It’s no big secret that London is one of the best shopping spots in the country. There are vintage markets, great little boutiques, plus all the High Street names, famous department stores and the new shopping centres that have sprung up in recent years. And, no matter what takes your fancy, we have a hotel near all of these shopping destinations so you can get a great night’s sleep before your big day out.
Here’s our guide to shopping in London…
There are two Westfield shopping centres in London: Shepherd’s Bush (West London) and Stratford (East London) – both are on the Central (red) line . . These huge shopping centres have all the high street names - Topshop, River Island, All Saints, Gap, Boots, H&M - alongside luxury brands like Burberry, Mulberry, Aquascutum and Jo Malone. Restaurants, bars, nail bars, facial bars and more will help break up the day. Check the Westfield website for each Westfield store directory.
Probably the most famous shopping street in the whole of London, perhaps even the world. There are high-street brands aplenty including flagship stores such as Topshop and Nike Town plus a string of department stores: John Lewis, Debenhams, House Of Fraser, and of course, aspirational Selfridges.
Regent Street (just off Oxford Circus) is a bit more upmarket but equally as great. Here, you’ll find Hamleys, the Apple Store, Levi’s Flagship, Burberry, & Other Stories and much more.
Tucked behind Regent Street is Carnaby Street. Keeping the spirit of the ‘swinging ‘60s’ alive, it’s home to quintessentially British brand such as Lambretta, Dr. Marten’s, Fred Perry and the one and only Liberty. Amongst these classics, there’s a host of high street labels, boutiques, bars and eateries.
Depending on which end of Oxford Street you want to get to – or which brands – you can walk straight onto it from Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Bond Street and Marble Arch stations, all of which are on the Central (red) line. But some of the stations are on multiple lines, so check your Tube map. For Regent Street, you want to get off at either Oxford Circus or Piccadilly, and for Bond Street, well…Bond Street Station is a bit of a giveaway. Shop hours are roughly 10am-9pm, but this may vary between retailers. On Sundays, shops may open from 11am, but they can’t start trading until 12pm
For grunge and punk rock, Camden is the place to go. The street that runs between the station (Camden Town on the Northern line) and the markets has loads of independent shops, selling all sort of spikey items, wedged boots and leather goods. There are three main markets: Camden Buck Street Market, Camden Lock Market and Camden Stables Market. All have a different feel and all are within a five-minute walk of each other.
The markets open around 10am but many stalls only trade at the weekend.
For antiques and boho chic, Portobello Market is full of London appeal. Like Camden, the market really gets going on a Saturday and Sunday but some places open during the week. the market starts early, with some stalls ready to go from 8am. It’s not just clothes and antiquities on offer, there’s also fruit and veg, hot food and flower stalls. Just round the corner, you’ll find lots of upmarket and designer boutiques in the well-heeled area of Westbourne Grove. And this location is also popular because it was used during the filming of Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts.
Part of London’s West End, the cobbled streets and square of Covent Garden are full of entertainment and charm. If you come out of the station, cross over the road and walk down the alley by M&S, you’ll find yourself on Neal Street is for an exciting mixture of well-known independent boutiques, vintage shops and high-street and mid-range favourites. Human statues and street entertainers are also a bit of a thing in this part of town.
There are four markets in Covent Garden: the Apple Market (the building in the middle of the Piazza), selling antiques, the East Colonnade Market on the east side of the Market Hall, offering souvenirs, sweets and magic, the Real Food Market with all sorts of tasty foodstuffs, and the Jubilee Market located on the south side of Covent Garden, with a rotating list of stalls throughout the week. They open on different days of the week, and sell different wares so make sure you check the website.
Knightsbridge is a playground for the rich. The world-famous Harrods and Harvey Nichols are just two of the exclusive shopping destinations to be found in this part of town. Giorgio Armani, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Valentino and many more luxury labels are dotted amongst mid-range shops such as Whistles so don’t worry if you’re not a millionaire. Sloane Square and King’s Road - just round the corner - offer a great range of fashion, furniture and beauty shops for most budgets including the wonderful Peter Jones department store.
For Knightsbridge, you want to get off at Knightsbridge Station and, for the King’s Road, Sloane Square Station is the nearest Tube stop.