The top 4 places to shop in London
Of all the places in the World to do some shopping, London has to rank as one of the premier places. Here is where we are going to cover four places in London that you simply can’t miss. All of them are within easy reach each-other.
Camden Market [link]
Except for Christmas day, Camden Market, one of London’s top tourist destinations, makes its mark daily offering up an incredible range of shopping paraphernalia for those looking for something groovy and funky to buy. Camden Market has undergone quite a transformation through the years and every time I visit I am surprised just how much bigger it gets. To get to Camden Market you need to take the Northern Line Underground and alight at Camden Town. This then puts you right at the start of the shopping district (an alternative stop, still on the Northern Line, is Chalk Farm or Mornington Crescent, about a 10 minute walk).
Camden Market is divided into a series of areas, each specializing in their own unique style. At Market Hall expect to find paintings, prints, jewellery as well as other artistic and creative works for sale. While inside the Stables market just about anything goes: clothes, a world food area, and other handmade gifts. The shops that line the high street is where you’ll find retro clothes, leather jackets and lots and lots of shoes! Camden opens in the morning from 10:00 and generally runs through to 6pm. At which point you can choose to hop into any one of a number of bars, where you’ll find good music and a lively crowd.
As the night draws in and the stomach starts to rumble, there’s a huge range of restaurants including Thai, Mexican, Belgian (Belgo Nord, excelled moules and a menu for beer that tops 100 different ales), Greek, Turkish in fact, Camden’s more of a microcosm of World culture than in any other part of London, and that’s why when you come to London, you have to do at least one morning browsing around the stalls and the people.
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
3 departmental stores
There are three distinguished shopping experiences in the centre of London, near to Hyde Park, where you can find a piece of the UK’s shopping history located. In times gone by the traditional department store allowed a family to go to a single place to buy a range of shopping items. I remember being taken as a child to Jones Brothers in Holloway Road and being kitted out with school uniforms, seeing my mum place orders for curtains as well as looking at domestic appliances for the house. Sadly, these stores are now very much consigned to history. However a few do still remain and here are the ones that every Londoner is familiar with.
Fortnum and Mason
Since 1707, this store has been providing some of the finest delicatessen food you can find anywhere in the world. They are famous for their food hall and picnic hampers. Let’s imagine that you wanted to enjoy one of the wonderful summer open air concerts that are held in the grounds of Kenwood House during the summer months, you could turn up at Fortnum and Mason’s, walk in with your wallet and walk out with a perfect picnic hamper. Not just the food mind, the tablecloth, wineglasses and everything. As well as food you’ll also be able to find a fabulous collection of baby wear, ladies and gentlemen’s accessories and travel luggage. The Parlour restaurant is a must to take a coffee or enjoy unique stop off if your shopping in the area.
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Take the tube down to Knightsbridge and there you’ll find a department store that’s also become enwrapped in the modern day culture of English citizens as the owners son, Dodi Fayed, was also killed in the accident that saw death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Again the shop of Harrods’s is in a wonderfully ornate and decorative building, but with difference to Selfridges, Harrod’s good are notably more expensive. You’ll need a second mortgage in finance to even begin to touch some of the jewellery and watches that are on display in the shop, and you’ll find only the best quality goods on sale. Harrod’s itself has it’s own named brand where you can expect to pay a premium for a piece of branded tourist memorabilia, but it’s such an amazing store then who wouldn’t want to pay for this.
Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge
Located on Oxford Street near to Bond Street Tube (Central Line), Selfridges. In 1909 an American by the name of Gordon Selfridges put Oxford Street on the map with the opening of his department store. You’ll find every type of product in the store from food, right the way through to toys, music…everything. It’s housed in a wonderful historic building and they have an amazing oyster bar that has a full day service. If you’re living in the centre and can permit the slightly higher prices, you’d never really need to shop anywhere else for daily living.
Nearest Tube: Bond Street.