We start with Oxford Street which, in addition to housing the legendary Selfridges, boasts other famous department stores; such as John Lewis and Debenhams and numerous big brand shops. You can avoid the crowds by taking the side streets or by discovering the fantastic surprises that wait for you in St. Christopher’s Place and Berwick Street.
Cradle of fashion during the 1960s, Carnaby Street and the 13 surrounding streets offer more than 150 brands and over 50 independent restaurants and bars. Have a walk under the famous archway and you’ll find a mix of independent boutiques, historical brands and new designers. Don’t miss Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street.
An exceptionally elegant shopping street, Regent Street offers a good variety of fashionable and mid-range outlets next to some of most famous shops in the city, including Hamleys, Liberty and an Apple Store. Nearby, the historic Jermyn Street is particularly known for high-quality men wear.
Bond Street and Mayfair are ideal for an extravagant shopping spree. Popular with celebrities, this is London’s most exclusive shopping area, home to big names such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
Also, Knightsbridge and Brompton Road boast famous shops and large stores. The area is best known for Harrods and Harvey Nichols, but it’s also possible to shop for designer clothes on Sloane Street, or to enter in big brand shops, including Tommy Hilfiger and Ted Baker.
At the end, world-famous thanks to the homonymous film, Notting hills offers a wide variety of vintage and antiques shops with their picturesque items, books and biological food. Also, not to be missed is the Portobello Road market, a mile-long (1.6 km) road that is populated daily by vibrant stands.
London Christmas markets start to be set up by the very beginning of November! in London as early as the beginning of November! This may seem like an exaggeration to many, but if you love Christmas here you can experience it for about two months. It’s at this time of the year that the days get shorter, but when the sun goes down, the city lights up with huge Christmas trees, colourful wooden houses and Christmas lights covering the city centre… and London becomes truly magical!
Some of the most important Christmas markets include:
- The Winter Wonderland, the biggest and most special in the city, which is set up every year in Hyde Park.
- The Covent Garden Market, an indoor market where you can find all kinds of products, from sweets to gastronomic specialities, to the most particular gift ideas that artisans expose every year.
- The Southbank Centre Winter Market is London’s unique winter market, located right under the London Eye on the banks of the Thames. This market organises many events such as art and music events.
NOT JUST SHOPPING
Christmas in London is not and cannot be only about shopping!
The city is a magical place to visit in this period, called Yuletide in Britain. You will find Christmas concerts, plenty of lights that make building shining bright, ice skating rinks and so much more!
Here are some tips that might come helpful to have the best Christmas time in London:
- Listen to the Christmas carols in Trafalgar Square
Christmassy and nostalgic melodies fill up the atmosphere around the square, offering to the people walking by the very typical and traditional Christmas carols’ song. What makes it even more magical is listening to them while gathering around the 20-metre Christmas tree (gifted from the Norwegians since 1947). The exhibitions/performances take place from 16.00 to 20.00 during the week, and from 14.00 to 18.00 on Saturday and Sunday.
- Ice skating in a beautiful location
What an emotion to skate on ice on one of the London’s outdoor rinks while admiring some of the most beautiful sites of the city.
The most celebrated rinks are Somerset House, Natural History Museum, Tower of London and Hampton Court.
- Have fun in Hamleys!
Allow yourself to get lost into your childhood memories in the biggest and most ancient toys shop in the world. Here you’ll find the puppets show, the Lego experience and a lot of activities to entertain both children and adults!
- Follow the magical trail at Kew Gardens
More than a million of twinkling lights turn the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens into a fairy and magical world, where you can follow the trail through the moonlit forest to see enchanting locations such as the glowing boats on the lake and the Fire Garden. And watch out: Santa and his elves might show up from time to time!
- Enjoying a Christmas drink!
Every year Caffè Nero and other chains such as Costa Pret and Sturbucks update their drink menu with warm, sweet and delicious Christmas drinks.
- Free museum in London
It is a well-known fact that London has many museums, and some of them are among the most beautiful and unique museum in the world. Here some museum you cannot miss: British Museum; National Gallery; National History Museum; Science Museum of London; Tate Britain; Tate Modern and much more.
- Warner Bros Studios
Visiting the warner studios is a must for harry potter’s fan that want to walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter and to explore the wonders of the Wizarding World, such as the beautiful little streets in Diagon alley, or the scary and gloomy Forbidden Forest. These studios display the original sets where the 8 films were made.
- It’s always musical time in London!
How about catching one of the West End’s finest shows? Lion King, Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins and many more.