If you are going on a shopping trip to Oxford why not support independent traders by visiting the city's historic Covered Market?

It's all too easy to head straight to the Westgate Centre, spend big in the chain stores and get back on the bus.

Instead, venture into Cornmarket and once you have seen all there is to see, including the new Chopstix noodle bar and HMV, enter the city council-owned market through Golden Cross off Cornmarket, or via one of the entrances on Cornmarket or High Street.

The market is packed with independent cafes, shops and restaurants, selling a mix of fresh produce, gifts, crafts, books, clothes and beer.

There are many good reasons to spend time at the Covered Market - here are five of our favourites.

Sasi's Thai

This is one of the market's most popular restaurants and it recently celebrated its eighth birthday.

Oxford Mail:

Read again: Sasi's Thai celebrates landmark birthday

Gulp Fiction

The market has not had a proper bookstore for many years and Oliver Mason appears to have hit on a winning combination with his shop selling books and beer.

Oxford Mail:

Read more: Books and beer for sale at Gulp Fiction

iScream gelateria

As well as fresh fish, fruit and veg, you can also enjoy gelato, made by Graham MacDonald using organic ingredients.

Oxford Mail:

Read more: Award-winning gelateria continues to innovate

He also runs Wicked Chocolate.

Oxford Cheese Company

Jericho Cheese Company recently moved in on Oxford Cheese Company's turf with a new outlet in Ship Street.

Oxford Mail:

Baron Robert Pouget's unit has been at the market for many years and is usually very busy.

Y.O.U underwear

Sarah Jordan was one of a number of new businesses who took advantage of a scheme to encourage pop-up shops but her brightly coloured underwear is proving popular with customers and she is set to stay for longer.

Oxford Mail:

Read more: Organic underwear shop wants to stay

These are just a few of the highlights of the Covered Market and you will no doubt be able to find your own favourites.

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