About us

An independent, family-run games shop based in Oxford, we sell traditional and vintage games including chess, backgammon, mah jong and go, alongside a wide range of board games: family classics, newcomers, award-winners and hard-to-find independent, niche games. We also stock a wide range of puzzles, jigsaws, playing cards, magic and juggling supplies - far more than we can list online, so if you can't find what you're looking for on our website, don't give up just yet - get in touch! You can also take a virtual tour of the shop here

Hoyle's of Oxford shop front

How it all began

We started out sourcing and selling ornamental chess sets in 1975, when they were first introduced to the UK. We came to Oxford in 1997 and have been happily based on the High ever since, where we now sell over 200 different ornamental and Staunton chess sets, and much, much more!  

Shop history

Since the late eighteenth century, our new shop (we moved one door down in July 2013) has been a greengrocer's, old Etonian undergraduate club and a hologram shop. Before that, the site was part of the fortified east gate of Oxford, through which all English monarchs passed from medieval times. 

What's in a name?

The man to thank is a certain Edmond Hoyle, a renowned eighteenth century writer known best for his authoritative writing on the rules and variations of card games, chess and backgammon! His most famous book, Hoyle's Rules of Games, has been in print continuously since 1760 - we still sell it ourselves.