There are few cities in the world as celebrated for their shopping as London; in fact, it’s one of its main attractions for tourists who visit from all over the world. But, where exactly should you head for some retail therapy during your stay in the hustle-and-bustle of the UK capital?
Boasting more than 300 designer outlets and landmark stores, Oxford Street is the world famous centre of London shopping and home to the legendary department stores Selfridges and John Lewis. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.
With its neo-Georgian appearance, Regent Street maintains an elegant reputation and complements itsmostly mid-priced fashion shopswith some of the capital’s most prestigious retailers, such as Hamleys, Liberty andThe Apple Store. Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus.
Bond Street and Mayfair
Luxury is the order of the day in these two streets; indeed, you may even spot one or two moneyed celebrities going about their shopping in theLouis Vuitton,Burberryand Tiffany & Co.stores.Nearest Tube: Bond Street and Piccadilly Circus.
A cultural and fashion hub during the Swinging ’60s, Carnaby Street and the Soho districtoffer150 brand stores and more than 70 independent restaurants and bars. Famed still for its independent boutiques,the street is also now home to many heritage and designer brands. Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus.
Another iconic street that will be forever identified with London top shopping in the ’60s and ’70s, Chelsea’s main strip offers trendy boutiques and high-street fashion, as well asinterior design stores such as Peter Jones,Heal’s and Cath Kidston.Don’t forget too to check out Vivienne Westwood’s shop, the arguable birthplace of British punk. Nearest Tube: Sloane Square.
This much sought after district, which also boasts many luxury hotels for families, will probably always be synonymous with department stores extraordinaire Harrods and Harvey Nichols, but the quality of shopping it offers is represented by the fact the organic food chain Whole Foods’flagship store can be found here, which proves perennially popular. Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge.
Exclusive – and very expensive – bespoke British tailoring is what Savile Row’s all about.Supposedly the first tailor to cut a tuxedo, Henry Poole & Co. is still going on its original site, while the likes of Gieves & Hawkes and Huntsman & Sons also trade here. As does the far more modernAbercrombie & Fitch, in the shape of its flagship store. Nearest Tube: Bond Street and Piccadilly Circus.
The new kids on the London shopping block, the Westfield malls at White City and Stratford have quickly established themselves as firm favourites in West and East London, respectively. In addition to major high street names, Westfield London (White City) features a cinema, a gym, bars and restaurants, while Westfield Stratford City (Stratford) is one of the largest malls in Europe with 250 shops and 70 eateries. Nearest tube: White Cityand Shepherd’s Bush (Westfield London) and Stratford(Westfield Stratford City).
A much adored tourist trap, this historic square in the heart of Central London offers not just street entertainers, but also an eclectic retailmix – arts and crafts including handmade jewellery and kids-friendly unique sweets (Covent Garden Market) andurban streetwear and funky cosmetics (Neal Street). Nearest Tube: Covent Garden and Leicester Square.