Your Guide to Shopping in London
The city is also stacked with brilliant independent shops selling uniquely wonderful wares, from hand-made hats to some of the world’s finest diamond jewellery. And, of course, there are London’s iconic department stores like Selfridges and Harrods. So, if retail therapy is what you’re after, the capital has got you covered.
Oxford Street shopping offers fabulous variety, with everything from tourist kiosks to high-street favourites and internationally-recognised brands. It’s over a mile long and lined with endless shops, with loads of places to eat and drink in-between. You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a great retail experience during your stay.
For some of the finest shopping in London, head to this world-renowned department store. Having been voted the best department store in the world, Selfridges is home to the very latest designer clothing and accessories, plus desirable gifts for lovers of luxury – whatever their age! While you’re there, be sure to check out Selfridges food hall and sample some of the wonderful delicacies on offer. Packed with high-end treats for discerning shoppers, Selfridges was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1908, and the famous store on Oxford Street remains the second-largest shop in Britain.
Harrods is one of the capital’s most famous and expensive stores, offering a huge range of products. Located in Knightsbridge, this much-loved department store is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike. The diverse selection available at Harrods is what elevates this iconic shopping destination, making it one of the best department stores in London. Selling jewellery, clothes, makeup, and gifts – and incredible food produce – Harrods is a one stop-shop for luxury products. There’s so much to see here, so make sure you give yourself a few hours to explore it properly.
Head to Liberty, located in the West End of London, for a wonderful shopping experience. Its iconic, mock Tudor exterior is a sight in itself, but the real treat is when you step inside this fantasy of a department store that’s packed full of luxury wares from around the globe. From beautiful Moroccan amber necklaces and precious stones from Russia to ancient antique furniture, Liberty has an assortment of wonderfully unique trinkets and products to delight any shopper. You can also buy designer jewellery, fabulous fashion items, and a host of unusual gifts here.
Westfield Shopping Centre
Discover the best of the Great British high street at the Westfield Shopping Centre. Westfield Shepherd’s Bush opened in late 2008, and soon became the capital’s biggest covered shopping development. It grew more, and by March 2018 it was Europe’s biggest shopping centre. The retail floor alone measures over 1.6 million square feet, and contains popular outlets like John Lewis, Topshop, Zara, Next and Primark. If you prefer your shopping expeditions expensive and exclusive, head for the high-end retail area called The Village, home to luxury brands like Burberry, De Beers, Georg Jensen, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Mulberry, Myla, Tiffany & Co, and Versace. To find out more about this must-see shopping centre, take a look at our guide to Westfield Shepherd’s Bush.
Toy shopping in London is legendary thanks to Hamleys. Created in 1760 by the Cornish entrepreneur William Hamley, who always dreamed of opening the world’s best toy shop, Hamleys is a must-visit destination when shopping in London – even if you don’t have the little ones with you! Step into this magical store and explore the five floors of the Regent Street store that’s packed full of toys. Hamleys remains the world’s most famous, best-loved toy store and is definitely a massive treat for the kids.
Fortnum & Mason
Another famous department store in London, Fortnum & Mason was established way back in 1707 by the entrepreneurs William Fortnum and Hugh Mason. It’s still one of the capital’s finest upmarket stores, with the main store in Piccadilly. There are two more outlets in London: one at St Pancras railway station and the other at Heathrow Airport. Fortnum & Mason apparently invented the Scotch egg here in 1738, a fun claim to fame, but these days the shop focuses on luxury goods. Fortnum & Mason is best known and loved for its excellent hampers and tea, coffee, and biscuits. Fortnum & Mason have remained the ultimate expert in luxury goods for generations.
Good old Harvey Nicks – the darling of Absolutely Fabulous – is another popular department store in the capital. Harvey Nichols has replaced its furniture department with an extra floor of designer clothes, accessories and shoes, making it a must-visit destination for fashion mavens. There’s also a restaurant on the fifth floor, so you can stop off for a bite to eat while you’re there. Spend an afternoon perusing the luxurious products on offer; there are beauty, food, wine and skincare departments, as well as men’s and women’s fashion. It’s the ultimate one-stop shop.
Located in Notting Hill, Portobello Road, is home to a huge Saturday market. Portobello Road Market is one of London’s best-loved street markets, famous for vintage and second-hand furniture, clothes, accessories and jewellery. Visit in August and there’s also the Portobello Film Festival to enjoy. The main market day for antiques is Saturday, and this is when the entire market is open for business. But some of the clothing, antiques, bric-a-brac and food stalls are also open during the week.
Bond Street & Mayfair
Bond Street is world famous for its elegant shops, exclusive brands, designer fashion, luxury goods, fine jewellery, art and antiques. Set in the middle of lovely Mayfair, it’s the home of luxury brands like Asprey, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Cartier, Dolce Gabbana, Hermès, Jimmy Choo, and Louis Vuitton. You’ll also find Mulberry, Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Co. stores here. Wider Mayfair is an extension of all that luxury; it really is a gorgeous place that’s well worth a wander around just to soak up the beautiful architecture.
During the 1960s, Carnaby Street was one of the most fashionable hangouts in the country. Today, it’s a popular shopping destination, and is one of the capital’s key areas to buy quirky wares. It’s made up of a stretch of shops selling alternative clothing and accessories, though you’ll also find high-street favourites and up-market boutiques here. The entire Carnaby area is home to some of the most interesting shops in London and, with 14 different streets to explore, you’re sure to find something completely unique here!
Covent Garden is a vibrant hub of activity in central London. You can eat and drink here, see the opera, enjoy buskers and street performances or just watch the world go by. Plus, it’s a great place to do some shopping in London. Both the original piazza and the streets surrounding it are full of cool independent shops for you to explore. Be sure to check out the lovely market situated in the middle of Covent Garden; it’s the perfect place to find unique, handmade gifts. Take a look at our expert guide to Covent Garden before you visit, to get the lowdown on this London hotspot.
Camden is a great deal of fun, and one of the most visited areas in the capital – attracting around 100,000 each weekend. The markets themselves are brilliant; made up of a network of tiny alleyways and covered streets, you’ll find a myriad of stalls selling everything from vintage clothing and accessories to records, books, and sweets. The surrounding streets are just as vibrant, with plenty of classic pubs and eateries to quench your thirst after a busy day of shopping. Want to know more about Camden Market? Take a look at our guide.
Coal Drops Yard
Coal Drops Yard is an exciting retail development and part of the innovative King’s Cross Central scheme. It’s designed to boost the area and transform it into a popular London shopping destination. Visit the Yard to browse a large collection of exciting, unusual, and well-respected brands – many of them British. You can eat and drink here and, of course, shop yourself silly. The sheer variety of goods on offer here is what makes it particularly exciting.
With a wide variety of shops to suit every taste, London is the place to be for the ultimate shopping trip. Why not make a weekend of it and book yourself into one of our centrally located hotels in London?