LOVE it or hate it, it's nearly Christmas. 

It's dark outside at 4pm and we've already had snow!

And even though some poeple have had the time to put up the Christmas tree, most of us haven't got round to buying presents yet.  

So, here are 10 reasons why we think Oxford is the best place to go Christmas shopping:

  1. The small businesses

Oxford Mail: The Covered Market at ChristmasThe Covered Market at Christmas

Our city celebrates small businesses. Oxford’s historic Covered Market is full of independent traders who sell hundreds of different products (some that you can’t buy in big high street superstores). From tiny Christmas cakes to bespoke jewellery and fancy cheeses to bouquets of dried flowers.

Lots of businesses inside are family owned and have been passed on through generations.

2. The Westgate Centre

Oxford Mail: The Westgate Centre Bonn Square facade before redevelopment. Picture Jon Lewis

The newly refurbished Westgate Centre reopened for the first time in 2017 with 100 new shops and restaurants, a cinema and a rooftop terrace.

Since then, it’s won top design awards for its architecture and the views.

Inside, it is full of huge shops including Primark and John Lewis – which are both over multiple floors and have entire sections dedicated to Christmas!

3. Wide streets

Oxford Mail: Oxford Cornmarket Street

Initially, you might not think it’s that great but when you really think about it, when have you ever felt crammed on Cornmarket or like you needed to barge through Broad Street?

4. Lovely pubs

Oxford Mail:

It goes without saying but Oxford has some of the loveliest pubs in the world. Take a sit down and well-deserved break from Christmas shopping at the Three Goats Head, on St Michael Street, which has banned the use of mobile phones inside.

Another oasis is The Crown, a secret pub tucked behind Greggs and McDonalds on Cornmarket.  

5. Christmas markets

Oxford Mail: Oxford Christmas MarketOxford Christmas Market

In just a few days, on December 9, Broad Street will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland with dozens of wooden huts lined up selling food and festive trinkets.

6. Gloucester Green markets

Oxford Mail:

Gloucester Green, which is just behind George Street, is transformed into a vibrant open-aired market on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

There’s lots to look at and loads of different foodie favourites to tempt your tastebuds too!  

7. Travelling around the city

Oxford Mail:

Oxford city centre is one of the easiest places to get to. There’s the Oxford Tube – a direct bus service from London to the city, the train station is just a 10-minute walk from the bustling crowds, several park and rides and dozens of car parks. There’s also an option to hire a bright orange electric scooter.

8. The Christmas pop-up shop

Oxford Mail:

A brand-new Christmas shop has popped up in an empty unit on Queen Street.

The entire shop is dedicated to Christmas and sells seasonal gift bags, wrapping paper, Christmas trees, crackers, cards and lots of decorations.

See inside the shop here>>> 

9. Balance the chaos with some calm

Oxford Mail:

There’s only so much Christmas shopping you can do, right? Balance chaos with a show at the New Theatre, live music at the O2 or a movie at Oxford’s independent cinema: The Ultimate Picture Palace on Cowley Road.

10. The views

How can you compare this:

Oxford Mail: Simon GannonSimon Gannon