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The best shopping spots in London: Where to spend and stay while browsing the capital

Department stores, boutiques and markets line the streets of the English capital (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Department stores, boutiques and markets line the streets of the English capital (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

There are plenty of places to secure statement accessories, wardrobe basics and unique outfits in the buzzing streets of London.

Iconic tourist hotspots in famous central locations and lesser-known cobbled streets – often hidden in plain sight – alike boast luxury flagship stores, high street chains and quirky independent boutiques. And then there’s the British capital’s expansive pop-up markets with stalls that cater to both cutting-edge style-seekers and foodies looking to sample the latest street food trend...

Dynamic hubs from west to east are the perfect place to restock, score on second-hand goods and get familiar with some of the new retailers on the block. In London, you’re never too far from the best of charming British brands and global lifestyle shopping.

From window shopping watches on Bond Street to spending Sundays with shrubs on Columbia Road, here are the 14 best spots to inspire your next day of retail therapy in the capital.

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Westfield, White City

Westfield Shepherd’s Bush is Europe’s largest urban shopping centre (Getty Images)
Westfield Shepherd’s Bush is Europe’s largest urban shopping centre (Getty Images)

Best for: High street chains

A day at Westfield shopping centre is synonymous with serious shopping hauls, lively food courts and ultimately exhaustion if calls to over 350 retailers are any indication. London is home to two of the retail giants, with Westfield Stratford City in the east and Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush to the west. The latter is the largest urban shopping centre in Europe, making it first choice for fashionable visitors looking to shop until they drop. From built-in department stores to high street chains such as H&M and Mango, spend a day or three navigating the busy shops. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Westfield without the staple “Village” row of high-end designers, champagne and caviar bars for those who have cash to splash.

Where to stay

K West boutique hotel offers chic rooms, award-winning spa treatments and a restaurant serving contemporary cuisine. Westfield London is just a five-minute walk away.

Oxford Street, Westminster

A decorated Oxford Street is the place to go for last minute Christmas shopping (Getty Images)
A decorated Oxford Street is the place to go for last minute Christmas shopping (Getty Images)

Best for: Wardrobe staples

The creme da la creme of shopping in central London, Oxford Street has saved countless last-minute Christmas present and summer holiday outfit-hunters while showcasing some of the best of British design and architecture. Eat, shop, stay and play at standout stores including & Other Stories, Calzedonia and a flagship Primark or during in-store events such as ASICS Run Club. The well-known 1.5 miles of unrivalled shopping is home to almost 300 stores, so building a statement wardrobe will be a piece of cake – speaking of which, stop for afternoon tea at Dalloway Terrace for a well-earned spot of retail respite.

Where to stay

The Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair is a prestigious 1926 hotel a stone’s throw from Oxford Street. Original artwork, antique decor and black marble accent the Art Decor interior; Le Magritte Bar, The Colony Grill Room and spa facilities are all available for guests.

Carnaby Street, Soho

Vibrant pedestrianised shopping in the heart of Soho (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Vibrant pedestrianised shopping in the heart of Soho (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Best for: Beauty basics

Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping network of 14 streets in the heart of London’s West End. A serious contender in the city’s shopping scene, Carnaby offers lifestyle, fashion, beauty and tech shops with over 100 labels, boutiques and jewellers thriving under its ever-evolving vibrant decor. Beauty emporiums and cult stores such as Benefit, Duck & Dry and Liberty London invite you to upgrade your glam, try a new look and restock on classic products.

Where to stay

Maddox House, a cosy two-bedroom apartment in the heart of London, boasts a modern interior, a fully equipped kitchen and comfortable beds on the doorstep of Carnaby Street.

Kensington High Street

Kensington High Street boasts both high-end and high-street store fronts (Getty Images)
Kensington High Street boasts both high-end and high-street store fronts (Getty Images)

Best for: Retail therapy

In a fusion of high-end stores and high-street staples, Kensington High Street treats shoppers to luxury and budget buys a stone’s throw from Hyde Park. There’s something for everyone in Uniqlo, Cos and the boutiques of Kensington Arcade and it’s a leisurely stroll past flower stands, churches and a Whole Foods to hit all the best spots on the stretch. Take a stroll onto Church Street to browse offerings from Sweaty Betty and Reiss and continue on to relax in Kensington Gardens.

