From the outside, Blackwell's looks quite small, although not as small as when it first opened in 1879 when only three people could fit in the shop! However, don't let its appearance prevent you from entering. Downstairs, the Norrington Room, with its 160,000 books, is the largest room in Europe devoted entirely to book sales. Blackwell's is almost guaranteed to have the book you're looking for, and if by any chance they haven't, they'll order it for you.
The Covered Market is a delightful place to wander around. It offers protection from the elements, but looks nothing like your average shopping center. The avenues here are crammed with small shops and cafes, and the products on offer are all of good quality. The shops sell everything from clothes and fresh pasta to books and boots: you'll find butcher's shops alongside souvenir shops and greengrocers. After all that shopping there are plenty of small cafes where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Find great bargains at one of the first and best American-style outlet shopping centers, just off the A34 northeast of Oxford. With over sixty shops, including top designer names like Versace, Donna Karan, Nicole Farhi and Christian Lacroix, and high street fashion outlets such as Jigsaw, Hobbs, French Connection and Whistles, as well as book shops, toy shops, home furnishings stores and restaurants, you could spend the entire day here. Stagecoach Oxford runs direct bus services from Oxford's Gloucester Green bus station to both Bicester Village and Bicester Town.
Alice's Shop Oxford is an endearing store selling local souvenirs, located in the St Aldate's neighborhood of the city. The shop is believed to be the place where Alice, daughter of Henry Liddell would come to spend time browsing adorable articles. She used to live at the nearby Christ Church, and is known to have inspired the all-time classic, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This store, today, sells cute accessories like brooches, pendants, mirrors, bracelets, charms, earrings, etc and attracts numerous little girls. During Christmas, the shop sells an array of ornaments and Alice in Wonderland-themed figurines.
Cornmarket Street, located in Oxford, is the city's prime shopping street and stretches between Carfax Tower and Magdalen Street. The Clarendon Shopping Centre is located here. There are also a number of retail independent stores found here. Cornmarket Street still is a top shopping destination among locals and tourists alike.
Queen Street, with its restricted accessibility for cars, is a shopping street located in the heart of the city. Adjoining Cornmarket Street, High Street and St Aldate's, the street reflects its historic past in every corner. It used to be known as "the Bailey" due to its close proximity with the Bailey Castle and as "Butcher Row" due to cattle slaughtering and trade of meat on the streets.
Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford is a popular haunt among shoppers. Westgate Shopping Centre was constructed during 1970-1972. Presently, Westgate Shopping Centre is spread across a land area of 69,675 m² (750, 000 sq feet.) It consists of 90 shops, cafes and restaurants and a separate area designed for small retailers operating independently.
Marks and Sparks, as it is affectionately known in the UK, continue to provide the inhabitants of all major towns with quality food and clothes. This branch is an average-sized, three-floor M&S store. On the ground floor you'll find the food section adjacent to ladies' casuals and the customer service desk. Up on the first floor there's ladies' formal wear, men's wear, lingerie and footwear as well as a bureau de change. Children's clothes, toiletries and home wear are situated in the basement where you can also set up a wedding list.
Set at an erstwhile site of archaeological study, Clarendon Shopping Centre is a shopping hub of the Oxford. Located at the heart of the city center, this shopping paradise was constructed on the designs of Gordon Benny and Partners. The shopping center features stores by Zara, Gap, French Connection, The Body Shop and Currys & PC World to name a few. Sip a coffee at Costa Coffee when the shopping spree tires you out. Check the website for more.
Waterstone's is a large bookstore on four floors, second only to Blackwell's. Whilst the latter may cater on a more diverse level for the academics of the city, Waterstone's is definitely a reasonable place to start for more popular titles - which tend to be conveniently located on the ground floor. There is also the added advantage that you can find any book you might need in one building. The general rule seems to be that the further up the building you go, the more specialized the subject, with medical reference books located right at the top.