Explore the capital's best shops that vary from brilliant bookshops to fabulous furniture stores – this is your guide on where to go shopping in London.
Best London bookshops
- An original Edwardian bookshop, Daunt Books has long oak galleries and arranges its books by country rather than alphabetically.
- A bibliophile’s paradise, Foyles’ flagship on Charing Cross Road has more than 200,000 books spread over six floors, with a stylish cafe at the top.
- Find travel books and maps at Stanfords' flagship Covent Garden store.
- Waterstone’s Piccadilly is one of Europe’s largest bookstore, with regular book signings and fabulous views from its 5th View Bar.
- Pick up children's books from inclusion-led shop Round Table Books in Brixton.
- Search for rare and exquisite books at Shapero Rare Books in Mayfair.
- Scour through the wide range of books, playtexts and gifts and at the National Theatre bookshop.
- Beautiful department store Liberty is famous for its classic Liberty print dressmaking and furnishing fabrics.
- Pop along to Hackney’s Broadway Market to shop for all your haberdashery needs at Fabrications.
- Browse hundreds of African textiles at African Queen Fabrics in Brixton Market, choosing between wax prints, fine cotton, laces and colourful West African fabrics.
- As well as running sewing classes for all abilities, Ray Stitch is chock-full of designer and organic fabrics for dressmaking, quilting, soft furnishings and craft.
- Rainbow Fabrics is an ethically focused haberdashery that specialises in deadstock fabrics and remnants, including dressmaking supplies, colourful ribbons, tassels, trims and feathers.
- For trainers galore, head to Size? in Carnaby. No matter what style you're looking for, find your fresh footwear and some cool clothing to match.
- Get cool kicks with the famous three stripes in the UK’s flagship Adidas store on Oxford Street. You can also pick up sports performance clothing in the huge store.
- Discover the world’s largest shoe department at Selfridges, where 35,000 sq ft (3,252 sq m) is dedicated to footwear with more than 5,000 pairs of shoes from high-street and designer brands.
Musical instrument shops
- Hanks’s Guitar Shop, also known as Denmark Street Guitars, is a one-stop shop for all your jamming needs. Music fans will adore the displays of vintage, rare and new models.
- Open since 1948, Howarth of London is an independent woodwind music shop, globally known for being makers of the finest oboes and English horns.
- The impressive three-storey showroom at Yamaha Music London displays a wonderful range of Yamaha instruments, from drums to pianos.
- Go bonkers for brass at Phil Parker in east London, a treasure-trove of trumpets, trombones and tubas.
- Folk and acoustic musical instrument specialists, Hobgoblin Music, sell everything from accordions to bagpipes, and xylophones to zithers.
Music shops in London
- Find specialist CDs, DVDs, books, blu-ray, headphones and more at Fopp in Seven Dials.
- Find the latest music, DVDs, blu-ray, technology and games releases at HMV in Westfield London.
- Famously featured on Oasis’ album cover (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory, Sister Ray has an eye-popping collection of records at its Berwick Street store.
- Rough Trade East offers a mix of vinyl releases, CDs, books and even cassette tapes. The store also homes a Monmouth Coffee bar and a stage for live music performances.
- Based in Notting Hill, old-school record shop Honest Jon’s has been selling soul, reggae, jazz and world music since 1974.
- Whether you’re seeking elegant vintage attire or ‘90s nostalgia, scour through the bargains at East End Vintage Clothing, which regularly holds £1 sales.
- Beyond Retro’s London stores are stuffed full of handpicked vintage clothing, which makes it easier to find that perfect item.
- West London’s Rellik specialises in designer women’s clothes and accessories, including items by Vivienne Westwood and Pierre Cardin.
- House of Vintage is a small vintage boutique off Brick Lane that specialises in 1940s, 1950s and 1960s fashion, as well as catering to brides.
- Celebrities flock to One Of A Kind for its luxury vintage fashion selection, including Gaultier and Lagerfeld.
- Browse the stalls and shops filled with vintage treasures in and around Camden Market.
Best London toyshops
- Be wowed by two floors of bricks and fun in-store activities at the LEGO Store in Leicester Square.
