Oxford is a quiet city in England that is a great place to vacation, whether you are traveling for business or pleasure. Thousands of people visit this university town every year, for both its pleasant ambience and popularity in modern fantasy movies. Oxford has ties to both the Harry Potter series and the Alice in Wonderland story, which was first told by Lewis Caroll to a young girl named Alice right here in the city back in 1862. You might even recognize some of the Oxford's buildings which make an appearance in the popular Harry Potter movies. The city is also home to the famed Oxford University which dates back to the 11th century making it the second oldest university in the world.
There are lots of reasons to visit Oxford including museums and must-try eateries, and while you are here you should invest some time in exploring the town. If you are in the mood for some retail therapy then there are lots of great malls and stores selling things that can only be found here in this city, and you won't want to miss your chance to find something interesting. Remember that you can leave your belongings for as long as you need in a suitcase locker in Oxford. When your hands get full of purchases, drop them off at the storage service too!
Popular Shopping Malls and Outlets in Oxford
The Clarendon Shopping Centre is found in central Oxford and is here to give you a truly unique shopping experience. Come see their wide range of stores selling all sorts of things that you can wear, eat or enjoy, like furniture and technology.
There are lots of stores in the Clarendon Centre stocking all sorts of brands known from around the world. Shoppers can browse through stores selling brand names like Swarovski, HMV and TK Maxx, or stop by one of the eateries serving tasty meals. To learn more about what you can see in central Oxford, read our neighborhood guide on where to stay.
Oxford Covered Market
This is one of the top shopping destinations in Oxford and you will find it on Market Street. The unique and quirky boutiques, cafes and independent shops decorating the area around the Covered Market are sure to keep you occupied for the whole afternoon. The market is over 250 years old and has earned quite a reputation over the years, and since it is covered you can stop by to shop in either the rain or shine.
The market is lined with stalls selling everything from food and ingredients to handmade items and artisanal accessories. If you are hungry we recommend stopping by one of the butchers, like Feller's which sells tasty sausages, or Hayman's Fisheries for seafood and then go somewhere like Ben's Cookies for dessert. Small boutiques like Macsamillion shoes, Hat Box or Next-to-Nothing, which has been in this location for 40 years now, are all worth a visit if you have the time.
Oxford's Westgate Centre is a fairly new shopping centre and one of the best places to go buy all kinds of things. The recently renovated mall is now an impressive 800,000 square feet galleria and has over 100 different shops for you to browse.
All of the main retailers have a store here, including John Lewis & Partners which covers three floors. The Westgate Centre is a good spot to find unique gifts, fashion clothing and beauty products. They have a car park on site but it can get busy, so consider using one of the public transportation options to reach the centre instead.
The Kidlington Centre
The Kidlington Centre can be reached from the High Street in Oxford and it is one of the city's main shopping locations. It is not far from North Oxford and you can find almost anything here, so get ready for a shopping spree.
Aside from clothes and item stores, this shopping mall has a tattoo shop, dry cleaner, barber, florist, fabric shop and more. It is located on the pedestrianized High Street that is worth exploring afterward, in case you didn't shop enough in the Kidlington Centre.
Designer Stores in Oxford
Vanilla came to Oxford in the year 2000 and quickly became a favorite among the local population. You will quickly discover what the citizens of Oxford love about this store and once you step inside, it will be hard to leave without buying anything. Most of their stock hails from small designer labels that you won't find anywhere other than Oxford.
Their inventory is full of fun and colorful clothing and accessories as well as home décor and beauty products. Everything that they sell is fantastic. We highly recommend that you check them out while you are in town.
Rainbow and Spoon
Make time to visit Rainbow and Spoon, a fun and quirky shop in the city of Oxford. Nothing here is plain or boring so if you are looking for statement fashion pieces to make you stand out from everyone else, you can stop your search right here at Rainbow and Spoon.
This is a shop suitable for creative and colorful individuals and they sell a mix of clothing items that are perfect for trendsetters. Whether you need a new outfit for parties or just want something for everyday wear, this shop has clothing for you alongside perfectly matched accessories. As a bonus, everything here is surprisingly affordable!
Everything at Indigo is made using fair trade supplies, natural or organic materials and recycled products. This means that you can shop with confidence knowing that you are treating yourself and doing something good for the environment as well.
They have things for men, women, children and toddlers so you can bring the whole family on a shopping trip to Indigo. They also sell gifts and things to decorate your home. Make sure that you visit them when you go out to explore Oxford.
