Fancy a shopping city break? When it comes to retail therapy, the UK capital is the big daddy of them all. Yes, all the major brands are here. Yes, there are huge, gleaming malls. And yes, the independent shopping scene is livelier than a hipster after three deconstructed flat whites. But there’s so much more on offer, too. Where else can you shop where the Queen buys her tea bags? Or visit the world’s oldest toy store? Or go to a department store that’s a tourist attraction in its own right? If that’s convinced you, here’s our guide to London’s most happening shopping hotspots. And if you need somewhere to rest your bags (and yourself) at the end of the day, we have plenty of fabulous hotels in London, you’ll be sure to find one that suits your needs.
Shopping in London
For a sure-fire way to come back from your London city break laden down with shopping bags, head to one of the city’s massive shopping centres. With big brands, great facilities and no rain to dodge, what’s not to love?
Easy to get to by car or public transport, Westfield London is the largest shopping centre in Europe. The White City mega mall offers all the usual brands you’d expect, as well as some special surprises. There’s the Village, for starters - a special wing is devoted to over 30 luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada.
Westfield Stratford shopping centre in East London is huge - it’s the fourth largest in the UK. Besides the big brands and eateries there are entertainment options galore, from a 17-screen cinema to a bowling alley and casino. As part of the innovative Stratford City project, don’t miss the fantastic views over the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Staying at our hotel near Westfield Stratford puts you right on its fashionable doorstep, too.
Canary Wharf isn’t just one of London’s most iconic landmarks, you know. It’s also home to a shopping destination that has it all. The underground Canary Wharf shopping mall connects the basements of the big tower blocks and boasts more than 120 stores spread across not one but five malls. Apart from the chains, you’ll find small boutiques and designer labels, spanning beauty, fashion, fitness, homeware and much, much more.
Bluewater Shopping Centre is a must-visit for any self-respecting shopaholic. Located in Kent, it’s the fourth largest shopping centre in the UK with over 300 shops, a wide range of bars, restaurants and cafés plus a cinema and beautiful landscaped parks. Need to rest up after a day of hitting the shops? Our Premier Inn hotel near to Bluewater is less than three miles away.
Lakeside in Essex is one of the UK’s largest shopping destinations. Boasting over 250 shops, it’s also home to over 50 restaurants, a nine-screen cinema, spa and a 26-acre lake. With our Thurrock East Premier Inn within walking distance and our London Rainham hotel just a short drive away, that’s your place to stay covered.
Whether you want to shop without breaking the bank or you’re after a one-of-a-kind gift, don’t leave town without an amble around one of London’s markets. From the hip and happening to the old and traditional, the capital’s stalls are constantly reinventing themselves, so there’ll be something new to discover every time you visit.
If you're going to Borough Market, go hungry, because London’s oldest food market is a gourmet dream - you’ll want to try a bit of everything! A stone’s throw from London Bridge, there are over 100 stalls with local treats and global fare galore. Stunning restaurants surround the main market hub, plus it has an extensive calendar of events that includes cookery clubs and demo sessions. The Premier Inn hotel near Borough Market makes a great base for your foodie city break.
Staying in one of our Camden hotels? Head to Camden Market to find some of the quirkiest shopping in London. Specialising in all things retro, handmade or one-of-a-kind, Camden is the perfect place to spend a few hours, wandering in and out of the stalls. Stalls meander all the way from Camden Town tube station to the Regent’s Canal and with 250,000 people heading here each week, it’s one of London’s most popular tourist attractions.
Although the fruit and veg stalls have long gone, Covent Garden keeps its traditional market feel. On Mondays, you’ll find antiques and collectables, while from Tuesday to Sunday traders sell all things crafty, from handmade jewellery to watercolours. With a mix of vintage and designer boutiques thrown in for good measure, the shops here are world-class but the backdrop is even nicer - pretty cobbled streets, great architecture and street performers to entertain you while you’re bargain hunting.
Cool and colourful, Brick Lane is good for a mooch any day of the week. But come here on a Sunday and you’ll find that the East London street is mobbed by tourists and locals all hunting for bargains. There’s a huge range of stalls selling everything you can think of, from fruit and veg to homewares and bric-a-brac. The Old Truman Brewery has its Sunday Upmarket, full of interesting gifts, homeware, crafts and accessories from some seriously creative people, while the Backyard Market offers clothing, accessories, and vintage pieces.
Iconic Shopping Destinations
From the world’s most famous department store to major shopping streets, these landmarks are all part of London’s history. Like tourist attractions in their own rights, no trip to London is complete without ticking some of these off your retail bucket list.
The largest and oldest toy store in the world, a trip to Hamleys is a must if you’ve got kids. Besides all the toys, you’ll find theatrical staff determined to turn Hamleys into a compact Disneyland in the heart of Regent Street. If tackling all seven floors of toy heaven sounds a bit exhausting, head back to our Premier Inn on Leicester Square for a power nap.
Fancy shopping where the Queen gets her teabags? Or trying one of Fortnum & Mason's famous inventions - the Scotch egg? This slice of Georgian retail heaven is right in the middle of Piccadilly and there’s much more than just foodie treats to snaffle. Venture further up the elegant spiral staircase and you’ll find clothes, jewellery, the quaintly-named ‘Gentleman’s Department’ and even a luxurious (if small) spa.
As luxurious as it is iconic, Harrods offers eight floors full of designer fashion, indulgent food, high-end homewares and gifts. Quintessentially British, up to 100,000 customers walk through its golden revolving doors every day - a number that doubles in the run-up to Christmas. Our London Kensington (Earl’s Court) Premier Inn hotel is nearby with rooms big enough to accommodate as many Harrods shopping bags as you can carry.
The busiest street in the whole of London, Oxford Street is a shopping mecca. Huge department stores and virtually every high street favourite you can think of rub shoulders with flagship stores from Nike, Topshop and Primark. With 300 shops, restaurants, souvenir shops and more, prepare to shop ‘til you drop.
Love your labels? You’re in the right place. Swinging London is the capital of all things cool. From the affordable to the eye-watering, from cult to classic, anyone who’s anyone in the world of fashion is represented here.
A mock Tudor building, staff that treat you like royalty and luxurious labels galore - a trip to Liberty is an experience like no other. Synonymous with style, sophistication and its beautiful timber staircases, this 140-year-old retail legend stocks all things designer, from big brands to the hippest, up-and-coming names. For true one-offs, the Designer Vintage department has everything from retro Chanel bags to one-off wedding dresses and each piece is hand-sourced and professionally restored.
With exclusive cutting-edge fashion plus a huge choice of on-trend shoes, accessories and clothes, shopaholics won’t regret a trip to Harvey Nichols. As the UK’s premier luxury fashion retailer it’s a must-visit for serious fashionistas. Booking into the Premier Inn hotel near Harvey Nichols means you’ll have money left over for a cocktail at the swanky Fifth Floor Bar.
For more designer labels than you can point a Fendi baguette bag at, point your Jimmy Choos in the direction of Selfridges. Once through its revolving doors you’ll find shopping at its most state-of-the-art, full of quirky features designed to make you linger all day. There’s the world’s biggest denim department, a huge wall dedicated to Havaiana flip-flops and even a team of in-house psychics.