Best Places to Go Shopping in London
If you are looking to indulge in some retail therapy, then London is the perfect place to visit with plenty of shops catering for all kinds of budgets from those looking to find the ideal bargain to those who want to purchase designer brands. However, if you only have a short time to spend in the city then you don’t want to waste precious shopping time wandering around looking for the right kind of shops and brands. That is where our quick guide to the shopping districts of London can help you out...
1. Westfield Shopping Centre
If the weather is looking a little miserable or you simply enjoy the convenience of having all your shops under one roof, then Westfield is an excellent option. There are two Westfield Shopping Centres in London although the one in Stratford is the biggest. There is a good mix of high street and designer brands as well as a couple of good department stores including Debenhams and House of Fraser. A trip to Westfield is about more than just the shopping however, there is also a 17-screen cinema, a gym, a casino, 70 restaurants and a hotel. It is classed as the largest urban shopping centre in Europe which is a pretty impressive claim. The other Westfield Shopping Centre is known as ‘Westfield London’ and has just over 250 stores alongside a cinema and a food court.
2. Oxford Street
This is probably the most well known shopping street in the city and is the place where many tourists head when they are exploring the city. It is home to more than 300 shops, but is the place to come if you are looking for high street, affordable brands. Larger stores here include the likes of Primark, Topshop, Debenhams, and John Lewis. Oxford Street’s central location also makes it ideal wherever you are staying in the city and this 1.2 mile stretch of shops is served by four tube stations including Oxford Circus and Marble Arch which makes it very accessible too. If you are staying in The Montcalm London Marble Arch Hotel the make the most of your location and get to the shops when they first open in order to beat the crowds. There are also plenty of cafes, coffee shops and restaurants dotted around too for when you need a break from all your shopping. During the festive season, Oxford Street is lavishly decorated with Christmas lights and is a real must see.
3. Regent Street
Often put in the same sentence as Oxford Street due to its proximity, Regent Street may be directly attached to the home of the High Street but it serves an entirely different level of clientele. You will find some more upmarket high street brands situated here but it is also home to some of the city’s oldest shops including Hamleys Toy Shop and Liberty’s.
If boutique hotels in London are more your thing, then you might be looking for a more upmarket shopping district and you can’t go wrong with Mayfair and Bond Street. Here you will find brands such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Harrods and Fortnum & Mason to name but a handful. Whether you have the budget to match the stores which line this luxurious part of the city or you just want to enjoy some window shopping, it is worth a wander through Mayfair and down Bond Street for the experience and enjoyment alone.
5. East London
East London areas such as Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Camden are perfect for lovers of vintage clothing, second-hand bargains or anything which falls onto the more eclectic side of the line. Brick Lane in Shoreditch is a real must for anyone who loves vintage items as there is a whole range of the city’s best vintage shops located here including Beyond Retro and Vintage Heaven. There is also Brick Lane Market which offers a wide selection of items including clothing, furniture, and general bric-a-brac. Spitalfields is also home to plenty of independent stores and a thriving market scene as is Camden; the market here has more than 1,000 stalls and is open all week long making it perfect for those who are in London midweek and want to root out a bargain or two. There are also many great used bookstalls in Camden too for the book lovers out there.
6. Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf is often thought of as the commuters’ domain but it’s a great place to head if you are in the mood to do some shopping as well. Located in London’s Docklands, there are around 120 shops within five shopping centres, and you can find many recognisable brands here including Oasis, Zara, and Jo Malone. Head to Canada Square and you should easily be able to make your way around the shopping centres located here. Just make sure you avoid lunchtime when all those commuters head out to grab something to eat and enjoy an hour or two of freedom.
7. Notting Hill
Another area known for its upmarket shopping is Notting Hill. Here you will find a wonderful array of small, independent shops selling all manner of wares from vintage clothing to rare antiques, quirky souvenirs to artisan food. There is also, of course, the very popular Portobello Road Market; a mile-long stretch featuring numerous stalls selling everything from locally grown fruit and vegetables to clothing and jewellery.
We have already mentioned a couple of London’s markets above but it’s worth sharing a few more as they are often home to some great treasures. It’s always good to bear in mind that alongside the many shopping districts London has, it also has some really bustling and booming markets which would make a fantastic place to do some shopping. Other good options besides the ones we’ve already covered include Greenwich Market, Covent Garden Market, Alfie’s Antiques, and Borough Market.