Shops and markets in London

If you want to shop then you’ve come to the right place! You’ll find world-famous shops like Harrods, Hamleys and Selfridges, busy street markets like Covent Garden, Camden and Portobello Road, and popular shopping streets like Oxford Street, Regent Street and Piccadilly.

Top 10 shops and markets If you’re looking to do a bit of gift shopping while you’re in London then here are the ten most popular shops and street markets.Harrods
Fortnum & Mason
Selfridges
Oxford Street
Regent Street
Covent Garden
Carnaby Street
Camden Market
Hamleys
Liberty

Recommendations Craig recommends… Every tourist has to visit Harrods to get a green carrier bag. Covent Garden is a great place to do some people watching and sitting in the cafes and watching the buskers.

Bond Street

Bond Street is full of expensive designers and jewellery stores like Cartier, Tiffany’s, Gucci and Versace – the kind of shops that have burly bouncers behind the door.

Borough Market

A gourmet foodie’s paradise with stalls selling fancy bread, cheeses, fish, sweets, meat and more. It’s also a great place to stop for lunch. But that’s all they sell: food.

Burlington Arcade

Burlington Arcade is one of many posh little shopping arcades around the St. James’s area. But remember to bring your wallet because the little boutiques are very pricey!

Camden Markets

There are several markets in Camden: Camden Market is good for cheap clothes and jewellery, Lock Market and Stables Market are better for arts and antiques.

Carnaby Street

This was the centre of Swinging London in the 1960s. Nowadays it’s full of catwalk clothes and designer fashions. There are some nice pubs and plenty of cafes.

Christmas shopping

London is beautiful at Christmas and there are lots of seasonal markets all over town. Craig has walked around them all and written a review of the best ones.

Covent Garden

The central piazza has some touristy shops selling gifts and knick-knacks. Apple Market sells art and antiques, and Jubilee Market is more like a car boot sale.

Fortnum & Mason

This is where the Royal Family does their grocery shopping – you can’t get any better reference than that! It’s very luxurious and almost looks like a 5-star hotel inside.

Foyles

London’s largest bookstore is four floors of books, books, books! That’s all they sell: books. They have a nice cafe and hold lots of book signing events as well.

Gabriel’s Wharf

Gabriel’s Wharf is a little arts and crafts town on Southbank with wooden-fronted shops selling arty clothes and jewellery. It’s a nice place to stop and eat by the river.

Hamleys

Hamleys bills itself as the finest toy shop in the world. It’s certainly the largest in London, selling baby toys, stuffed toys, board games, electronic games and gadgets.

Harrods

Harrods is the most famous department store in the world. Even if you can’t afford anything it’s worth a visit for the decor – see the Food Hall and Egyptian escalator.

Hatchards

Another of London’s famous book stores. Hatchards is more homely than Foyles, with a creaky old wooden staircase winding its way around three floors of books.

Hays Galleria

This converted wharf on the Thames has some nice pubs and cafes and high street-style shops inside, and a steampunk-style sculpture of an old ship in a fountain.

Leadenhall Market

A beautiful Victorian market that comes straight out of the pages of a Charles Dickens novel. It also doubled up as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.

Liberty

This mock Tudor department store is famous for selling patterned cloths. It’s also good for fashion and jewellery, and delicate glass baubles at Christmas.

Neal’s Yard

When you discover this street you’ll have a big surprise – it looks like a little hippy enclave with sunny coloured shops selling organic foods and holistic treatments.

Old Curiosity Shop

It claims to be the shop from Dickens’ novel (which it isn’t) but its half-timbered walls and creaky Tudor floors still make it the oldest shop in central London.

One New Change

It’s just a normal shopping centre inside with high street shops and restaurants, but it’s the fantastic view of St. Paul’s from the roof that makes it worth a visit.

Oxford Street

Billed as the busiest shopping street in the world – and when you walk down it you can easily believe it. It’s full of chain stores, high street shops and has Selfridges at the end.

Petticoat Lane

Petticoat Lane is actually the name given to a street market between Middlesex Street and Wentworth Street – don’t look for Petticoat Lane because it doesn’t exist!

Piccadilly

A popular shopping street that stretches from Piccadilly Circus to Hyde Park Corner. It’s where you’ll find The Ritz, the Royal Academy and Burlington Arcade.

Portobello Road

Portobello Road is famous for its antiques market every Saturday. During the week its more of a normal market with stalls selling cheap clothes and jewellery.

Regent Street

Regent Street is an impressive looking street with chainstores like H&M, Jaegar, Boss. It’s also home to the flagship Apple Store and the city’s largest toy shop: Hamleys.

Royal Exchange

It might look like a museum or art gallery from the outside, but it’s actually just a shopping arcade with very expensive boutique stores where City bigwigs go to have coffee.

Selfridges

One of London’s big-three department stores (after Harrods and Fortnum & Mason), this is probably the best one for perfume, jewellery and contemporary fashions.

Shepherd Market

Shepherd Market is the name given to a warren of cosy little streets in Mayfair, full with small boutique shops, restaurants and a couple of nice Victorian pubs.

Smithfield Market

The Victorian building at Smithfield covers one of the oldest markets in London, and the largest meat market in the entire country. The original dates back 800 years.

Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields is just an undercover street market. They focus on different things every day from arts, crafts and clothes, to second-hand music and food.

Tottenham Court Road

It’s not exactly the prettiest street in London, but it’s quite good for electronic shops selling mobile phones and computer equipment.

Waterstone’s

Another one of London’s big-three bookstores (after Foyles and Hatchards), the flagship store of Waterstone’s can be found halfway down Piccadilly.
 
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