starters:
The Oxford Kebab Van Experience: find the full list here. The vans & shops nearest Oxford's night clubs (West-central and East Oxford) tend to be open latest. The latest opening we know of is Gloucester Green's Kebab King, which doesn't close until 4am on weekdays and 5am on Fri & Sat.
A few other pharmacies open outside normal working hours. Click here for the NHS page on which you can search for details.
The Co-op is probably Oxford's most widespread smaller supermarket, having branches in Botley, Rose Hill, Marston and Cowley as well as the more central locations listed below. Some branches open until midnight; most open until 10pm. You can see them all on the following map (times correct as of Sept 2016):
Royal Mail won't tell us much about this, effectively suggesting that we go round and look at all the post boxes. So, to an extent, we did. The following is a list of last weekday collection times in various key locations. Saturday collections from most of these will be 12 noon, and there are no Sunday or Bank Holiday collections at all in Oxford.
Some marvellous and even more diligent individuals also got together to create a website which aims to locate all Royal Mail postboxes on OpenStreetMap, along with last posting times. Have a look, and contribute using your own local knowledge, here.
Royal Mail House, Hollybush Row/Oxpens Road: 7.15pm
Train station, off Botley Road: 5.30pm
Central post office, St Aldate's, town centre: 7pm
Box at junction of King Edward Street & High Street: 6.30pm
Box on corner of Queen's Lane, High Street junction: 6.45pm
Box at corner of Clarendon building, junction of Catte & Broad Streets: 5.30pm
Box at corner of St Giles & Little Clarendon Street: 6.45pm
Walton Street post office, Jericho: 6.45pm
Box at the junction of Banbury & Apsley Roads, north Oxford: 5pm
Box on Bridge Street, Osney Island: 7pm Mon to Fri
Cowley Road post office, east Oxford: 6.15pm - but you can drop off and pay for items for delivery first thing the next morning until 12am weekdays!
Box at Oxford Off-licence and Groceries (formerly St Clements post office), 48 St Clements: 5.30pm
Box at Donnington Post Office, 239 Iffley Road: 5.30pm
Post Office Opening Times:
Click here for a frighteningly comprehensive guide to the addresses and opening times of Post Offices in Oxfordshire.
Locksmiths, emergency glaziers, etc.
The following glaziers are available for 24 hr call-out 365 days a year:
McLean's, 9 & 10 Chiltern Business Centre, Garsington Rd, Cowley OX4 6NG. Map
Tel: 01865 715165
24 hour board-up service, some glasswork also available 24/7 depending on weather and stock and circumstances generally.
Likewise locksmiths are positively falling over themselves to offer you out-of-hours services. Many of those listed in Yellow Pages are large nameless companies with a local subsection. A few independent local firms are:
A L Matthews: 01865 553119 / 07980 205235
BMA Varsity: 01865 714000 / 0800 092 9990
Please note that when locked out of your house at midnight you may not have easy access to the internet, so we advise making some sort of small wallet- or purse-based note at this stage.
Need more info? Find nationwide opening times on www.opening-times.co.uk
Something on this page wrong / need updating? Please let us know!