Classed as one of the best shopping experiences in the world, London offers a wide selection to suit everyones tastes; from the Harrods the huge department store to the quirky Carnaby Street that still holds the feel of the Swingin’ Sixties. The West End not only holds the world famous theatres but also some of the most famous shopping streets in the world; this guide will help to highlight these must-see places for any avid shopper.
Packed full of shops and West End hotels, Oxford Street has become synonymous with the word shopping and with 300 shops gracing the street, it is little wonder why. Throughout the year it has 200 million people visit its shops which include House of Fraser, New Look, John Lewis, two Primarks, Topshop (which is a huge celebrity hangout) and the Disney Store, just to name a minute selection. The most famous shop along the strip is Selfridges which is as famous as the street itself; home to men, women and children’s clothing, a large beauty hall, home department, a sumptuous food hall and a decadent champagne bar, you truly cannot want for anything in this legendary Edwardian department store. In the Christmas season, Selfridges windows are iconic and are an attraction in themselves, and Oxford Street is gloriously lit up while shoppers swarm the shops for their Christmas gifts.
Seconds away from Oxford Street lies this gem – Regent Street. Leading down to Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street is home to upmarket stores such as Burberry, Godiva, Michael Kors and Longchamp, as well as Hamleys, one of the world’s most amazing toy stores. Hamleys is every child’s dream, five floors packed full of toys, gadgets and sweets as well as areas where toys are available to play with. The staff are always on hand as they are constantly doing shows for the children on how to do a magic trick, do a glittery tattoo or how to blow up a balloon that never pops. At Christmas time, Hamleys comes to life with its Santa’s Grotto, Elves and magical window displays and decorations. Children have the time of their lives and it always brings out the inner child in adults too.
Liberty of London is one of the city’s most famous stores and its beautiful Tudor designed building can be found on Regent Street. This Victorian department store is aesthetically stunning inside and out and shoppers from all over the world visit Liberty to take in its splendor and to spend their money on their vast selection of items that span over six floors. Liberty prides themselves on their high-end products which range from fabric, beauty, clothing, handbags, home ware, accessories and luggage; just make sure that you have booked into one of the West End hotels to ensure a short walking distance with all of your shopping bags.
Bond Street, a place where the rich and famous can frequently be found due to its prestigious reputation for high-end boutiques. The home of designer stores, jewellers, art galleries and the world renowned Sotheby’s, it never fails to impress those who grace its street. Some retailers that reside here include Chanel, Tiffany & Co, Bulgari, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry, Cartier and Asprey.
Asprey is a British jewel and one that earned the reputation of a luxurious and refined establishment. It has become known throughout the world for its leather, silver, crystal and china wares, as well as its jewellery, rare books, watches and clocks as well as its incredible bespoke services for some of the world’s richest clients. Asprey puts a guarantee on each of its products, that it has been made with the very best material by the most expert hand, to ensure that their client is getting the very best.
Just off Bond Street lies Harrods, another famous store that has been a firm favourite with shoppers for over 100 years. Its many rooms containing an assortment of delights, such as beauty, toys, accessories, technology, pet shop, barbers, chemist, bank, fashion, toys…the list is endless. The food halls are to die for as they cater for everyone from all over the world; there is a huge sweet hall for the children and a chocolatier hall for those with a sweet tooth, a fruit and vegetable area as well as a butchers and fish mongers. Harrods also houses an impressive selection of restaurants for you to relax in; you can choose from its more contemporary range, such as Sandwich by Tom Dixon or YooMoo, to its more classic restaurants such as The Georgian Restaurant and Caviar House Oyster Bar. When you do choose to visit Harrods, you will be awestruck, so don’t forget to pick up a map on your way in otherwise you will get lost.
St Christopher’s Place
All of these shopping streets are relatively close to each other and within walking distance, which is wonderful news if you are carrying bags of shopping. St Christopher’s Place can be found just down Oxford Street; if you spy a purple clock, it will guide you to the entrance to St Christopher’s Place where you will find an array of quaint shops and boutiques, including Kurt Geiger and Jigsaw, as well as Mulberry’s oldest shop and Whistles main store. Its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and cafes gives the vibe of a contemporary Carnaby Street, and is fast becoming a firm favourite with avid shoppers.