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The Covered Market

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by Oxford Explorer (subscribe)
I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published February 10th 2013
There's Something For Everyone Here
Covered Market, Oxford, independent
The Covered Market

Oxford has had a thriving market since at least the 12th Century and likely as far back the 9th Century. Clustered around the Carfax at the very centre of the city, tailors, goldsmiths, tanners, butchers and more would ply their goods.

Oxford has always been posh and over two hundred years ago the Oxford Covered Market was built to house the bustling trade and "rid the streets of untidy, messy and unsavoury stalls".

covered Market, Oxford
One of several entrances to the market

Today, the Covered Market is as lively and full of character as I'm sure it was over two centuries ago. Accessed from the High Street, Market Street or through Golden Cross in the Cornmarket, it's right in the very centre of Oxford and only a few minutes walk from the train and bus stations.

I had a lovely outing here last time I visited with my baby. He loved all the colourful displays, interesting smells and the buzz created from happy shoppers and browers.

Chocology was the first shop to catch my attention. Rows of beautifully crafted Belgian chocolates called my name and is a must for chocoholics.

Chocology, Belgian Chocolate, Covered Market, Oxford
Chocology will be sure to tempt you

cupcake, cake decoration, wedding cake, cake shop, Covered Market, Oxford
Watch cake artists at work

I also spent longer than I had realised staring through the windows of The Cake Shop. Specialising in custom designed cakes, you can watch the creative skills there and then as artists ice and sculpt their creations.

Bolitas, Brazilian, snack, cheeseballs, Covered Market, Oxford
Terribly cheesy

A little stall front in bright red attracted my attention, as did the wonderful smell filtering out. I couldn't resist purchasing some Bolitas. If, like me, you've never heard of these, they are Brazilian cheeseballs. Made with cassava flour and cheddar cheese they are the size of dough balls and gluten free. You can buy them individually but I decided to go for 6 at the special price of 2. I chose some of the traditional cheddar variants plus the feta cheese and a sweet guava. The cheddar was yummy, the feta a tasty surprise in the centre and I was pleasantly surprised by the guava, a sweet jammy treat.

The Covered Market also boasts a couple of great vegetable stalls, piled high with glistening fruit and fresh attractive vegetables. The three butchers shops combine many years of experience and a wider range than you might find in your local. This is the place to visit if you're looking for pheasant or rabbit.

It's not only food and sweet treats on offer at The Covered Market. You can find a whole host of gift shops, fashion, bags, a wonderful array of fresh cut flowers and much, much more.

Covered Market, Oxford
The Covered Market is bursting with shops for everyone

Gift, present, children, covered market, oxford
It's not just luxury food on offer

If that's tired you out, then stop in one of the cafes for a coffee and cake. I challenge you to visit Oxford's Covered Market and not find something to buy, tantilise your tastebuds or inspire you.
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Why? Bursting with lively & unique independent shops
When: 9am to 5:30pm and 10am to 4pm on Sundays
Where: Market Street, Oxford, OX1 3DZ
Cost: Free to wander around
Your Comment
I shopped here practically every day for 3 years. Great stores, amazing food. Some of the best sandwich shops in the world :)
by Jon Jones (score: 4|20788) 3560 days ago
Brilliant photos. Lovely post. :)
So were you at Oxford Jon? Are you from England?
by Sally Writes (score: 2|539) 3560 days ago
You sure wouldn't go away hungry :-)
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11309) 3504 days ago
interesting article and lovely photos :)
by Joy (score: 3|1945) 3504 days ago
I love markets. I find browsing the stalls more fun than browsing shop shelves. What you find is always more interesting and sometimes surprising.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 3560 days ago
Enjoyed the article thanks, lovely photos too. I'll visit this place next time I'm in Oxford, I've somehow missed it in the past!
by Trev M (score: 1|11) 3537 days ago
I've read so much about Oxford covered market over the years, and was reminded of it again yesterday when watching Lewis. I'm still kicking myself for not having visited more of the city when my son was studying at Univ.
by Sandra Lawson (score: 3|1280) 3499 days ago
Very interesting!
by Shubhit (score: 2|155) 3516 days ago
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