From Oxford Street to Knightsbridge, you’ll find more than the royal treatment when shopping in central London. London is one ot he world’s finest fashion capitals, a city that’s filled with departments stores and designer boutiques. Not only can you find the upscale and high-end brands on the high streets, but the shopping markets and fashion shows offer even more reasons to explore. If you’re in need for a serious dose of retail therapy, there are six key destinations to get your fix.
Head to Sloane Streetfor the largest selection of the world’s major fashion houses. This is where Christian Dior showcases the latest designer handbags, the spot to track down the perfect Valentino suit, and the place to pick out your favorite shoes from Prada for the season. Miniature department stores such as Peter Jones are also found here, and even if you’re on a bit of a budget, you’ll find some seasonal specials throughout the area. Sloane Street ends up at Sloane Square, another smaller shopping area with cafes-ideal for your afternoon tea.
Harrods has a home in South Kensington, the world-famous department store that carries everything your heart desires. This area of London is heaven for the picky and choosy shopper; you’ll find nothing but high-quality, designer goods from around the globe, and will feel like a star even when browsing. Harrod’s alone will keep you busy for a few days; this is a six-floor multiplex that includes fine restaurants, cafes, and special events year round. Head to Harvey Nichols, another leading department store in the area, for the latest from Calvin Klein, Versace, and more.
After you battle your way through Kings Road, you’ll end up in Chelsea, just outside of London. You’ll enjoy a good dose of English history as you explore the bustling streets here; it’s an eclectic mix of the 60’s and 80’s trends, and there are many antique stores throughout this shopping district. Still, there are a few designer boutiques to explore at the end of the high street, and this is the perfect spot to enjoy a break from central London and still get your shopping fix.
Oxford Street is one of London’s most popular shopping districts, but keep in mind its primarily aimed for tourists. Locals spend more time browsing here than actually shopping, and the entire 1.5 mile stretch is filled with high-end department stores, boutiques, and unique fashion collections. Selfridges, Debenhams, and House of Fraser all have a home here. This is the place to do your Christmas shopping both pre- and post-season; nothing comes close to a shopping experience at Oxford Street, just be prepared for lots of crowds!
Go beyond the West End of London and you’ll find yourself in Kensington. Kensington High Street is where you’ll find the Natural History Museum, a great place to explore as a break from shopping. Still, when fashion’s calling your name, this is where you’ll find vintage shops, hip cafes, and trendy boutiques. Esprit, Top Shop, and French Connection can all be found here. The Kensington Local markets also liven up this area on a weekly basis, and you’re sure to catch some great bargains to balance out your spending spree.
After playing the classic tourist in London, a shopping excursion is probably well overdue. Make the most of your visit by visiting these top spots like a true Londoner!