Where to stay

The Bailey’s Hotel provides guests with authentic Asian cuisine, luxury rooms and fitness facilities wrapped up in an elegant 19th-century Victorian townhouse. Just a 15-minute walk from the iconic Harrods department store, it’s easy to reach Kensington’s famous shopping areas.

Battersea Power Station

Try new shops for size in Battersea Power Station (Getty Images)
Try new shops for size in Battersea Power Station (Getty Images)

Best for: Designer labels

The new kid on the block in terms of exciting London shopping hubs, the renovated Battersea power plant does not disappoint those looking to treat themselves to something new on payday. The legendary landmark now hosts shops, restaurants and leisure venues on pedestrian street Electric Boulevard and across three storeys in the Grade II listed building. Classic high-end brands such as Chanel, Mulberry and Ralph Lauren dot the industrial development as part of the project to bring Battersea back to life.

Where to stay

Art’otel London Battersea Power Station offers shoppers skyline views, transport links and a rooftop pool from the comfort of quirky “Art Rooms”, and the city escape is within walking distance of the renovated shopping hub.

Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

The colourful architecture of Portobello Road, Notting Hill (Getty Images)
The colourful architecture of Portobello Road, Notting Hill (Getty Images)

Best for: Quirky finds

The famous pastel hues of Portobello Road are a postcard-worthy backdrop to London’s largest antique market. A highlight of Notting Hill, over 1,000 traders selling vintage collectables, unique fashion and mouthwatering international street food draw in thousands of tourists from all over the globe for the full street market every Saturday. Think buzzing stalls, second-hand clothes, bric-a-brac and diverse cultural offerings during a day at one of the world’s most famous markets.

Where to stay

Rooms at Rest Boutique in Notting Hill feature shared facilities and city views 600m from Portobello Road Market. A fully equipped kitchen, cosy decor and snug beds greet guests arriving at the city break boutique.

Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street

Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street featured in two Harry Potter films (Getty Images)
Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street featured in two Harry Potter films (Getty Images)

Best for: Heritage brands

Harry Potter fans may recognise Leadenhall Market from the Leaky Cauldron set in the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stonebut there’s a much richer history to the undoubtedly magical market. The elegantly housed space on Gracechurch Street blends traditional professions such as shoe-shining and repairs with heritage brands including Barbour and Waterstones in the domed walkways of the market, which dates back to the 14th century. Cheesemongers, cosy wine bars and modern brasseries also call Leadenhall home.

Where to stay

Threadneedles boasts five-star quality in deluxe guest rooms in the centre of London’s financial district. Decadent amenities include The Oyster Bar & Grill Room, luxury toiletries and fluffy bathrooms just two streets from Leadenhall Market.

Pavilion Road, Chelsea

Chelsea is dotted with buzzing shop fronts (Getty Images)
Chelsea is dotted with buzzing shop fronts (Getty Images)

Best for: Artisan traders

A village of independent shops forms Chelsea’s Pavilion Road, London’s longest mews, including artisan food, beauty, fashion and fitness traders. Household name brands such as Kate Spade and The White Company join newbies Olivia von Halle and Natoora and cafes and bakeries galore on the quaint red brick street. To get there, head to Sloane Square on the underground and make a 300m journey to the pedestrianised south end of Pavilion Road for an al fresco coffee or cocktail.

Where to stay

11 Cadogan Gardens offers gourmet breakfasts, boutique bedrooms and opulent bathrooms accented with marble. A stylish bar, grill with local produce and a fully fitted gym is sure to sweeten the deal for guests staying in the elegant borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Flask Walk, Hampstead High Street

Flask Walk is home to quaint independent shops off Hampstead High Street (Getty Images)
Flask Walk is home to quaint independent shops off Hampstead High Street (Getty Images)

Best for: Indie boutiques

There’s more to the intersecting side streets off the popular chain-heavy Hampstead High Street than meets the eye, and this one is well worth the short detour. Flask Walk is both charming and compact with quirky, independent bookshops, boutiques and jewellers lining the pedestrian alley – there's even a gift shop dedicated to Mystical Fairies. Highlights include Keith Fawkes Bookshop, a treasure trove of rare books that has thrived on the Walk for over 50 years.

Where to stay

Oak & Poppy offers home comforts in accommodation that includes air conditioning, a restaurant and a bar. Spacious living spaces, wood beams and exposed bricks decorate the apartments just a seven-minute stroll from Flask Walk.

