20 Feb London Shopping Guide
You don’t need to be a fashionista to know London is one of the top fashion capitals of the world. From its British style, home-grown designers and globally famous biannual London Fashion Week, if you love fashion, you will love London. Find your sweet spot in the city with our London Shopping Guide.
1. High Street Shopping in London
There is no better place to shop in London than Oxford Street. With over 300 shops and department stores covering everything from high street to designer brands, Oxford Street is the most visited shopping street in Europe.
A little travel tip: avoid busy periods such as Saturday afternoons, wear comfortable shoes, take a small handbag and bring some carrier bags with you, as they now cost 5p each.
Westfield has two shopping centres in London, one in Stratford and one in White City, hosting over 250 stores each. With all the high street brands you can ask for under one roof, you will be spoiled for choice at both locations. They are also the perfect destination for shopping on a rainy day.
White City Address: Westfield London, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 7GQ
Store directory for Westfield London
Nearest Tube stations: Shepherd’s Bush and Shepherd’s Bush Market
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Stratford Address: Westfield Stratford City, Olympic Park East London, Montfichet Road, London E20 1EJ
Store directory for Westfield Stratford City
Nearest Tube stations: Stratford
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Canary Wharf doesn’t have one, but five shopping centres around Canada Square! Here you will find over 120 stores in a mix of high street and middle-market brands. As Canary Wharf sits on the docks, a wander around will also make for some beautiful dockland views, including the iconic O2.
2. Trendy & Niche Shopping
Home of the alternative, unusual and edgy, Camden is the shopping destination for those of us who like fashion and accessories with a little bite. Highlights include Camden High Street and Camden Lock Market, but a wander around will most certainly spring surprises.
The destination of choice for those who love independent boutiques, heritage brands and upcoming new designers. With more than 150 retailers and 50 independent eateries, you will surely find something unique here.
Alternative and arty, Covent Garden is home to the unique, artisanal and organic. Highlights include Neil’s Yard, Covent Garden Market, St Martin’s Courtyard and Seven Dials.
Arty and hip Greenwich is home to one of London’s historic markets – Greenwich Market, established in 1737. Host to independent shops and arty boutiques, once here, you can also visit the Greenwich Meridian line and the National Maritime Museum completely free!
Made internationally famous by the Hollywood movie of the same name, vintage and organic Notting Hill is where the yummy mummy tribe goes shopping. With a mixture of independent, vintage and designer stores, highlights include Portobello Road Market, Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove. If you hit Notting Hill in August you can also catch the famous Notting Hill Carnival.
The home of independent shops and new designers, Spitalfields is where trendsetters ahead of the curve go to find the next unique must-have. A visit to Spitalfields Market is a must if you like trendy and unique items.
3. Luxury & Designer Fashion
Channel, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, you name it, London is home to several designer flagships. If only the best will do, here is where you need to be.
Located in between Soho and Mayfair and one of London’s oldest designer streets, Bond Street is lined with exclusive luxury brands from clothing to jewellery and antiques. A lot of its stores are also Royal Warrant Holders, in other words, that’s where the Royals go shopping.
Click here for a full list of shops, galleries, restaurants and bars
Nearest Tube station: Bond Street
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In the heart of Chelsea and leading on to Fulham, King’s Road is home to boutiques of well-known designers as well as a little obscure but equally luxurious brands. This two mile stretch of road is where the young, wealthy and trendy go shopping. To add to the status, King’s Road was once the private road used by King Charles II to travel to Kew.
Click here for a little overview of what King’s Road has to offer
Nearest Tube station: Sloane Square
Stay near King’s Road
Mount Street & Mayfair
Mount Street is set in Mayfair, the address of choice for London’s largest concentrations of luxury restaurants, hotels and retail stores. The street itself is filled with niche luxury designers and some of the world’s most exclusive brands have low-key appointment only stores here.
Click here for a list of Mount Street resident retailers and events
Nearest Tube stations: Green Park and Bond Street
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Jermyn Street & St James’
Jermyn Street is the home of menswear and modern British heritage brands. This is where you will find any English gentlemen of note shopping.
Defined by Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park and Buckingham Palace, the St James’ area is also known for luxury bars, restaurants, crafted goods and antiques. It’s also where you’ll find the famous auction house Christie’s.
If you are a lover of bespoke tailoring, you will be no stranger to Savile Row, the home of London tailors since the 18th century. Any tailor worth knowing will have a store here. There’s even a Savile Row Bespoke Association whose aim is to protect and promote the traditions of bespoke tailoring.
Sloane Street & Knightsbridge
Internationally recognised as one of the world’s most luxurious and exclusive streets, Sloane Street is home to some of the biggest names in fashion. As a bonus, it also connects Knightsbridge, the address for department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols as well as many luxury brands, to King’s Road, the trendy, hip and young version of Sloane Street.
4. Luxury Department Stores & Shopping Centres
Dover Street Market
Trendy and industrial looking, Dover Street Market is essentially five floors of designer heaven in Mayfair, one of the most upmarket areas of London.
Famous for its lavish window displays and 11,500 light bulbs, Harrods is one of the most famous department stores in London. To enhance its luxury credentials, the store was previously owned by Mohammed Al-Fayed, the father of Princess Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed. A memorial to the late couple still stands inside Harrods today.
One of London’s oldest department stores, Liberty looks traditional on the outside, but it’s trendy and hip on the inside. The store not only aims to sell fashion but also to influence it, creating their own collection of accessories and seeking niche upcoming designers, to complement well-established ones.
The Royal Exchange
More like a compact shopping centre than a department store, The Royal Exchange is where you can do a spot of designer shopping right in the middle of London’s financial district. Now you know where all the bankers go for lunch.
The Village at Westfield London
Who said the rich and famous don’t like shopping centres? They do. Especially in London where the weather can be quite unpredictable. They just don’t peruse the same part of the mall. The Village, part of Westfield shopping centre, not only offers the top and most expensive names in fashion in its V.I.P. section, but it even features a personal styling fashion lounge!
From high street to exclusive streets, you now know exactly where to hit the shops like a true fashionista. Go forth and shop until you drop!