One of the premier tourist districts in the world, the West End’s also famed for – in addition to all its theatres, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs and casinos – its shopping. With department stores, fashion outlets, sports shops, food sellers and independent boutiques, the area’s over-spilling with hundreds and hundreds of shopping experiences just waiting for visitors to discover them…
The world-famous enormously long stretch through the heart of the West End that’s utterly dedicated to the world of retail, Oxford Street is most well regarded for its clothes shops. The likes of Top Shop, Debenhams, H&M, House of Fraser and, of course, John Lewis all have their longstanding flagship stores located along this busy thoroughfare. Whether you’re after leading fashion, shoes, bags or jewellery or other accessories, then the outlets to be found on Oxford Street are bound to serve you extremely well.
Regent Street, Bond Street and Piccadilly
Retailers who like their stores to have something of a more sophisticated air are to be found not far from Oxford Street and in some of the streets off it that stretch south towards Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. Visitors keen to experience West End shopping must check out Regent Street, Bond Street and Piccadilly. They also make for excellent days out for those staying in boutique hotels in West End London.
Regent Street is famed for featuring Hamleys, the toy emporium to top all others, and the ultra-modern-chic shop for the digital generation that’s the Apple Store. Alternatively, Bond Street is home to some truly prestigious retailers including Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Co., while in Piccadilly you’ll find not just the Ritz hotel and the Royal Academy of Arts but also legendary fine food- and hamper-supplying department store Fortnum & Mason, as well as Whole Foods Market, the Waterstones flagship store, Lillywhite’s sportswear outlet and, of course, the exquisite Burlington Arcade.
Finally no shopping trip to the West End would be complete without sampling the (pseudo-)retro delights of Carnaby Street.It may no longer be the Summer of Love, but the air of the Swinging ’60s is still apparent here, brimming as it is with quirky,cool independent boutiques,such as rock-informed fashion label The Kooples and hipster swear-bys American Apparel, Diesel and Miss Sixty.
Needless to say, novisit to Carnaby Street would be complete without stepping inside the much-loved department store that stands beside its entrance, the enormously elegant store Liberty. Not only is it instantly recognisable thanks to its building’s Tudor revival architecture, it’s also home to a cracking collection of designer brands includingVivienne Westwoodand Alexander McQueen.
Quite frankly, whatever you fancy – mainstream, independent, highly sophisticated and more – you’ll find it in the West End’s shopping district.