Oxford has markets, shopping centres – including the newly refurbished Westgate Oxford – and all the high street regulars, making it a central shopping hub for miles around.
With several Oxford shopping centres offering all the essentials but showing signs of age, the sleek redesign of Westgate Oxford has reaffirmed the city’s place as a premier shopping destination in the region.
Clarendon Shopping Centre is in the heart of central Oxford, accessible from Queen Street and Cornmarket Street, and hosts major clothing brands from Gap to Zara, H&M and River Island. Goldsmiths, Swarovski and H. Samuel make up a decent selection of jewellers. And once you’ve shopped and dropped, there’s a Costa on hand where you can recharge.
The larger Westgate Oxford shopping centre is just around the corner from Clarendon, and is worthy of its own special feature.
If you’re in the Cowley area, Templars Square has over 70 shops, including high street favourites such as Boots and Wilko, and bargain stores Poundland, Savers and B&M. Templars houses a variety of clothes shops, supermarkets, cafés and eateries, and even a collection of independent retailers. This shopping hub in Between Towns Road has 700 parking spaces available and is just a five-minute drive from our Oxford hotel.
Oxford has a variety of markets, for a variety of people. The city’s largest market in Gloucester Green has the lot, from fresh veg to mobile phone cases. But there are a range of community and artisanal markets open across the city’s various districts.
Oxford Covered Market, opposite Carfax Tower, houses a permanent set of traders under one roof. Take a moment to walk around and see the unlikely mix of neighbours. Hedges Butchers is the most striking; you can’t miss the wild deer, hunted from nearby Wytham woods, hanging by the entrance. Bonners Fruit and Veg always looks vibrant and fresh. You have a choice of cafés from the cheap and cheerful Browns to the speciality baristas at Colombia Coffee Roasters. A host of clothes stalls offer their wares, not to mention the florists, the cheese shop, a cobbler, a traditional barber and more that call the Covered Market home.
The Gloucester Green Market is an open-air market that fills the square next to the bus station, every Wednesday and Thursday 9am-4pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. Head there for all your groceries, clothing, books and DVDs, and haberdashery needs.
A 20-minute walk north of the city centre, halfway to the leafy Summertown district, lies one of Oxford’s most characterful streets. Lined with colourful buildings facing across a narrow, wobbly lane, North Parade Avenue has a handful of shops, pubs and a street market. North Parade Market brings together local organic and artisan traders every second and fourth Saturday of the month. Night markets are put on as a special event, featuring live music and street food. The festive atmosphere is kept all year round with fairy lights and bunting, and when they’re joined by morris dancers in the summer you’ll really get the Oxford experience.
There are plenty of reasons for visiting Oxford. Whether it's the world-famous university, Westgate shopping sprees, world-class museums, or the waistband-busting food scene, you can take your pick from four wonderful Oxford hotels with parking. Each one is an excellent base for exploring this most-fascinating of cities.
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