The Oxford Bead Shop
If you are into making art and crafts then you will love visiting the Oxford Bead Shop. The shop, located on Cowley Road, is run by Amy Surman and it is unlike any of the other stores in the city. Come here to find all of the beautiful beads and jewelry crafting supplies that you need to make your own accessories.
Aside from running the shop, she is in charge of the Amy Surman School of Jewellery. If you sign up for a class you can learn how to make your own beaded bracelets and necklaces, as well as skills like silversmithing.
Are you craving something sweet? If your answer is yes then you should head straight to Gatineau in Summertown, Oxford for some tasty treats and desserts. Herve Gatineau is the owner of the shop and he bakes some of the finest pastries and goods in the city.
At Gatineau, you will find artisanal goodies like chocolates, premium cakes, breads and pastries prepared to perfection. The bakery has raving reviews and everything is made fresh and with the best quality ingredients that are sure to have you coming back throughout your whole vacation.
Walters of Oxford
If you have any special men in your life, you should take them out to the Walters of Oxford. This place is a clothing shop and barber store in one, and for the past 150 years, they have also specialized in making graduation gowns and apparel for universities.
Some of the items that you can find here include shirts, shoes, suits and ties, or just casual attire. Whether you need something to wear for a fancy occasion or just every day, the Walters of Oxford should have something for you.
Fair Trade at St Michaels
If you have seen enough of Oxford and want to shop for items from around the world then this is where you should go. Fair Trade at St Michaels has things from all sorts of categories and will take you on a journey around the globe. It is the first and only store of its kind in the whole city of Oxford.
This cooperative shop was established in 2003 and shopping here is a great way to gain knowledge as well as discover items from all over. The store's directors are unpaid and most of their staff are volunteers. Pay them a visit to see what this Oxford shop has to offer.
Popular Shopping Areas in Oxford
The High Street
This street in Oxford, which is sometimes just referred to as The High, is one of the best places to go shopping. This is where most of the high end boutiques and designer stores are located, but vintage and antique shops dot the area as well. Make sure that you bring some extra spending money!
Although the stores here can be expensive they all sell products of the best quality. Even if you don't want to spend any money it is a nice place to go for a walk or to do some window shopping.
One of the city's top shopping streets is Cornmarket and you can come here to shop for all of the best fashion in England. You can transform your wardrobe with new clothes and accessories on Cornmarket Street and they should have something for every budget, but many of them can be pricey since it is where most of the high street stores are located.
This is where you will find stores like WHSmith's or Clark's and the entrance to the Clarendon Centre can also be accessed from Cornmarket Street. This street is convenient in case you wanted to shop for everything in one place.
When you are shopping in Oxford make sure that you stop by Queen Street. Here you can find your usual clothing and jewelry stores as well as electrical goods stores and pharmacies. After shopping for a while you should stop by one of the cute coffee shops for a drink and a bite to eat.
This is where most of the chain stores and even some markets are set up, so there is quite a lot of shopping to be done in this one area. Be prepared to stay for a while since it can take hours to browse through all of the shops on Oxford's Queen Street.
Cowley Road, found in East Oxford, is another good place to check out when you are looking to go on an Oxford shopping spree. The road is lined with independent small businesses and it is also one of the top multi-cultural spots in Oxford.
Visit The Ballroom for clothing suitable for all sorts of events, from silk scarves and vintage clothes to ballgowns and formal wear, or stop by Eau de Vie if you are in the need of some yoga wear and equipment. Indigo is a store with some modern trendy clothes and the Bombay Emporium has fashion items perfect for vintage and old-school styles.
Little Clarendon Street
Little Clarendon Street is named 'little' for a reason. Although it is small it is definitely worth checking out, and you can still spend a couple of hours exploring the different shops in the area. Little Clarendon Street has some great stores selling modern clothing and items that are sure to help you stand out from the crowd.
Aside from things that you can wear, the shops on this street sell nice furniture and food as well. After shopping around for a while you can grab a meal in one of the restaurants or cafes.
Retail Therapy in Oxford
If you find yourself shopping in Oxfordshire, you are in for a treat. Whether you are searching for antiques, shops with trendy items, or contemporary boutiques selling modern clothing you can find them here in this pleasant city.
If you are planning to shop a lot during your trip to Oxford you can book a room in one of the hotels near the City Centre or close to one of the shopping streets so that you can find everything that you need all in one locale. We've got an informative guide to how to get around Oxford, to help you make your way from place to place. And now that you know exactly where to find the best shopping malls and stores in Oxford you can head out to treat yourself to something new from England.