London is a shopaholics paradise and the best part is there’s something for every budget. Whether you’re after high-end fashion designers, vintage stores crammed with bargains, or independent boutiques you won’t see anywhere else, you’ll find it in the capital. But the sprawling metropolis can be hard to navigate, especially if you’re just visiting for the weekend, so use our guide to help you find the best areas in the city to suit your taste.
Carnaby Street was the beating heart of London during the Swinging Sixties with iconic figures like Mary Quant and the Rolling Stones often spotted hanging about. It is still one of London’s best shopping areas with over 150 boutiques lining its pedestrianised road. While they may not be the independent boutiques that they used to be, you’ll still find some treasures here and various branches of shops you won’t see anywhere else in London. If all the shopping makes you hungry, head to Kingly court where there’s a huge selection of restaurants and bars to pick from. At the top of the street you’ll find Liberty. London’s most beautiful department store is built in the classic Tudor style and the store is famous for its prints and fabrics. Spend some time browsing the 5 floors and getting lost in the weird and wonderful antique department.
Covent Garden is often described as a village and even though it’s swarming with tourists and slap bag in zone 1, it does still retain a village feel. A shopping trip here is perfect for people who don’t like to walk too far because everything is relatively close and there’s a huge variety. From outdoor adventure shops to chains like Zara and H&M, you’ll find it all within a 1 mile radius. Head to the famous Neal’s Yard to find tucked away treasures and colourful store fronts and stroll down Long Acre to visit one of the biggest map and travel book collections in the world at Stanford’s. The actual market houses lots of gorgeous shops including The Shop at Bluebird which is full of lust-worthy pieces.
The one street on everyone’s radar when it comes to shopping in London is Oxford Street. Running from Tottenham Court Road in the east to Marble Arch in the west, it’s the best place to head if you’re after mainstream labels. The 5 storey Topshop store is the stuff of legends for teenage girls the world over and pretty much every high street chain has their flagship here. Head to Selfridges where you’ll find the world’s most extensive designer shoe floor and then pop into John Lewis and stock up on kitchenware from the British favourite.
Source: Drapers Online
Visiting the world-renowned Bond Street is a rite of passage for fashion lovers thanks to its wealth of elegant stores that mere mortals can seldom afford to shop in. From Chanel to Prada and Louis Vuitton to Burberry, if it’s eye-waveringly expensive, you can bet you’ll find it on Bond Street. It’s been a favourite shopping destination among aristocracy since way back in the 18th Century so take a walk around and pretend you’re part of high society London over 300 years ago.
Source: Drapers Online
Marylebone High Street
North of Oxford Street you’ll find the fashionable area of Marylebone. This upmarket district has been a favourite with well-heeled Londoners for centuries and it’s now one of London’s most pleasant shopping streets. Home to the famous Daunt Books as well as the Conran Shop, it’s a paradise for those with a taste for all things elegant. The charity shops here also deserve a special mention. Thanks to the generous (and stylish) residents you’ll often uncover designer steals in Oxfam and Barnardo’s. Shopping with a clear conscience is the best kind.
Source: London Magazine
The infamous Camden Market in North London has long been a destination for floaters and misfits. Still the stomping ground of many of London’s most alternative sub cultures, the shopping reflects this. Explore the Stables Market where you’ll find vintage shops selling tutus and Victorian-era frocks or head to the Camden lock and dig out some punk badges, modish clothes and rock n roll records. A word of warning: Camden has become a casualty of its own popularity so you will find lots of tourist tat here too.
Old Spitalfields Market in East London has been around since 1682 when it was just a simple fruit and veg market. Over the years it has taken many forms to become what it is today – a treasure trove of fashion, homeware, accessories and art. The covered market area hosts stalls selling all sorts of homemade pieces and the shops around the edge reflect the affluence of the area with shops like COS and Anthropologie taking prime positions. A short walk from Shoreditch, Spitalfields is undoubtedly our favourite place in London to find one of a kind gifts and trinkets.
Brick Lane is one of London’s most colourful streets, lined with Indian restaurants vying for your business. And in among the curries and naan you’ll find some of the capitals best vintage shops. Beyond Retro is a huge warehouse store which since launching on Brick Lane has expanded to include various outposts around London. Here you’ll find pieces from every era for relatively low prices. For more high end finds, have a rummage through Hunky Dory Vintage or Absolute Vintage and you might uncover something really special.
This long, curved street in Notting Hill has been on the London shopping map for decades. Since the 1960’s, Portobello has been the place to go to find second hand clothes, furniture and antiques. The market’s busiest days are Friday and Saturday when over 1000 stalls set up shop, but there is also a smaller market here during the week.
Take the tube to Sloane Square and start your King's Road adventure here. It’s located right at the start of the shopping street and ahead lies 4km of shops, restaurants and galleries. The Saatchi Gallery and gift shop are worth ducking in to before you start, for the huge selection of photography and art books. As you walk the stretch of the street you’ll discover high end boutiques and quirky homeware stores, as well as some of London’s best-loved shops like Rigby & Peller and Osborne & Little.
Source: The Resident
Home to arguably the world’s most famous shop, Knightsbridge is also a great shopping destination in its own right. You’ll find everything from high street favourites to designer boutiques. But of course, a visit here wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Harrods. The luxurious department store is a perfect place for shopping addicts to spend the day, selling everything you could ever want. From bespoke fragrances to actual puppies, whatever your heart desires, you’ll find it in Harrods. Head to the food court and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and even more beautiful food.