Oxford's Covered Market has always been a special atmospheric place to do your Christmas shopping.

Traders running independent businesses join together with landlords the city council to ensure a fun festive countdown to December 25.

Oxford Mail:

Preparations usually start well in advance, in November.

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In 2018 the council decided that art installations involving rabbits, reflecting the Alice in Wonderland stories, would add to the fun.

Oxford Mail:

In recent years traders have catered for demand in the run-up to Christmas by opening up pop-up shops to supplement what they can sell in their main units.

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During the second lockdown, which is scheduled to end on December 2 non-essential shops have been closed but the Covered Market remains open for business, with fresh food sales, deliveries, takeaways and click-and-collect from non-essential retail all still taking place.

This year, visitors will see special decorations over the Market Street entrances, donated by market florist The Garden of Oxford and a big tree has been set up inside the market and decorations over the Market Street entrance.

Oxford Mail:

Owner Paul Birtles said last week: “Putting up the big tree in the central square is something all of the Covered Market traders look forward to, and has become something of a tradition in recent years.

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“The tree comes from Greenfield Farm at Christmas Common near Watlington and this year’s specimen is as good as we have ever had.

Mary Clarkson, the city council’s cabinet member for city centre, Covered Market and culture said: “If you go there now you’ll feel quite festive.

“All credit to them (the traders) – the market looks gorgeous and The Garden has created some lovely arches.

Oxford Mail:

“They’ve been under huge pressure and it’s not been an easy year but they’ve really pulled out all the stops.”