The centre of Oxford is quite small and most of the shops are located in and around a large block made up of Queens St, Cornmarket and George Street.  Here you will find the main shopping centre and the usual retail chains that you can find in any English town.  On the corner of Cornmarket St & Broad St (where many of the tours start) this includes one of the country's oldest department stores Boswell & Co established in 1738. They don't do fashion but they do everything else including a tourist gift section for souveniers. They are good for emergency holiday supplies & have a pharmacy.

Otherwise for more interesting shopping you should visit the covered market, where you will find many suppliers of provisions to the University.  The butchers, fishmonger, florists, bakers and grocers are a delight and their displays are absolutely mouth-watering.   Among the food shops you will find a variety of other interesting retail units and lots of coffee shops and sandwich bars, where you can take a break from a busy shopping expedition.  If you are after traditional clothing, you should look around Turl Street and also the area of the High Street closer to Carfax.  Further down the High, almost near Magdalen Bridge, you will come across some other interesting shops, including Neal’s Yard remedies (famous for their herbal products).

When in Oxford you should make a point of visiting the world famous Blackwell’s bookshop, where you can browse thousands of books at leisure; don’t miss the Norrington rooms downstairs.

Finally, if you have a sweet tooth, you should take yourself for a walk down St Giles.  Immediately after Little Clarendon Street (some interesting shops and art galleries at the bottom end) you will come across Le Maison Blanc, a wonderful patisserie full of gorgeous cakes, pastries and other delicious foods.

It isn’t worth trying to do a tour of all these shops using public transport, so make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and have someone with you to carry the shopping bags...!