I’m not always in the mood to shop, but that doesn’t mean I don’t shop. When I travel with my sister Angela, her top priority is shopping. She’s always having a list of things to buy for her friends, her kids, and her husband. When asked which are her favorite places to shop in London, she’ll still say Fortnum and Mason and the stores on Oxford Street.
Do you have a favorite place to shop when in London? Trippy user Isa Buard from France asked:
Where is the best shopping in London?
Where are the best places to get English products and specific items that are not for tourists?
Whether you’re looking for unique, vintage, luxury, or affordable shopping places, here are the 10 best places in London, recommended by Trippy users and through my experiences with my sister:
1. Borough Market
C Kimmel from London said:
For your local shops – if you are in London you should go to Borough Market or one of the many farmers’ markets that take place all over town (usually on weekends).
Borough Market is around 1,000 years old. Started in 1014 during the Vikings era, located by the Thames River and London Bridge, this historic market went through years of neglect until the late 1990s when the transformation began by a group of retailers like cheesemonger Neal’s Yard Dairy and Brindisa (Spanish food shop). Today, Borough Market has over 600 stalls dedicated to food, housewares, spices and more.
It’s the place to eat, learn about British foods (international foods too) and bring home some British made condiments, housewares and unique spices from around the world.
2. Oxford Street
The United Kingdom’s most famous street, Oxford Street is about one and a half miles long and has about 300 retail shops and restaurants. Shop from one end (Tottenham Court Road station) to the other (Marble Arch station), and literally till you drop!
Look out for stores like Selfridges, House of Fraser, Topshop, Marks & Spencer and Primark.
My sister loves Primark and Marks & Spencer, while I can’t stand the long line in Primark, and haven’t bought anything there yet.
3. Harrods at Knightsbridge
The mention of “Harrods” conjures up a particular image: beautiful cakes and chocolates, a thematic collection of luxury and beautiful British goods and from around the world. To me, it’s a place for window shopping and to grab a quick meal in one of the cafes. My favorite was Tom Dixon Cafe, a modern British-style dining place offering adaptations of classic sandwiches, now renamed Harrods Cafe.
Harrods is often crowded. Shoe lovers will love the 5th floor, where you can find every type of branded shoes. Head over to the lower ground for men’s fashion, wine, spirits, and cigars or the third floor for furniture and home furnishings. Families traveling with children will love the fourth floor, filled with the latest toys and children’s wear. There’s even a floor dedicated to all things Christmas-related.
Harrods is also an excellent place for coffee and meals. There’s a restaurant on almost every floor. Enjoy afternoon tea at The Harrods Tea Room (formerly known as The Georgian Restaurant). But don’t forget to get to the Meat, Fish and Poultry section on the Ground Floor.
Remember to pick up a Store Guide from the greeters as you enter the department store. You’ll need it to get from floor to floor of this famous shopping landmark.
Trippy users Jacey and Scott added:
The easiest answer is Harrods. They have everything. You can find unique gifts and also a ton of foodie items in the basement where they have an entire food hall. One stop shopping!
For further information, check out the Harrods store guide online. https://www.harrods.com/en-gb/store-guide
4. Camden Market
A Trippy user, Cathy R from Brussels, recommended Camden Market if you’re traveling with teens. She wrote:
Camden Market is also achingly ‘hip,’ and a sure-fire winner with virtually all teens, by virtue of its quirky shops and even quirkier clientele. There are a bewildering number of eateries – mostly stalls where you can buy interesting takeaway food to eat at communal tables (if you can find one) – or you could play it safe and go to the local Wetherspoons Plc, which offers excellent value pub grub.
The most interesting way to get to the Camden Lock market is to take a boat trip on the Regent’s Canal. The trip goes from Little Venice, a very cool riverside section of Maida Vale, and a short walk from Paddington Station (probably worth a stop here to see the statue of the famous bear himself).
There’s an eclectic mix of vintage, hand-crafted accessories, original fashion, unique gifts and everything in between in Camden Market.
5. Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly
Fortnum & Mason has been a London landmark store since 1707. The store was started by Fortnum and Mason in St James Market as a candle shop. It eventually also included postal services and cooked food in hampers for affluent customers traveling from London to their estates in the countryside and now a full-fledged luxurious department store today.
You can read about the history on their website or shop online for British goods, but nothing beats a visit to the flagship store in Piccadilly. Take a look at the tea, wine, and food hampers and enjoy an afternoon tea at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon.
6. Portabello Road Market
Antique lovers will love Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill. It’s the world’s largest antique market with about 1,000 vendors selling books, clothes, accessories, dolls, tea kettles, and things you may not find anywhere else in the world.
Shopping in Portabello Road Market is like a treasure hunt because you’ll never know what you’ll get. The primary market days are Friday and Saturday. However, the best day to visit is on a Saturday. The market is closed on Sundays.
Trippy user Sean Kelly wrote:
First, try Portobello Market. In its day if fueled the fashion conscious of the Punk Rock movement. Today it consists of several distinct market sections; Food, fashion, produce, new goods and used items. It’s easy to lose track of time and spend the better part of the day there.
7. Old Spitalfields Market
Secondly, there is the Old Spitalfields Market. London’s oldest outdoor market, it’s more like a number of shops that spill out onto the streets. It seems they’ve got just about everything; Fashion, food, jewelry, art, sporting goods, beauty products, etc.
Open seven days a week, Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market in East London where food, artwork, and clothes are sold daily, Thursday is the antique day and Friday is the best day for clothes and art shopping.
It is one of the few Victorian Market Halls that are still in existence today in London.
8. Marylebone High Street
Book lovers will love shopping in Marylebone High Street. You’ll find an original Edwardian bookstore Calle Daunt Books, a store with long oak galleries and skylights.
Anna-Fee Schuller recommended:
Check out Marylebone High St in London. Loads of good stores! My favorites are The Natural Kitchen, an organic food store and Daunt Books, one of the loveliest bookstores I’ve ever been to.
9. Stuarts London
Stuarts London, West London’s oldest retail store has been outfitting men for the past 50 years. It collaborates with Fred Perry, Barbour, Edwin, Fracap, Grenson, Baracuta and Oliver Spencer.
Trippy user David Wiggins-Avetyan highly recommended shopping there:
If you like British Menswear Stuarts London in Shepherds Bush is one of my favorite shopping spots based at 35 Uxbridge Rd.
10. Liberty London on Regent Street
Liberty London first store was on Regent Street. Since 1875 the company quickly became one of the most iconic department stores.
Michael Heyward, a Londoner wrote:
Another one to check out (pardon the pun) is Liberty & Co on Regent Street. It is a fantastic old building as well, so can be a little touristy.
Go for shopping and also the Tudor-style architectural charm. According to the department store website:
The 1920s was a time of Tudor revival, considered the most crafted and English of architecture, so the shop was engineered around three atriums. Designed to feel like a home, each atrium was surrounded by smaller rooms, complete with fireplaces and furnishings.