Unique Shopping Experiences in London

London is full of unique and specialist shops, quirky boutiques and trendy markets.  Whether you are interested in vintage clothing, antique furniture, rare records or you simply want to bring home an unusual souvenir you will be certain to find something suitable in London.  So if you want to enjoy some retail therapy with a twist then here are some great places to explore next time you visit the city:-

Alice Through The Looking Glass
This quirky boutique is located in Cecil Court at the heart of London’s West End district.  It opened in 2002 and specialises in all things relating to the world of Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures down the rabbit hole.  From first edition books to illustrated chess boards, fashion hats to one of a kind objects, there is plenty to take in here.  Whether you are a hardcore fan of Lewis Carroll’s world of Alice or you simply want to visit one of the more unusual shops in the city, you won’t be disappointed with a trip here.  Be sure to stop and say hello to Harley, the real life British Giant White Rabbit on your way in too; he can be spotted in store.

More of a shopping experience than one specific store, Boxpark is located in Shoreditch and is the country’s first pop-up shopping mall.  However, what makes Boxpark even more interesting is that all the shops are housed in stripped and refurbished shipping containers.  This diverse East London project has naturally attracted a lot of independent shops and brands and is the ideal place to head if you want to try something more unusual from your day at the shops.  It’s also just a short distance from the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City Hotel so if you’ve got your room booked you’ve only got a little way to go to drop off your many bags!  There are also restaurants, cafes and galleries making use of this space but if you are interested in visiting then make sure you head to London soon; Boxpark will only be open for another four years before it then moves onto somewhere else in the world.

Arthur Beale
If you’ve ever thought about getting into sailing, or you simply want to explore the nautical world then you can’t go wrong with a visit to Arthur Beale.  Located on Shaftesbury Avenue near to Covent Garden, there is little about this shop which has changed since it first opened in the 1800s and this all lends to the quaint and charming ambience contained inside.  Officially known as a yacht chandler, you can discover everything from ship bells to lifejackets alongside books about sailing and shipping supplies to

If futuristic clubbing outfits are your thing then Cyberdog really will tick all the boxes.  Enter this neon-lit store which is located in Camden’s Stables Market and feast your eyes on the many different outfits housed within.  Here you will find LED-covered clothing, fluorescent dancing gear and rave accessories such as glowsticks as well as plenty more.  If you are staying in one of the hotels near Shoreditch Station and want to get kitted out for a night in the diverse Shoreditch area then Cyberdog is the place to go; and there’ll be no missing it as the shop is also well known for the music it plays which can regularly be heard from out on the street.

The Duke of Uke
When it comes to specialist shops in London, there really is no beating the Duke of Uke.  A whole shop dedicated to the ukulele with over 100 models of the instrument and accessories housed within as well as a regular programme of group lessons, socials and special events for fans of the ukulele.  There is even a rehearsal room and recording studio to be found in the basement so if you want to get together with some other ukulele loving friends and have a jamming session then it is also possible to do that.  There is a real sense of community in this store and it’s a real must visit if you’ve ever picked up this stringed instrument or perhaps even just thought about it once or twice.  Or perhaps even if you just have a love of the world of music as it also sells banjos and harmonicas.

Tatty Devine
Perhaps one of the better known of the unique stores in London, Tatty Devine was one of the first independent brands to open a shop on London’s Brick Lane but it certainly wasn’t the last.  If you fancy spending a good hour or two exploring London’s unusual offerings then Brick Lane is an excellent place to start.  There is a market here with a vast array of stalls and products on offer and the whole street is lined with independent boutiques, shops and some of the best Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants in the city.  But back to Tatty Devine; this British jewellery company made its name designing original laser-cut pieces including necklaces and brooches and has proven so popular that they have even been able to open a second store in Seven Dials.

The Markets
We have mentioned a couple of London’s markets above, including Brick Lane and Camden Market but there are literally hundreds of markets in all areas of the city which would make great options if you wanted to explore a variety of items from a wide range of sellers.  Some of the more popular markets include those we have already mentioned plus Portobello Road, Alfies’ Antiques, Old Spitalfields and Greenwich Market.  Each of these markets brings its own slightly different atmosphere and ambience and whilst most of them are open on the weekends it is wroth checking the exact opening times and days before you turn up.  The larger markets do tend to get incredibly busy so it’s also worth trying to arrive at opening time if you want to be treated to the full display of wares for sale.

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