Splendid department stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges are an integral part of London shopping. Yet there is also a vibrant mix of boutique stores, outdoor markets and emerging fashion designers to discover in London.
Representing the height of British luxury retail, Harrods is where prestigious brands, superior service and decadent interiors unite to create the ultimate shopping experience in London. Welcoming over 15 million customers through its doors every year, it’s so fancy that even the royals shop here! There are seven floors of high-class fashion, beautiful accessories, fine homewares and all kinds luxury merchandise to browse. Take a half-time break and sit down to a quality cuppa – and perhaps a meal too – in one of the 28 cafes and restaurants in store.
Oxford Street, West End
Fashion-lovers descend on Oxford Street en-masse, making it one of the busiest shopping streets in all of Europe. A great mix of high street fashion, international brands and bargains, key shops include Topshop, H&M, Zara, Marks & Spencer, Pull & Bear, Forever 21, Gap and Selfridges. Cheaper items, knick-knacks and souvenirs appear once you reach the intersection of Oxford Circus towards Tottenham Court Road.
Covent Garden, West End
A one-stop shop for fashion and beauty, gifts and books, Covent Garden is home to beautiful markets touting handmade creations and boutique stores. Centred around the 19th century market piazza, the area is filled with everything from antiques and jewellery to sweets and crafts. But be sure to explore the shops in The Opera Quarter, St Martin’s Courtyard, Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard, as well as wander the narrow streets surrounding.
Bond Street, West End
An historic part of town that’s long been a playground for the rich and famous, Bond Street has been around since the year 1700 when it launched as a shopping hotspot. Home to a wealth of stylish stores, boutique labels, designer brands and luxury goods, come here prepared to either simply look or else pay the premium price. Both Old Bond Street and New Bond Street are where you’ll find the likes of Burberry, Chanel, Cartier, Mulberry, Bulgari, Dolce Gabbana and more. Sotheby’s, the world-famous auction house, is also located on New Bond Street.
With a vibe that is more small-town high street than central London, Marylebone is a picturesque neighbourhood home to quaint fashion boutiques, antique jewellers and elegant homeware stores. This is also where you’ll find one of London’s most famous butchers, Ginger Pig, the weekly Marylebone Farmers’ Market, traditional French cheese shops, and a slew of fine restaurants.
Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, and Spitalfields
In the heart of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods, the Sunday Spitalfields Market is a hot spot for edgy designers and artists. Nearby Brick Lane, Dray Walk, Redchurch and Cheshire Streets are lined with excellent vintage stores, cool homeware shops and quirky gift stores worth a stroll too. Boxpark in Shoreditch is a shipping container pop-up mall for independent and international fashion and lifestyle brands as well as unique stores and cafes.
Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill
A famous Saturday market in Kensington, Portobello Road Market is overflowing with antiques of every fascinating, quirky and beautiful kind. There’s a flea market and fresh produce section, but the real finds are in the antique section where bric-a-brac stores sell everything from crystal ware and silver pieces to old books and treasured collectibles. Keep an eye out for celebrities – it’s not uncommon to spot a few in this neck of the woods.
An iconic London destination, Camden Market was once the cutting edge place to be in London. Today it is one of London’s most popular attractions selling a little bit of everything, from cheap clothing and bags to jewellery, crafts, candles and music. There is also a sizeable food offering at the Lock Market and Stables Market, offering virtually every type of cuisine from around the world. To avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting during the week.
A hub of 13 streets in the heart of Central London, Carnaby houses over 100 shops and 60 restaurants, bars and cafes. From cult beauty emporiums to one-off concept stores, British heritage labels to bespoke accessories shops, Carnaby is a comprehensive alternative to the busy streets of Covent Garden.