London is one of the best shopping destinations in the world. With Oxford Street being one of the busiest retail roads in Europe and London home to some of the most popular department stores in the world, many people visit the city solely for the shopping experience. London is a commerce hot spot, and if you’re capitalising on Central London Hotel special offers, then you should also make the most of the dizzying number of department stores, markets and high streets scattered across the city. From fashion to souvenirs, London is a central hub for all things retail.
With Christmas only a few months away, now is a prime time to get started on the search for festive gifts for loved ones. This is especially important in October and November when shops may be less busy and your ideal purchases more readily available. With stocking fillers a particularly handy Christmas itinerary to get in advance, London is a haven for small trinkets, goodie bags and oddities.
Christmas in London is a magical time of year. With markets and streets festooned with lights and a broad variety of unique gifts available, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best spots for your pre-Christmas prep, whether you’re filled with festive cheer or fall time fatigue.
One of the most famous department stores in London, Harrods offers up a broad variety of food hampers and delectable goods, made famous by their primarily British ingredients. With over 170 years of history and a broad variety of royal warrants for its wares, Harrods is the perfect place to find a truly London tinged gift.
From antique jewellery to vintage clothing items, Portobello Market is a great place to find tidbits for your loved one’s Christmas stocking. With great prices and plenty of history, this bustling market offers not only great products but a true London atmosphere as well, especially around the festive period.
From mind-expanding independent book shops to vintage clothing stores, Broadway Market just off of the fashionable London Fields in Hackney. On weekends you can find a food market like no other, whilst the bustling restaurants and pub add ambience to your Christmas shopping experience. Whether it be clothing, whole food goodie bags or boutique homeware, Broadway Market promises a range of local shops that could heighten the brow of any Christmas stocking.
A commuter shopping paradise, Spitalfields Market is located very close to Liverpool Street Station. With its focus on arts, crafts and food, this is a great place to find bits and bobs for the creatively minded stocking. From pop up store artist takeovers to cosmetics stalls, you’d be surprised at the variety of small bits and pieces you can find in this warren-like market space.
Perfect for shopaholics at the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International, Oxford Street is one of the most popular high streets in Europe. With a range of London centric novelty shops, expansive department stores and high street brands, it’d be difficult not to find something for all tastes. With art books at the nearby Photographers Gallery, and Topshop renowned for their budget nicknacks, Oxford Street is the perfect destination for stocking fillers, especially if you’re stumped for inspiration.
Based on Oxford Street, John Lewis is one of the best department stores for homeware, tech gifts and gadgets. The flagship department store also has an extensive cosmetics and perfume section, promising a wide range of luxury products that always put the customer first.
Perfect for the foodie stocking filler, this historic market dates back centuries and is located just behind London Bridge. Whilst the focus at Borough Market is on cultural street food and wholesale ingredients for local restaurants, you can also find a broad variety of cheeses, goodie boxes and bakery snacks, making not only tasty stocking fillers but the perfect gourmet Christmas bites.
Shepherds Bush Market
Based under the Shepherd’s Bush viaduct, this Market predates World War One and has become a bastion for local street sellers. The perfect West London spot for last-minute shopping, you can find clothes, entertainment and street food lining the streets of this bustling market space.
For all-encompassing shopping, Westfield Stratford and White City are located on different sides of London. Both, however, are easily reachable for Shaftesbury Hotel guests. The modern, glistening shopping malls are located in White City and Stratford respectively. With their broad array of high street brands, get digging for stocking fillers now to avoid the inescapable crowds of December’s frantic festive fray.
With high-end fashion retailers, art shops and record stores, Truman’s Brewery, located just off of Brick Lane is a go-to for a more artsy stocking filler. With the focal point being Rough Trade East’s record haven and cult book paradise, you’ll also find a range of other shops in the area. From Son of Stag clothing to Slam City Skates for extreme sports enthusiasts, Truman’s Brewery is a shabby chic surefire hit for cooler than cool Christmas gifts.
Take a short walk out of Truman’s Brewery and you’ll find yourself on Brick Lane. Famously home to curry houses and Jewish bagel eateries, Brick Lane also hosts market stalls and boutique fashion shops. From booksellers to vintage junk, Brick Lane is full to the brim with forgotten gems and labyrinthine market halls.
So famous they made a TV show about its founder, Selfridges & Co is a department store based on the aforementioned Oxford Street. With the motto “the customer is always right”, the variety in Selfridges offers stylish clothes for all ages, as well as homeware and gadgets. Offering a more independent feel than other department stores, the unique identity and cheerful atmosphere, especially over Christmas, truly cements Selfridges as a festive gift in and of itself.
Based on Regent Street, Hamleys is one of the largest toy retailers in the world. With seven floors worth of toys, all focusing on a different category, Hamleys amasses a whopping 54,000 square feet of toy retail space. If you don’t find something for your child’s stocking at Hamleys then you probably never will.