A micro-structured optical fibre having a cladding comprising a number of elements having a non-circular cross-section. Each element has at least one part extending outside a circle having the same cross-sectional area as the element. These extending parts are directed in the same direction. This cladding structure provides polarisation preserving properties to the optical fibre. Optical fibres using this technology may have claddings with elements placed non-periodically as well as in a two-dimensional periodic lattice - such as cladding providing Photonic Band Gap (PBG) effects.