- London’s most famous toyshop, Hamleys in Regent Street, has seven floors of games, toys and gadgets.
- Established in 1856, the theatre-themed Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop is bursting with paper toy theatres, globe puppets and marionettes.
- The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾ features a magical range of collectibles, including wands and time turners, as well as board games and mugs.
- Feel the magic when you step inside the Disney Store on Oxford Street, which is great for kids and adults alike.
Homeware and furniture shops
- Find everything for the home, including furniture and gardening accessories, in Heal’s, an elegant shop on Tottenham Court Road.
- For on-trend interiors, head to West Elm’s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road filled with fun lighting, furniture and garden accessories.
- Pick up Japanese-designed furniture alongside other items, ranging from tableware to technology, at Japan House London.
- With stylish stock sourced from all over the world, Graham & Green in Primrose Hill feels like a museum with Kilim rugs, eclectic storage solutions and fancy mirrors.
- Got cash to splash? The Conran Shop offers everything from iconic design classics to contemporary pieces from emerging designers.
Wedding dress shops
- Get the star treatment at The Mews Bridal in Notting Hill, where you’ll find boho Parisian style and vintage tailoring.
- For fairytale fashion, head to the London branch of the Spanish brand Pronovias. There are three floors of luxury bridalwear to explore before you say “yes to the dress”.
- Angelica Bridal in Islington stocks wedding gowns by some of the world’s best designers. Head to the sister branch on Liverpool Road to explore its plus-size range.
- Find your dress at Phase Eight, St Christopher's Place's fabulous flagship, which is home to its first ever wedding boutique with a dedicated styling lounge.
- Shop for spectacular wedding dresses at David’s Bridal in Westfield Stratford City.
- Selling digital cameras, digital SLRs and lenses, Park Cameras is one of London’s largest independent professional photography shops.
- Snap up cameras, equipment and accessories at Camera World.
- London Camera Exchange has an impressive array of new and second-hand cameras, lenses and photographic equipment.
- Love Nikon cameras? Grays of Westminster is a Nikon-only shop selling new and used cameras and equipment.
- For budding and professional photographers, Wex Photo Video London boasts an enormous range of photographic equipment, from cameras and lenses to studio lighting and video.
- Be wowed by intricately beaded and embroidered dresses at Temperley London, featuring creations by star designer Alice Temperley.
- For this season’s must-have dresses, visit Zara’s huge Oxford Circus flagship store.
- Discover the array of shops at St Christopher's Place just off Oxford Street, including high street favourites and independent designers.
- Browse designer dresses at TK Maxx’s Covent Garden store. For discounted high-end gowns and eveningwear, check out the Gold Label collection.
- Shop for party dresses at Lipsy London, which has a branch in Westfield London.
- Splash out on a voluminous dress at the Vivienne Westwood flagship store in Mayfair.
Men's clothing shops
- Paul Smith is the godfather of British menswear. Head to his Covent Garden flagship for a wide range of casual and formal pieces.
- A dedicated store for bikers, Lewis Leathers is Britain’s oldest store for motorcycle clothing stocking leather jackets, gloves and footwear.
- Pick up colourful and classy ready-to-wear tailoring at Ozwald Boateng.
- Check out stylish takes on classic designs from London-born designer Charlie Casely-Hayford.
- Find the latest high-street fashion trends at the Next flagship on Oxford Circus.
- Iconic British brand Marks & Spencer is the go-to shop for classic items, such as smart suits and cashmere jumpers.
- For edgy, Shoreditch-style clobber, visit pop-up mall Boxpark.
Best shops for emerging designers
- Cutting-edge fashion from global and emerging brands sit side-by-side at cult store 18Montrose in Coal Drops Yard.
- Find cutting-edge threads from the next big things in fashion at Dover Street Market.
- Championing emerging stars from diverse backgrounds from as far back as the 1970s, Browns is the place to get ahead of the curve.
- 50m in Belgravia's Eccleston Yards features up to 30 up-and-coming designers at any one time on its 50-metre-long rails.
- Discover eclectic designers at Marylebone's concept story Koibird.
