Shopping Districts of London

London is the perfect place to visit if you want to enjoy some retail therapy whether you have money burning a hole in your pocket or you are trying to pick up a bargain or two.  The different shopping areas of the city are pretty easy to navigate with the majority being split by the type of stores you can find although we understand that for a first time visitor it can seem a little daunting.  If you fall into that category then read on for our quick guide to the shopping districts of London:-

Oxford Street
Oxford Street is probably the most well known shopping area in London and is the place to go if you are interested in high street brands.  It’s central location makes it ideal if you want to just pop in and have a quick look around whilst you are out exploring the city or you can make a dedicated shopping trip here and enjoy the 300 shops, flagship stores and designer outlets which can be found.  There are three main department stores on Oxford Street: Selfridges, Debenhams and John Lewis as well as many other recognisable names including Primark, Top Shop and Monsoon.  Oxford Street is served by four tube stations including Marble Arch and Oxford Circus making it very accessible too.  Christmas is one of the best times to visit Oxford Street (if you don’t mind a crowd or two) as the street is heavily decorated and illuminated giving the whole area a really festive atmosphere.

Regent Street
Attached to Oxford Street you will find Regent Street, which is well known for offering slightly more upmarket brands as well as being home to some of the city’s oldest shops such as Hamleys.  Jermyn Street is also nearby and is the place to head for tailored men’s clothing.

If you want to indulge in some designer clothing or you just enjoy the opportunity to window shop you will want to head to Mayfair and Bond Street; you may even be lucky enough to spot a celebrity or two!  Brands such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co all have stores here.  Remember you’ll need to bring a hefty bank balance, or your sensible head to wander these extravagant streets.

If you like your shops to be more eclectic and independent then Spitalfields is the ideal choice.  It’s within easy reach of the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City Hotel and is mainly independent boutiques nestled alongside well known brands such as Barbour.  There is, of course, also Old Spitalfields Market which offers a wide range of items from second hand and vintage clothing to antiques and bric-a-brac too all situated inside a stunning Victorian-era arcade.

If convenience is something you require from your shopping experience then Westfield is definitely an option.  Although it is set further out from central London in Stratford (just half an hour by public transport however if you have taken advantage of one of the special offers for Shoreditch hotels) you will find a nice mix of high street and designer brands as well as a few department stores including Debenhams and House of Fraser.  There is also a cinema, a gym and a number of restaurants and bars if you want the full retail experience.  There are actually two Westfield shopping malls in London; one at White City and one at Stratford but we would definitely recommend the Stratford option if you are staying in Shoreditch.  With 250 shops it is one of the largest shopping malls in Europe.

If you fancy yourself a lover of alternative and vintage clothing then Camden is going to be your ideal shopping spot.  It’s home to some of the city’s most unique stores but is also home to one of London’s biggest markets with over 1,000 stalls selling all kinds of items from clothing to antique furniture, books and everything in between.  Surrounding the market there are a number of independent stores and boutiques not to mention plenty of restaurants and coffee shops for when you need to take an all important break.

Notting Hill
This fabulous area in North London was made famous by the film but it keeps people coming back because of its wonderful and ambient atmosphere, not to mention the small, intimate shops where you can find everything from artisan food to rare antiques.  There is also, of course, the extremely well known Portobello Road Market which draws thousands of visitors each weekend.  The great thing about Notting Hill is that once you have had your fill of the retail experience there is still plenty left to see and do in the area from the interesting Electric Cinema to the art galleries and painfully trendy coffee shops dotted around as well.

For a truly unique shopping experience you can’t go wrong with a trip to Boxpark in Shoreditch.  Boxpark is the world’s first ‘pop-up mall’ which is made entirely of stripped and refitted shipping containers.  Such a unique set-up could only surely attract one type of seller and it is indeed home to numerous independent and small fashion brands, art exhibitions, coffee shops and uber-trendy restaurants.  Shoreditch is in East London and a little further afield but Boxpark is very accessible with two nearby tube stations: Old Street and Liverpool Street.

We have briefly mentioned some of the markets available in London above but it is always worth considering when planning out a shopping trip to London that some of the greatest treasures could be found in one of the many markets which take place daily across the city.  There are the popular options we have mentioned such as Old Spitalfields, Portobello Road and Camden but there are other worthwhile options including Brick Lane, Greenwich, Covent Garden and Southbank Centre.  Most of the markets have a broad range of sellers with everything from fruit and veg to clothing and jewellery on offer so it is also worth seeing what you can find.

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