If you’re planning some retail therapy in London, you’re spoilt for choice! The city is a hotspot for shopping. Check out our guide to the top 10 shopping areas within easy access of the Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel.
1) Covent Garden
Covent Garden is both a shopping destination and a cultural district. The grand centrepiece market, the Apple Market, used to be the source of London’s fruit and vegetables. Nowadays, the large covered market nurtures craft makers and artists. Visit the market stalls in Covent Garden for unique jewellery, art prints and handicrafts (Tuesday to Sunday). Around the piazza you can find leading fashion and lifestyle chains, plus the Apple Store. If you secure hotel deals in London Paddington you could add a post-shopping trip to see a West End theatre show.
2) Sloane Square / King’s Road
At the very heart of the Royal Borough of Chelsea, shopping in Sloane Square makes for a very glamorous afternoon. Take a stroll down King’s Road to find high-end shops and British brands, such as Jigsaw, Jaeger and & Other Stories. The Peter Jones department store is a landmark destination for Chelsea-bound shoppers and can’t be missed. Sloane Square feels more sedate than other parts of the city for shopping. There are a number of cultural attractions to pair with your shopping trip, such as the Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea Physic Garden and Cadogan Hall.
3) Oxford Street
When you think of shopping destinations in London, Oxford Street will spring to mind. This 1.2 mile-long strip is where you’ll find over 300 shops, including leading high street clothing shops, designer boutiques and souvenir shops. Famous department stores include the iconic Selfridges, besides House of Fraser and Debenhams. There is even a Disney Store, which is perfect for kids and big kids alike! Oxford Street has three tube stations; Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street, and of course, Oxford Circus. You’ll certainly work up an appetite for dinner at The Grand Restaurant after an Oxford Street expedition.
4) Carnaby Street
Much more than a single street, Carnaby is in fact a network of 14 streets comprising of shops, cafes, bars and grooming stations! Carnaby Street is part of the vibrant Soho neighborhood, and is moments from Regent’s Street. British brands, independent boutiques, and unique concept stores define the lion-share of the shops. Hip cafes keep shoppers fuelled with coffee and pastries, and chic wine bars provide the perfect end to your spree. Check out our guide to the best shops on Carnaby Street and explore this quirky little quarter.
5) Whitechapel Road Market
Whitechapel Road isn’t your typical shopping destination in London. Market vendors are predominantly from the friendly British-Bangaldeshi community who live in this part of London. It’s a great place to pick up exotic spices to liven up your pantry, and browse various bric-a-brac ranging from fruits and vegetables, cultural jewellery, eastern fashions, homeware and electronics. Historic Whitechapel is very culturally diverse neighborhood to explore and has a very different atmosphere to other parts of London.
6) Canary Wharf
If you want to browse designer brands and high street shops but can’t face the crowds of Oxford Street, visit the Canary Wharf shopping complex on a Saturday or Sunday. As the secondary CBD, the neighborhood is sedate and quiet once the stock markets close for the weekend. There are four modestly sized shopping malls; Canada Place, Cabot Place, Jubilee Place and Churchill Place. All are conveniently lined up besides one another, perfect for a rainy shopping trip! You’ll find the likes of Tiffany Co. rubbing shoulders with Jo Malone, Topshop and exciting small boutiques. Take your pick from sophisticated coffee shops and bars and enjoy a drink with a view of the docks afterwards!
7) Portobello Road Market
Of all the markets in London, Portobello Road Market is perhaps the most talked about. Open Monday to Saturday, it is the cumulative day when the market flourishes. All types of stalls open on Saturday, covering food, clothing, antiques and general bric-a-brac. Friday is your alternative day if you’re shopping for antiques, so plan to coordinate a hotel deal in Paddington if you’re looking for a collectible. Portobello Road is a joy to explore – be sure to take your camera to photograph the quaint, pastel-coloured houses.
8) Camden Market
Camden Market is one of the most eclectic shopping districts in London. If you want vintage, one of a kind, or something slightly whacky – Camden is the market for you. Camden Market some retro favourites, including a Dr. Martens but most of the stalls and shops are one-off boutiques, catering to a more alternative style. You can also find international gifts, such as Indian handicrafts, secondhand bookshops and vinyl stores. Break up your shopping with getting a caricature drawn or have a tarot reading. You can even play mini golf, at Plonk! And pick one of the many bars and eateries for some people-watching.
Knightsbridge is famed for two particular reasons; Harrods and Harvey Nichols. These are London’s two most prestigious department shops and are the beating heart of London’s Christmas shopping scene; Harrods’ windows are practically an institution! Knightsbridge also has a generous conglomeration of luxury brands, high street fashion shops and jewellery boutiques. If you have the stamina, you can walk back to the Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel from Knightsbridge via Hyde Park.
10) Westfield London
Last but not least, this one is for the most serious of shoppers or those after the mall experience. Westfield London is located at Shepherd’s Bush, west London, and is the largest mall in town. You can find over 265 retailers of all types of discipline all beneath one roof. Westfield is also a leading lifestyle destination with plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from and there’s even a cinema, a children’s entertainment unit and a personal styling service for the fashion conscious. Alternatively, you can visit Westfield Stratford in east London.