The city of dreaming spires may be known first and foremost for its University and museums, but it also has a lot to offer when it comes to unique shopping experiences. There’s a thriving market scene in Oxford, which really celebrates independent businesses, so whether you’re after the best locally-grown veg or a one-off vintage jacket, you’ll find it right here.
At the heart of the city you’ll find Oxford’s historic Covered Market. Home to over 40 permanent stalls and shops, selling everything from fresh fruit and veg to jewellery, the market is the place to discover small, independent businesses. The Covered Market is also famous for its many cafes and food shops, so head here on an empty stomach so you can really make the most of what’s on offer. The market is open from 8am to 5:50pm Monday to Saturday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays, but keep in mind each business has its own opening hours.
For the very best locally-produced food, don’t miss the Wolvercote Farmers’ Market. Set up in 2002, it’s the long-running farmers’ market in the city and grows in popularity and size each year. Bring plenty of shopping bags to stock up on organic fruit and veg, locally-reared meat, artisan bread and cheese, cakes, chutneys and more. There’s even a café where you can grab some breakfast, or a cup of tea and a slice of cake. The market is open every Sunday from 10am to 1pm.
Farmers' Market, Market, British, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Street Food
Gloucester Green is Oxford’s biggest and best outdoor market – in fact, it’s the largest market of its kind outside of London. On Wednesdays from 9am to 4pm, there is a vibrant open-air market selling general produce including (among many other bits and bobs) fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers and plants, household goods, cheeses and pet food. On Thursdays from 9am to 4pm, Gloucester Green is home to a bustling antique, vintage and arts and craft market and on Saturdays from 10am to 5pm, there is a bit of everything, including some incredible street food vans and stalls.
Celebrating local food as a way of combating climate change, the South Oxford Farmers’ and Community Market has a strong focus on selling ethically-produced local, seasonal and organic food, as well as non-food goods. The majority of produce is from within a 30-mile radius of the city, including artisan bread, prize-winning jams, marmalades, chutneys and delicious goat’s cheese. There’s a great community feel here and you’ll be made to feel very welcome. The market runs every Sunday from 9:30am to 12pm.
The annual Oxford Christmas Market is about as festive as it gets. Every December, for 10 days Broad Street is filled with Christmas market traders, carol singers and the smell of mulled wine. It’s a great spot for Christmas present shopping and a magical place to really get you in the mood for the time of the year.