The Ultimate London Shopping Guide: High Street Labels, Vintage and Grunge, UK inner banner

The Ultimate London Shopping Guide: High Street Labels, Vintage and Grunge, UK

London can overwhelm even the most ardent of shopaholics with its vast retail scene. Not sure where to begin? Hit the ground shopping with this handy guide.
London shopping guide
London shopping guide

Shopping in London is one of the three most popular activities with visitors to the United Kingdom.

That’s not surprising, given the city’s unofficial status as global fashion capital. From the swinging 1960s (the miniskirt was invented here), to 70s’ punk and the Britpop influences of the 90s, London has defined the way we dress for decades. And it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to achieve classic excellence or the latest looks. The availability of scents such as Ambery Saffron inspired by Baccarat Rouge 540, London Fashion Week runway reproductions, and discount fashion at chains such as Primark and TK Maxx ensure there are endless opportunities to style up on a budget.

Shop ’til you drop with our ultimate London shopping guide.

London shopping guide
London shopping guide: Hit the strips in the East End.

Central London: Soho, Mayfair and Knightsbridge

Oxford Street is London’s retail heartland — and with over 500,000 visitors daily, it’s also the busiest shopping strip in Europe. Start at the Soho end, where you’ll find the flagship stores of a multitude of high profile fashion labels. International brands like Zara (which has three separate stores along the strip!) and H&M sit side by side with home-grown favourites like Next and River Island. Primark has two Oxford Street stores and offers on-trend clothing and accessories at unbelievable prices.

London shopping guide
London shopping guide: Go window shopping in Oxford Street.

Guys, for a brush with cool Britannia, check out Ben Sherman in Kings Cross and Fred Perry off Carnaby Street. Anything from iconic designer Paul Smith will also satisfy your sartorial needs. He has stores across London, including in Covent Garden.

Once you’re done in and around Soho, take a stroll along Mayfair’s Mount Street; it’s fast overtaking Bond Street as the epicentre for elite designers. Peek into Christopher Kane and Balmain, and perhaps try on a pair of red-soled skyscraper heels at Christian Louboutin.

From there, slip down to Knightsbridge where stalwart department stores Harrods and Harvey Nicks remain essential retail ports of call. Top luxury labels like Dior, Hermes, Prada, and Tom Ford congregate just around the corner on Sloane Street.

London shopping guide
London Shopping Guide: Harrods

West London: Notting Hill and Westbourne Grove

Further west, Notting Hill was, of course, immortalised in the Hollywood movie of the same name starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It’s frequented by fashion royalty and you may spot the likes of Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, and supermodel Claudia Schiffer. Famous Portobello Road hosts one of London’s best street markets for vintage and pre-loved fashion. It’s held every Saturday. On the opposite side of town, Camden Market is also a good bet.

London shopping guide
London shopping guide: Portobello Road Market

East London: Shoreditch and Spitalfields

London’s grungy East End has long been the place to be for one-of-a-kind fashion finds. Shoreditch is home to the original Boxpark — a pop-up mall constructed from refurbished shipping containers and filled with cafés, bars, and an eclectic mix of retail options. It’s less fashion orientated than it used to be, but is still worth a look.

London shopping guide
London shopping guide: Boxpark, Shoreditch

Next, swing by All Saints’ flagship store on nearby Commercial Street; it’s a very cool native brand with strong music ties. Directly opposite is Old Spitalfields Market. London’s oldest covered market offers a mix of new and vintage fashion, and you’ll have great fun rummaging for boho bargains.

Do you have any tips to add to our London shopping guide? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

Additional images: Depositphotos, Bigstock, and Envato

Cindy Bingley-Pullin

About the writer

Cindy Bingley-Pullin is a Sydney-based freelance writer, wanderluster, corporate bee, and happy homemaker. In between analysing spreadsheets in the office, she pursues her combined passions of travel and writing. Cindy’s work has appeared in Virgin Australia’s Voyeur magazine, International Traveller, Fitness First magazine, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

Adam Ford

About the writer

Adam Ford is editor of Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas, and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger, and photographer. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Adam worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.

 

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