Shopping in London sings possibilities. Whether it’s a small, token souvenir big on meaning that completes you, or you’d prefer to unlock the hotel door with bags dripping from your arms, it’s easy to bring a piece of this world-class city home with you to last long after the holiday ends.
A long swathe of blocks adorned in shopfronts makes Oxford Street a popular stretch for fashion-lovers to pound the pavement in the hunt for new wardrobe pieces. Here, high-street fashion, international brands and affordable threads meet, including the likes of American Apparel and Marks & Spencer. With a handful of loved departments stores and shopping centres too, this is one of the busiest shopping streets in Europe.
Standing in the same central London location since 1670, Covent Garden is drenched in character. The beautiful 19th century market piazza is the go-to spot for antiques on Mondays and for the remainder of the week, touts an array of arts and crafts. Drop by for fashion, gifts, old treasures and handmade creations.
Random bric-a-brac and treasured collectables meet in a flurry of colourful market tents at Portobello Road every Saturday and Friday. Anything fascinating, quirky or beautiful, it’s here. Most famous for its antiques market, which is remarkably the world’s largest, there’s also a general flea market. Celebrities are known to sort trash from treasure here too.
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With its history rooted in the year 1700, beautiful and historic Bond Street has long been a playground for the rich and famous. Seriously browse – or curiously ponder – the glamorous suite of boutique labels, luxury goods and designer brands, from Cartier to Dolce & Gabbana. But do expect a premium price tag to match.
The epitome of British luxury retail, Harrods touts prestigious brands, superior service and decadent interiors that set the scene for London’s most iconic shopping experience. Over 15 million customers each year – including the royals – can’t be wrong. Wander seven floors of high-class fashion, beautiful accessories, fine homewares and luxury merchandise, topped off with a cup of quality Harrods tea.
If you plan to spend big, look into the VAT Retail Export Scheme which may offer tax back on purchases with participating stores.
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