Being London’s premier shopping hub and the nexus gathering different brands, Oxford Street houses at least five different chain department stores (including Selfridges, Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser). Together, they prove greater than the sum of their parts, providing a shopping experience that not only leads London but the United Kingdom as a whole as well.
Covent Garden has more than the typical high-end brands. What sets this destination apart are the eclectic merchant stalls in the Market Building, the abundance of gastronomic options, and a great variety of street performances. Shoppers, foodies, and sightseers can each find what they are looking for here.
Surrounded by colourful buildings, Carnaby Street is filled with a relaxed and laid back vibe that has given to rise many of London’s signature subcultures, from Mods and Skinheads to Punks and the New Romantics. Visit and see what is potentially the newest trend to come out of London!
An attraction with a royal past and historical significance, Harrods is more than your typical department store. Not only does it hold warrants from her Majesty the Queen and Prince Charles, the store had also displayed memorable items in its past from the autographs of Marilyn Monroe and Gandhi to BB King’s guitar. None who visits London for more than an airport transfer should miss this landmark institution.
Considered a London landmark, Selfridges has won many accolades, including three ‘Best Department Store in the World’ wins and one ‘ World’s Best Sustainability Campaign by a Department Store’ in various Global Department Store Summits in the 2010s. Though less historical than Harrods and not as diverse as other shopping attractions, Selfridges is perhaps the best in London when it comes to providing a pure shopping experience.
As a department store dedicated to unique goods, Liberty London is perhaps best known for its prints and fabrics, having inspired many British designers such as Christopher Kane. These iconic prints are available in various forms, including stationary, accessories and scarves. Not only would they be perfect souvenirs for visitors to London, but it would also make great gifts for friends and family back home.
Fortnum & Mason embodies the British stereotypical tea culture. Simply enter the shop, and you would immediately be assaulted by the visual spectacle of shelves upon shelves of elegant Mint coloured tea tins. Where better to pick up what you need to create the perfect English afternoon tea in the comforts of your own home.
With branches across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, Harvey Nichols is a cultural ambassador of British luxury. While this means some travellers can find their branches closer to home, it is still worth the time to make a visit to their spacious and chic Knightsbridge flagship.
Despite having three main floors, over 360 retail outlets, and a 17 screen cinema which hosted the Captain America 3: Civil War European premiere, Westfield London remains unsatisfied with the experience they can offer, with an ongoing expansion scheduled for completion in Spring 2018. Combined with the dedicated luxury section affectionately named ‘the Village’ designed by Michael Gabellini featuring 40 international and British luxury brands, Westfield London has nowhere to go but up on london.com’s Top 10 list despite their Australian roots.
As the leading toy store in the United Kingdom, Hamley’s can claim success in a myriad of means, but since we are discussing England, perhaps it is easiest to mention the Royals: Hamley enjoys TWO Royal Warrants from Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth II respectively. They also feature a diverse array of toys, figurines, novelty gifts from franchises such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, ensuring something for everybody. And if we were ranking solely based on Christmas performances, Hamley would perhaps take the crown with its annual toy parade, the largest in the world!