Broadway Market, London Fields

Amid the street food, stalls sell vintage books in Broadway Market, Hackney (Getty Images)
Amid the street food, stalls sell vintage books in Broadway Market, Hackney (Getty Images)

Best for: Creative retailers

Once a busy cart track with a history of supplying food to London, Broadway Market in Hackney runs every Saturday with 120 regular and thriving food, fashion and gift stalls. Not visiting London on a weekend? On any day the street boasts indie traders including bookshops, bakers, grocers and botanical stores. Endless street eats, stone architecture and original signage greet keen shoppers eager to experience all the creative delights the market has to offer.

Where to stay

One Hundred Shoreditch on Shoreditch High Street offers shoppers a cocktail bar, events spaces and rooftop terrace views over east London. Studios, lofts and double bedrooms have vintage furnishings and blackout blinds.

Columbia Road Flower Market, Bethnal Green

Spend a Sunday morning at Columbia Road Flower Market (Getty Images)
Spend a Sunday morning at Columbia Road Flower Market (Getty Images)

Best for: Sunday markets

The quintessential way to spend a sunny Sunday morning for Londoners, Columbia Road’s buzzing flower market is a delightful combination of colour, florals and foliage. Independent coffee and brunch spots dot the famous road and authentic antique and vintage stalls make for the perfect slow Sunday stroll. Be prepared for crowds as the market is uber popular with both tourists and locals from 8am to 3pm, so any prospective plant parents should head down early, or linger to bag a last-minute deal as traders wind down.

Where to stay

Redchurch Townhouse boasts celebrity treatment and world-class service with cosy rooms less than 10 minutes’ walk from Columbia Road Flower Market. Notable features include an on-site restaurant, ironing service and business facilities.

Redchurch Street, Shoreditch

The Shoreditch street boasts temptations for the tastebuds (Getty Images)
The Shoreditch street boasts temptations for the tastebuds (Getty Images)

Best for: Independent shops

Some of the city’s coolest boutique homeware stores, artisan chocolatiers and independent coffee shops reside on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. Bigger brands such as Fiorucci and Aesop join the vibrant storefronts of unique boutiques including Labour and Wait homeware and Modern Society clothing. There’s even a rooftop bar, The Boundary Project, and be sure to queue for coffees at Allpress Espresso to fuel the journey through cutting-edge style offerings.

Where to stay

The stylish rooms at Montcalm Royal London House feature a Nespresso machine, pillow menu and sleek en-suite bathrooms just 15 minutes from central Shoreditch. A rooftop bar with city views, a spa and a brasserie round off the city stay.

Blackheath Village

Find the traditional shopping haven away from the hustle of Greenwich Market (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Find the traditional shopping haven away from the hustle of Greenwich Market (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Best for: Lifestyle brands

World’s away from the crazy shopping scenes of central London, Blackheath Village offers shoppers an old-world community atmosphere, boutiques, homeware and charity shops. Village grocers and florists meet Oliver Bonas, Fired Earth and creative pop-ups hosting holistic crystals, artwork and jewellery. Stop for lunch at The Ivy Cafe or veggie hotspots such as Buddha Taste before walking on the common or through the gates of Greenwich Park.

Where to stay

The Pilot Inn offers boutique bedrooms, full English breakfasts and a central location by the O2 Arena for shoppers headed to the southeast. The chic furnishings, modern British cuisine and private bathrooms are only an eight-minute drive from the heart of Blackheath Village.

Bond Street, Mayfair

High end jewellers and original fashion labels exude luxury on Bond Street (Getty Images)
High end jewellers and original fashion labels exude luxury on Bond Street (Getty Images)

Best for: Luxury fashion

For payday, a special occasion or simply because you deserve to treat yourself head to Mayfair’s crowning shopping jewel, Bond Street. The home of luxury in London, heritage brands from Sotheby’s auction house to the iconic Fenwick department store and Cartier are the epitome of the prestigious retailers that have called the street home since the 18th century. While losing yourself in the luxury retail oasis, check out Burlington Arcade for a row of antique jewellery and shoes connecting Bond Street to Piccadilly.

Where to stay

The Mayfair Townhouse, an iconic Georgian townhouse, features relaxing rooms, a modern lobby and a cocktail bar. It’s eight minutes on foot to the elegant designers of Bond Street.

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