London is full of specialist boutiques, quirky markets and funky shops. From Tatty Devine to The Beatles Store, The Moomin Shop to Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, you'll find unusual gifts, souvenirs and a dose of history in London's specialist shops. Whatever you're after in London, you can guarantee someone, somewhere will stock it!
Alice Through The Looking Glass
Down the rabbit hole in Cecil Court near Charing Cross station, Alice Through The Looking Glass is a treasure-trove of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland-themed items. From illustrated chess boards, to Victorian top hats and early editions of the Alice books, this curious shop is well worth a visit.
Arthur Beale is a surprising London shop: an old-fashioned yacht chandler located on Shaftesbury Avenue. You can buy nautical goods and shipping supplies at this unique shop that has changed little since it opened in the 1800s. Inside, you'll find everything from reels of rope and ship's bells to nautical books and lifejackets.
The Beatles Store
A fan of the Fab Four? Be sure to visit The Beatles Store on Baker Street. A shrine to all things Beatles related, it stocks T-shirts, posters, mugs and records as well as original 60s memorabilia. For more Beatles treasures, there's also BeatlesYeahYeahYeah – a market stall in Portobello Road on Fridays and Saturdays.
Blade Rubber Stamps
Just opposite the British Museum you'll find Blade Rubber Stamps, a shop devoted to rubber stamps. From functional stamps such as "Fragile" and "Sold" to beautiful arts and crafts stamps and fun stamps for kids, there's a huge range to choose from. They also offer craft classes where you can learn to make greetings cards and artworks.
Cornelissen & Son
Renowned throughout the world as a supplier of top art materials, Cornelissen & Son has been an art lover's paradise since 1855. Inside, very little has changed since then; it's worth a visit just to see the unique interior. Browse through the huge selection of paints including oils, watercolours, and pastels as well as drawing materials.
For clubbing gear that's out of this world, head to Cyberdog in Camden's Stables Market. Techno and rave-lovers can kit themselves out in fluorescent, futuristic, LED-covered clothes and accessories. You'll hear the shop before you see it thanks to its pumping sound system!
Duke of Uke
Yes, this really is a whole shop dedicated to the humble ukulele, although it sells banjos, harmonicas and accessories too. The Duke of Uke has a rehearsal room and recording studio in the basement, and it's worth popping in just to catch one of the spontaneous concerts or impromptu ukulele solos regularly given by customers.
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies in Shoreditch has been supplying the monsters of East London (and the rest of the world) with everything they need, from tinned fear, to cubes of ear wax, to neck bolt tighteners since 1818! The products are available to humans too, who are welcome to browse and buy the strange stock.
James Smith & Sons
Equip yourself for London's unpredictable weather at James Smith & Sons. This family-owned shop opened in 1867 and has been hand-crafting umbrellas and walking sticks ever since. Housed in a Grade II-listed building, the shop is a work of art in itself and well worth a visit come rain or shine.
London Lomography Gallery
If you're a fan of analogue photography, make sure you visit the London Lomography Gallery Store in Carnaby. Here you can try and buy Lomo cameras, accessories, film and have your photos developed. The shop also offers photography courses.
The Moomin Shop
The Moomin family now have their very own shop in Covent Garden. Inside, you can buy books, toys and merchandise, all displayed in little blue Moomin "houses". Serious fans of Moomintroll, his family and friends are spoilt for choice, too, with rare memorabilia and limited-edition items for sale, including prints of the original illustrations.
Persepolis is a Persian delicatessen and shop in Peckham stocking a wide range of foodstuffs and handicrafts. Inside you can browse an array of Iranian specialities, including pastries and sweets, spices and tea, yoghurts and cheeses. They also sell homewares from china and rugs to hookahs and books.
The Tatty Devine store was one of the first ever fashion boutiques on London's Brick Lane, opening in 2001. A totally independent British company designing and micro-manufacturing original jewellery, look out for their cool name necklaces; fox brooches; or accessorise with a moustache necklace! There's also a store in Seven Dials.