London is teeming with unique shopping districts. From the world-famous Oxford Street to the glittering consumer monoliths of Westfields White City and Stratford, there are plenty of spots to shop till you drop. That being said, regular guests at central accommodation like the Park Grand Hotel will no doubt have sampled the delights of Central London. The many department stores and shopping districts of the UK capital really do add to the tourist industry and draw of the city.
That being said, there’s plenty in London beyond the central commercial districts. If you can see past the lights of Piccadilly Circus and the history of Covent Garden, the outer districts and secret streets of the city can add a whole new level of gift buying, boutique fashion and the cutting edge of consumer products. Below are just some of the areas that can provide new and untapped experiences during your stay.
Dalston’s Kingsland Road is an East London haven for vintage clothes and designer fashion. Interspersed with some of the coolest clubs and cultural staples in London, standouts include Beyond Retro’s expansive Dalston warehouse space, as well as Storm In A Teacup and PostKulture, all adding to the cutting edge vibe of the area.
Stoke Newington Church Street
Whilst Dalston might hold the banner for designer clothes, Stoke Newington Church Street is home to some of the best charity shop digs in the city. Walk a little further up Kingsland Road and you’ll eventually find yourself on Stoke Newington Church Street, with a broad variety of second-hand clothes shops that really pull their weight when it comes to style and fashion. With the new trend in recycled garbs hitting the mainstream, Stoke Newington Church Street has been promoting the eco-friendly cause for years now.
Keeping up on the East London shopping spree, Broadway Market overlooking London Fields is a bohemian paradise that locals love. Get some classic fish and chips or instead sample the culinary delights of the weekend street food market, all before browsing the independent book shops and designer clothing shops overlooking the Regents Canal pathways and warehouse district of this thriving London neighbourhood.
For guests at East based bed and breakfasts in London, Box Park provides an easy to reach pseudo shopping centre with a twist. Made up of repurposed shipping containers, the popup accessory and fashion shops within Box Park have an international feel and provide the cutting edge in fashion as well as quirky side bits that provide great present and souvenir ideas as well.
A bastion of cool during the Swinging Sixties, Carnaby Street is still one to watch in West London. Full to the brim with quintessentially London cafes and homeware and accessory shops, Carnaby Street still retains a unique sixties charm and is especially glamorous when kitted out with Christmas lights.
Whilst London Bridge has become a business and hotel hub since the Shard took to the skyline, there’s still a real community feel to the nearby Bermondsey Street. With two museums, the White Cube art gallery and the London Design Museum having equally splendid gift shops, you can also enjoy a range of independent boutiques on Bermondsey Street. These include boutique kids clothes, pet accessory shops and women’s couturier shops.
Marylebone High Street
From classy afternoon tea London dining rooms to amazing designer homeware, Marylebone high street is the perfect spot to find European made wares alongside the famous Daunt Books bookshop. The latter has a history dating back to the Edwardian era, and the oldest part of the Marylebone branch was built in 1912, still retaining much of its facade from the time. This historic bookshop is known for its extensive collection of travel writing books, definitely, something to keep in mind for the London traveller making a stop off in the area.
With the Cutty Sark and the Greenwich Meridian, there’s already a lot to enjoy in the Greenwich area. This thriving market is located on the Greenwich Peninsula and offers a broad variety of independent vendors selling everything from arts, crafts and fashion items. Make sure not to miss the street food stalls either. Open from Tuesday till Sunday, this market might be easy to miss if you’re not a local, so make sure you’re in the know and shop like a local Londoner.
For the creme de la creme of fashion boutiques, the designer fashion shops lining Chelsea’s Kings Road make this one of the most sought after shopping districts for celebrities. With shops such as Vivienne Westwood and the high profile Bluebird Cafe being based here, you’ll have plenty to enjoy during a trip to Kings Road.
One of the longest market roads in Europe, the thriving Hoe Streets’s daily market spans at least a kilometre and is lined with fabric shops, homeware and clothes. Furthermore, this street is famous for its broad variety of fabric shops, so if you’re a designer or simply love making your own clothes, this is the market for you.
Whilst Covent Garden has plenty to offer from its market and the trendy Seven Dials area, Neal’s Yard is a hidden away courtyard full to the brim with great cafes and a surprising amount of independent cosmetic shops. With its own British cheese shop and an organic skincare shop, Neal’s Yard may be hard to find (just off of Shorts Gardens) but it really does add to the character of the area.
North London’s idyllic suburb is well versed in style, but its large collection of charity shops and boutique independent stores adds another level of chicness to the area. Whether you’re on the lookout for a new collar for your dog or a bargain find at one of the many charity shops, make sure you take a walk through Highgate Woods if the weather permits.