A weekend in London wouldn’t be complete without a journey home laden with shopping bags. From high-end stores and big-name brands to kitschy markets and side-street boutiques, shopaholics will find something to suit every taste and budget in the Big Smoke.
Here’s our guide to the best shopping in London.
Stroll down Oxford Street on Friday
Once you’ve set foot on London’s famous streets and checked into your hotel on Friday afternoon, there’s only one place to head next: Oxford Street. This old Roman road was once London’s connection to Essex and Hampshire – it’s now Europe’s busiest shopping thoroughfare and is synonymous with shopping paradise. You’ll find over 300 shops here – from Topshop to Selfridges – so undoubtedly you’ll find something that tickles your fancy.
Oxford Street is notoriously busy, but Friday evenings draw the crowds out of the stores and into the bars, so it’s a great time to hit the London shops. Opening times stretch until 8pm on Fridays, giving you plenty of time to get lost in the flagship stores that line the length of the street. Hop off the Tube at Marble Arch and walk the 1.2 miles to Oxford Circus station, popping in all the stores en route.
Round off your evening with a trip to one of the many bars hidden just off Oxford Street: try a fruity cocktail or a local IPA before calling it a night.
Spend Saturday browsing One New Change
One New Change near St Paul’s is the kind of London shopping centre that other cities dream of. It’s ultra-modern without looking out of place and upmarket without feeling exclusive. Inside you’ll find everything from high street staples to swanky restaurants.
One New Change opens at 10am and closes at 6pm – an ample window for a good old nose around. Three floors offer big spenders everything from All Saints and H&M to Hugo Boss and Ted Baker.
If a break from browsing is in order, head up to the roof terrace. It’s open all year round for spectacular, up-close views of St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as a panoramic look over the London skyline. In the summer, catch a free screening of a Wimbledon match.
Hit up Upper Street Islington on Sunday
Slicing through the centre of Islington you’ll find bustling Upper Street – a high street with a reputation all of its own. Originally at the heart of Islington’s village life, it retains a sense of community and a ‘keep it local’ feel, reflected in its quirky boutiques and one-off galleries.
The road is a bastion of London shopping – with Joy, Scribbler, Kiehl’s sitting alongside The Body Shop and Accessorize. Many of the stores are housed in charming old buildings, which give them a more authentic feel than modern shops. Like all markets in London, Upper Street’s Camden Passage has its fair share of trinkets and vintage clothing. Drop into the Breakfast Club for a mid-morning energy boost.
The area really comes alive in the evenings, when the many music venues host live gigs. If you’re looking for an altogether more peaceful outing, Sunday afternoon is the time to go.