- Tucked away in Soho's Brewer Street, Machine-A showcases the latest styles from contemporary designers.
- Do your bit for charity by purchasing a designer fashion item at Mary’s Living and Giving Shops for Save the Children.
- Label lovers should hotfoot it to Cancer Research UK’s branch on Marylebone High Street for bargains aplenty.
- Rummage for high-end clothing at the Oxfam Boutique King’s Road, donated by wealthy Chelsea residents.
- Find two floors of second-hand fashion at The Salvation Army Trading Company, just off Oxford Street.
- Explore high-end accessories, homewares, fashion and beauty over six floors of Liberty London's mock-Tudor building.
- Selfridges is one of the world’s finest department stores, spread across six floors with more than 16 places to eat. It even features one of the world’s biggest denim departments and a three-screen cinema.
- Boasting the finest products in food, fashion, homeware and technology, Harrods is home to a whopping 330 departments and a vast range of restaurants.
- A favoured grocer with the Royal Family, Fortnum & Mason is renowned for being a purveyor of fine foods, hampers, teas and wine.
- Fashionistas flock to Harvey Nichols for its high-end labels, including D&G, Burberry and Jimmy Choo.
- Selling everything from buttons to beds, John Lewis’ Oxford Street store has a fabulous roof garden that opens during the summer months with pop-up restaurants and weekly yoga sessions.
- Step under the famous roof of The O2 and find more than 60 big-name brands with huge discounts at the Icon Outlet.
Best bike shops
- Brixton Cycles encompasses a bicycle shop and a workshop that'll set you up for life on two wheels.
- Choose from a wide variety of bikes at London Recumbents. The shop hires and sells bicycles for everyone, including accessible bikes for riders with special needs and family cycling.
- Cyclists are well catered for at Bermondsey-based Machine, which has a shop, cafe and an on-site bike doctor.
- Cycling enthusiasts can appreciate the vintage wheels and accessories for sale at Brick Lane Bikes – a community-focussed store and workshop.
- Buy your folding bike at Brompton Junction in Covent Garden, where you’ll find classic Bromptons, electric models and special editions.
London tattoo shops
- The Family Business in Exmouth Market is world renowned for its ink work.
- Get inked at Good Times tattoo parlour, based in a fashionable studio in hip Shoreditch and run by celebrity tattoo artist Nikole Lowe.
- Creativity is at the heart of north London’s Through My Third Eye, offering bespoke personalised body art.
- World-famous tattoo artists often make a guest appearance at Frith Street Tattoo.
- Luxury cake shop chain Konditor is famous for its chocolate vanilla Curly Wurly cake, brownie bar and creamy cupcakes.
- Dessert lovers should head to Borough Market, where you’ll be spoilt for choice by the tempting array of freshly baked treats, from cakes to cookies and pies.
- American-style bakery The Hummingbird Bakery offers whoopie pies, layer cakes, brownies, muffins and more.
- Treat yourself to beautifully decorated cakes and cupcakes baked from scratch at Bless Bakes in south London.
- Head to Cutter & Squidge for its speciality Biskie, that combines a biscuit, cake and cookie to create a taste sensation. The Soho cake shop also sells dream cakes, ice-cream sundaes and vegetarian marshmallows.
- An art store for more than 115 years, Cass Art is the UK’s leading arts material supplier and can be found behind the National Gallery.
- The London Graphic Centre has been a staple for creatives since 1973 – its Covent Garden store continues to have one of the largest ranges of art supplies in the capital.
- Popular with hobbyists and professionals, Atlantis Art Materials offers a huge range of art materials for printmaking, modelling, fine craft and more.
- In London’s trendy East End, AP Fitzpatrick Fine Art Materials supplies top quality art materials to everyone from students to Turner Prize winners.
- The Southbank Art Company offers a bespoke framing service, as well as paints, brushes, paper, canvases and more.
More shopping ideas
- Hop on a train at Marylebone and take a trip to Bicester Village to explore more than 160 boutiques. Discover discounted brands alongside emerging designers, stop off lunch at one of the many eateries and make a day of it.
London's shopping scene covers all sorts of specialist tastes, from where to find the best vintage fashion to the best bookshops.