London is one of Europe’s finest cities for indulging in retail therapy. You can find international brands and unique boutiques in a beautifully historic setting. Read our guide to the top shopping destinations in London within easy access of the Park Grand London Paddington Hotel.
1) Oxford Street
The 1.2 mile-long strip that makes up Oxford Street is one of London’s most famous shopping destinations, with over 300 shops to browse. Predominantly the realm of high street chains, you can also find a number of designer names, jewellery brands and some souvenir shops for classic London merchandise. You can usually find excellent discounts and shopping deals along the street. Oxford Street is the seat of the iconic luxury department store, Selfridges, with its statement window displays, upscale fashion and beauty outlets and riveting eateries. You can start at either Marble Arch tube station and work your way east to Tottenham Court Road, or vice versa.
2) Regent Street
Regent Street is the sophisticated counterpart to Oxford Street. It forms the eastern border of the upscale Mayfair Neighbourhood it’s where you can find flagship stores and international brands. Named after the Prince Regent, it was built in 1819 under the direction of architect John Nash – so it recently surpassed its bicentenary. Grade II listed facades represent some of the most distinguished architecture in London. You will find a mixture of stores, ranging from fragrance and beauty brands, high-end fashion and high-ticket spas. If you have a child to shop for, Regent Street is also the home of Hamleys, Britain’s biggest toy store. Last but not least, Regent Street is the home of Liberty’s. One of London’s most iconic sights, this Tudor-rival style department stores spans six storeys of British heritage.
3) Carnaby Street
If you’re seeking a kooky shopping experience in London, you need to head to Carnaby Street! 14 energetic streets and alley ways make up this district which is part of the Soho district. For the most part, the ratio of the shops are weighted towards clothing and footwear, for both women and men. You can find independent fashion designers as well as esteemed British and European labels. There is also a scattering of quirky concept stores, beauty boutiques and grooming stations. Besides trawling for fashion and lifestyle goods, be sure to stop for a glass of wine at one of classy bars. Carnaby Street is a great option for breakfast near Paddington, with a number of cafès serving pastries, brunch dishes and high-quality coffee.
4) Portobello Road Market
Of all the markets in London, Portobello Road Market is one of the most cherished. The six-day street market takes place in the coveted Notting Hill Neighbourhood on a quaint street lined with postcard-pretty pastel coloured buildings. The antiques market opens for Fridays and Saturdays at the northern tip of Portobello Road. You can pick up trinkets from all around the world dating as far back in antiquity as the Roman era! The fruit and vegetable market flourishes on Friday and Saturday. This also includes a cheese stall, artisan breads and homemade cakes – ideal for taking back to the Park Grand London Paddington Hotel for later. The flea market is where you’ll find Second hand goods as well as vintage clothing on Fridays. Although trading opens Mon – Sat, note that Saturday is the biggest day with the highest number of vendors.
5) Covent Garden
Covent Garden is one of the capital’s most culturally vibrant Neighbourhoods, as well as a top shopping destination in London. The Market Building in the centre of the piazza, buzzes with independent boutiques and niche brands. Under the same roof, The Apple Market (Tues – Sun) market nurtures craft makers and artists, and is an excellent place to shop for unique handicrafts, jewellery and trinkets. Venture away from the piazza to explore nearby Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard. This teeny tiny alleyway is a mosaic of hues; you will find old buildings painted every colour under the rainbow and windows framed with multi-coloured panels. It’s a great place to sip a latte and wind down after a successful shopping trip. Covent Garden does get busy at the weekends and during holiday periods.
6) Brick Lane Market
Taking place every Sunday, the Brick Lane Market in Shoreditch is a siren call for thrifty shoppers who are on the hunt for something preloved and a little bit kitsch. Vendors sell everything from retro t-shirts, old leather jackets, second-hand books and vinyl’s, Art Deco furniture and rare collectibles. This bustling market delivers just the right level of chaos! Shoppers are able to keep their energy levels up by tucking into the delicious ethnic food that Brick Lane is famed for, including Bangladeshi curries and authentic Jewish bagel shops. Getting to Shoreditch from Lancaster hotels takes around 30 minutes.
Located in the affluent district of Knightsbridge, Harrods and Harvey Nichols are two of London most prestigious department shops, with head-turning window displays any day of the year. Price tags are high, so be prepared to splash the cash – or simply go for the experience. Besides these, you can also find a chain of luxury and high street fashion shops, jewellery boutiques and excellent eating spots along Brompton Road. If you feel like a walk, you can travel to Knightsbridge on foot from the Park Grand London Paddington via Hyde Park.
8) Greenwich Market
If you’re torn between shopping and sightseeing, or have only a limited number of days in London – then choose a destination that serves both purposes. Our favourite spot is Greenwich, where you can find London’s only market within a World Heritage site. This compact, covered market opens daily and is where you can find traders selling art, antiques, craft, jewellery and unique keepsakes. There are also around 50 stalls serving tasty international market food. Once you’ve got your shopping fix (and your fill) you can explore the local attractions of Greenwich, such as the Cutty Sark or Royal Observatory.