London has several distinct shopping areas and shopping streets, many of which have their own themes or specialities. Shopping in London is exciting and varied: from luxury goods in Mayfair to quirky finds in Covent Garden, to large shopping centres such as Westfield and famous London department stores including the likes of Harrods. You can easily spend an hour, an afternoon or a whole day browsing shops in London.
Here's our guide to the best shops in London for your ultimate London shopping experience.
The heart of London shopping, bustling Oxford Street has more than 300 shops, designer outlets and landmark stores: here you can find some of the best shopping in London. Home to the legendary Selfridges, it also boasts a range of famous department stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams scattered among every well-known high street chain imaginable. Grab some bargain fashion at Primark’s massive flagship store, and check the latest trends at Topshop in Oxford Circus. Get off the beaten track by slipping into a side street, such as St Christopher's Place and Berwick Street, where you'll find some real treats.
Regent Street and Jermyn Street
An impressively elegant shopping street, Regent Street offers a good range of mid-priced fashion stores alongside some of the city's oldest and most famous shops, including Hamleys, Liberty andThe Apple Store. Nearby, historic Jermyn Street is renowned for men's clothing shops and is so typically British it's enough to bring out the old-fashioned gent in anyone! Jermyn Street is particularly well known for its bespoke shirt makers such as Benson & Clegg and shoe shops including John Lobb.
Bond Street and Mayfair
Whether you want to splash out on the very best in designer clothes or just love luxury window shopping, Bond Street and Mayfair are the ideal places to go for some extravagant retail therapy. Popular with celebrities on a spree, this is probably London's most exclusive shopping area, home to big names, including Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. Neighbouring South Molton Street boasts iconic fashion store Browns.
Westfield has two major shopping centres in London at White City and Stratford. Westfield London is home to high street favourites including Debenhams, Next, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser, along with luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, All Saints and Ted Baker. There's also a cinema, gym, several bars and restaurants, all under one roof! If you're a fan of shopping centres, don't miss Westfield Stratford City in East London, which boasts 250 shops plus 70 places to dine, making it one of the largest shopping malls in Europe
The birthplace of the fashion and cultural revolution during the Swinging 60s, the 13 streets that make up Carnaby are located between Oxford Street and Regent Street, and feature more than 100 brands and 60 restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs. Step under the iconic arch to find an intriguing mix of independent boutiques, heritage brands and new designer names, as well as a choice of cafes, restaurants, bars and great English pubs. Refuel at restaurant hub Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street.
Whether you want hip fashion, unique gifts, rare sweets or one-off handmade jewellery, Covent Garden is a great place to explore. Stock up on the latest urban streetwear, funky cosmetics and shoes on Neal Street, check out imaginative arts and crafts at Covent Garden Market or just window shop around the stores. Don't miss Floral Street, Monmouth Street, St Martin's Courtyard, Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials and picture-pretty Neal's Yard for a true taste of London's most distinctive shopping area.
In posh Chelsea's King's Road you'll find an eclectic mix of chic boutiques, unique labels, designer shops and high-street staples, alongside a vast array of cafes and restaurants. It's also a great place for inspirational interior design, with Peter Jones, Heal's and Cath Kidston all vying for attention. Be sure to check out Duke of York Square: located just off the King's Road, this tranquil square is home to more than 30 fashion and lifestyle retailers, including one of Europe’s largest Zara stores. You can also visit the store where punk was born in the 70s, Vivienne Westwood's shop and a treasure trove of antiques at the Chelsea Antiques Market.
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square
Visitors from around the world flock to Knightsbridge and Brompton Road to visit the illustrious shops and department stores. This is the place to go if you're looking for prestigious brands and up-to-the-minute trends from the world's fashion elite. Best known for Harrods and Harvey Nichols, you'll also find big-name fashion designers on Sloane Street, as well as high-street brands such as Topshop opposite Harrods.
Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge
Known worldwide as the home of bespoke British tailoring, Savile Row is the place to come if you want a handmade suit crafted the old-fashioned way (with a price tag to match). Credited with inventing the tuxedo Henry Poole & Co – also the first Savile Row tailor – is still cutting cloth at No 15. Other big names include Gieves & Hawkes,Huntsman & Sons and Ozwald Boateng. On the corner of this "golden mile" of tailoring you'll also find the flagship Abercrombie & Fitch store.
Camden is the ideal shopping destination for lovers of alternative clothing. Here you can find some of the most unusual London shops. Get off the Tube at Camden Town, walk along Camden High Street, and you’ll find plenty of stores selling gothic fashion and punk clothing, alongside tattoo and piercing parlours. Further ahead, Camden Lock Market has it all, whether you are looking for a perfect birthday gift or a souvenir, from hand-crafted jewellery, to vintage leather bags. And don’t miss the futuristic cyber clothing shop Cyberdog.
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
Famous worldwide thanks to the film of the same name, Notting Hill offers a vast array of small, unique shops selling unusual and vintage clothing, rare antiques, quirky gifts, books and organic food. There's the popular Portobello Road Market – a mile-long (1.6km) street with vibrant stalls set out daily. Nearby Westbourne Grove offers more high-end shopping, with stylish designer shops dotted between a mix of quirky boho boutiques, hip cafes and art galleries.
Head to Spitalfields for a great range of independent shops. A vibrant hub for young designers and creative businesses, Spitalfields hosts independent boutiques including Mercantileand Collectif Clothing, as well as renowned brands, such as Barbour and Belstaff. Don’t miss lively Old Spitalfields Market, with its array of stalls selling antiques, fashion and street food under a beautiful Victorian arcade.
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Sleek and modern Canary Wharf, in London's Docklands, is home to many of the UK's leading businesses, but it is also a great shopping destination, open seven days a week. Canary Wharf shopping boasts more than 120 shops across five shopping centres around Canada Square, with all the major high-street chains as well as a good selection of designer shops. Look out for big names such as Oasis and Zara plus lingerie brand Myla and luxurious fragrance store Jo Malone. As long as you avoid the weekday lunch-hour rush, it's one of London's most chilled-out shopping experiences.
Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf
Coal Drops Yard
One of the newest kids on the block of London shopping destinations is Coal Drops Yard, in part of the regenerated King's Cross area. Once part of the Victorian industrial powerhouse, the arches along the canal now hold a plethora of concept stores, such as COS, and independent label shops including Wolf & Badger and iyouall. Find your newest scent at British perfumer Miller Harris, or catch high-fashion catwalk shows and product launches at 18montrose. There are plenty of eating and drinking options too, so you can rest your feet between exploring, including a cafe and chocolate shop by Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse.
Nearest Tube: King's Cross
Love shopping? Find more London shopping ideas.
Watch our guide to London shopping destinations and Christmas shopping video below:
Shopping inspiration this Christmas
Video by @mossonyi (Instagram)