Exploring The High Street In Oxford
Oxford has a great independent scene, and we love supporting and promoting businesses across the city and the surrounding county.
One of our favourite things to do is wander the streets of our city, whether that be on an Instagram Walk, taking an Alice In Wonderland adventure, or simply visiting some of the awesome businesses in our community with our Indie Oxford map.
One of the best streets to visit in Oxford is the High Street. Rich in quintessentially Oxford buildings and awesome indies, it’s a great place to take a stroll down if you’re visiting the city, or reacquaint yourself with if you’re a local.
So, if you’re ready, let’s explore! >>
Payne & Son
Payne & Son is an eighth generation family business, established in 1790 at the top of the High Street in Oxford. Payne & Son specialises in 20th century and contemporary silver, as well as modern and traditional jewellery in gold, platinum and silver.
They have an extensive ring collection featuring rare coloured stones and bespoke wedding rings, and are a major stockist of Georg Jensen.
The Covered Market
Just off the High Street the Oxford Covered Market has been at the heart of the city since the 1770s. There is a great selection of indies inside including Oxford Aromatics, Next To Nothing and Fresh.
The Covered Market is open from 8 am – 5.30 pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am – 4 pm on Sundays.
If you’re in need of a restorative exercise session, Yoga Quota has a studio at 108 High Street.
The benefits of yoga are amazing, but often the people who would benefit most can’t access it. So in 2014 Yoga Quota’s founder, Anne, started a movement to combat this problem. Since then Yoga Quota has worked to make yoga accessible to vulnerable groups. They are a registered charity (no. 1161833) and work with a brilliant community of Charity Partners to deliver yoga to their service uses. Their free charity classes are taught through their network of Badgeholders, an amazing group of yoga teachers located throughout the UK.
Jericho Coffee Traders
Conceived in 2012, Jericho Coffee Traders has evolved from the back of a Vespa tricycle into a roastery and a speciality espresso bar in the heart of Oxford. Run by New Zealander James and his Devonian wife Lizzie.
The Espresso Bar on the High Street in Oxford is a great place to grab a quick coffee and a delicious cinnamon bun from East Oxford indie Silvie, or slice of cake from Barefoot in Jericho.
Sanders of Oxford
Sanders of Oxford, situated in the 17th century Salutation Inn next to Jericho Coffee Traders, is one of the largest print sellers in Britain. One of the few antiquarian print and map galleries left outside London, Sanders’ selection is extensive and varied, dating from the early 16th century to contemporary works, and encompassing a vast range of subjects, engravers, and prices. Established in 1927, Sanders of Oxford continues a tradition begun in 1834 of selling antiquarian prints, maps, and books from its historic premises. Its holdings range from early maps and rare views of Oxford, to fine prints and mezzotints, natural history and botanical illustrations, and a collection of exquisite Japanese woodblocks.
Church Of St Mary the Virgin
St Mary’s is a beautiful church at the centre of it’s university parish. It was designed by Nicholas Stone and faces onto the High Street almost opposite Sanders of Oxford. It has a beautiful spire, and the 13th century tower has great views across the city on a clear day if you’re up for a climb!
From Catte Street, you will be able to glimpse the Radcliffe Camera, a University building designed by James Gibbs and built in 1737–49 which houses the Radcliffe Science Library. It’s just behind the Church of St Mary the Virgin, and between Brasenose College and beautiful All Souls College. Definitely worth a detour from the High Street to take it in!
Quod Restaurant & Bar at the Old Bank Hotel
Half way down the High Street, looking out onto St Mary’s Church and the iconic Radcliffe Camera, you’ll find Quod Restaurant with its unrivalled location forms the lively hub of the Old Bank Hotel. Regulars and visitors alike return to Quod for its broad menu of European classics with an emphasis on British produce, some of which is sourced from Jeremy Mogford’s own Rofford Farm.
A great spot for students to take visiting parents, and the courtyard to the back of the restaurant is lovely for afternoon tea, or a celebratory drink in the summer!
Meander on down passed Logic Lane, you’ll find Babylon Trading opposite Queens College.
Babylon Trading are an independent retailer specialising in eclectic and exceptional home interiors and giftware, with over 24 years of experience in buying and sourcing home and gift products from around the world and the UK. Their main focus is on increasing their UK made ranges and environmentally friendly products.
The Babylon store in Oxford offers a unique blend of lifestyle products for the home, all carefully selected to create an individual style. There’s a choice in ranges of recycled and quirky furniture, stylish mirrors and lighting, beautiful silver jewellery, wonderful gift ideas, luxurious home textiles. All of the above mix elements of contemporary, rustic, and vintage styles are combined to create their own unique, eclectic offer, designed to inspire their customers.
Oxford Botanic Garden
At the end of the High Street before Magdalen Bridge, you’ll find the Oxford Botanic Garden with beautiful herbaceous borders, awe inspiring glasshouses and wonderful spaces to relax in. the Oxford Botanic Garden is the UK’s oldest botanic garden.
Have fun exploring!