Alternative Christmas Shopping in London

Tired of the usual shopping spots? Here are 10 alternative ideas for your Christmas shopping trip.

Spirit of Christmas Fair

Find great gift inspiration at Spirit of Christmas, an exclusive commercial festive show at Olympia. Literally a one-stop Christmas shop, here you can buy everything from the turkey to the tinsel, with a million gift opportunities in between. Most goods on sale come from UK-based designers, makers and artisans. 31 Oct-6 Nov

The Barbican Shops

At any time of year, the Barbican's design-savvy retail outlets are worth a visit. From colourful stationery to creative gadgets, art books to photographic posters, this is the place to go for culture lovers.

Chelsea Physic Garden Christmas Fair

Head to London’s oldest botanical gardens, as the Christmas Fair at Chelsea Physic Garden returns with more than 100 stalls selling a terrific variety of luxury items alongside food stalls and children's activities. Don't miss out on the chance to buy the Physic Garden's own plants. 26-27 Nov. 

Art Gallery Memberships

Can't think what to buy for that cultured friend or family member for Christmas? There are lots of London cultural memberships available to buy, including a £97 Royal Academy of Arts membership and a £70 membership to the Tate museums. These allow the lucky recipient to enjoy a year of free entry to exhibitions, fast track entry and special viewing opportunities, plus access to the private members' lounges and bars. 

Camden Passage

Discover London’s many unusual and beautiful boutique-lined shopping streets. One that keeps getting better and better is Camden Passage. Still home to the famous antique market, it is also jam-packed with chocolatiers, and individual food, fashion and lifestyle shops. All small but beautifully formed.


Featuring the great and the good of the contemporary jewellery world, Dazzle is one of the best ways to buy handmade jewellery directly from the artists. Dazzle exhibits nationwide, and one of its most important events is held at Gallery@Oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf. 13 Nov-8 Jan.

Cockpit Open Studios

This November and December, Cockpit Arts Open Studios in Holborn (24-27 Nov) and Deptford (2-4 Dec) throw open their doors, selling unique pieces from 170 of the UK’s most talented makers and designers.


If you are thinking of giving a loved one the gift of food for Christmas, look no further than Partridges. Established in 1972, this luxury food shop is still run by the original family and was awarded the Royal Warrant in 1994. Find rare delicacies from all over the world including Christmas specialities like Italian panettone, spectacular ginger bread houses and Christmas biscuits from Germany. Come on a Saturday, and browse the stalls of the Fine Food Market outside the shop on Duke of York Square.

Spitalfields Arts Market

Grab this exciting opportunity to browse and buy affordable art directly from established and up-and-coming artists at the Spitalfields Arts Market. From 3 November, the market runs from Thursday to Sunday every week until Christmas on Market Street in the heart of Spitalfields.

Museum Shops

London’s museum shops provide the perfect pit stop for Christmas shopping. The choices are vast: head to the Science Museum for superb gifts for children, or to the Imperial War Museum for cool and retro gadgets, and find the perfect gift for your stylish mum at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s stunning book shop.

For more Christmas shopping ideas in London, take a look at our favourite places to shop for Christmas, check out London’s best toyshops, follow our Christmas shopping day out itinerary, or find out more about the January Sales in London.

And discover more festive things to do in the capital with our guide to Christmas in London.