London is famed across the world for the quality of shopping experience it offers. As Napoleon is supposed to have claimed, the UK is a nation of shopkeepers – and there are thousands of them spread throughout the capital today. There are huge department stores in the high-traffic areas, as well as smaller boutique stores in tucked-away corners of the city, and market traders who visit with unique items only at certain times of week.
But if you’re just paying the capital a visit, then you might want to form a list of locations, so that you can cross them off during your adventures in retail.
The heart of the city, as far as shopping is concerned, is undoubtedly Oxford Street. Here you’ll find a range of hotels, cinemas, eateries and big-name shops with exclusive deals reserved for in-person customers. Marks and Spencer, Selfridges, Debenhams: the flagship stores are all here and waiting to be explored.
Some of London’s oldest and most prestigious stores are to be found in Regent Street. But there’s also some more cutting-edge stuff to be found, too, in the form of the Apple Store. Toystore Hamleys also provides a great deal to get excited about.
Naturally, London has its fair share of shopping centres. Two of the largest of them are in Westfield: namely White City and Stratford. Between them, they offer more than 250 stores and eighty restaurants. If there’s a high street chain, then you can be fairly sure they’ll maintain a sizeable presence in Westfield. Take a train to Shepherd’s Bush and you’ll disembark just a short walk from a peerless shopping experience.
For those looking for designer clothes and luxury items, it’s difficult to beat Bond Street (unless you head to Mayfair, naturally). Those huge brand names ply their trade here, including Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
Carnaby Street is a hub for lesser-known names looking to ply a slightly more unusual kind of trade. As well as being a shopping experience, it provides a little bit of history by taking visitors on a trip through the area’s heritage. Back in the 60s and 70s, little-known brands like Dr. Martens and Fred Perry were establishing themselves here. There’s a definite trendiness about the area, which major sportswear brands like Adidas and Puma have sound to exploit by establishing their flagships here.