carnaby street, london

London is one of the world’s fashion capitals. On the cutting edge of ‘cool’, the London fashion scene has a long history of trend setting and maintaining its reputation for offering the best of the best. When you visit London, don’t miss these shopping districts.

West End

For many, a big shopping day starts at a big department store. London’s West End has the best of the high street shops with big brands and department stores. All along Oxford Street, Regent Street, and New Bond Street, you’ll find Topshop, Primark and upmarket designer stores.

Shoppers looking for a boutique balance to the big brands don’t have to leave this area. Carnaby Street has been home to the trendiest shops since the 1960s. Edgy brands such as The Kooples and A.P.C. sit alongside trendy athletic wear shops like Sweaty Betty - it’s an eclectic mix that keeps fashion hunters on their toes.

Selfridges

Though it technically 'lives' in the West End, Selfridges deserves its own mention. It’s an iconic landmark of a shop, sitting on a whopping 6 floors of fashion-filled real estate. Shoppers can peruse all offerings from upscale items to more affordable pieces. And with dining options available without having to leave the building, a shopper could easily make a day of a Selfridges visit.

Knightsbridge

Harrods is the single most recognisable name when it comes to London shopping. This chic stalwart is absolutely enormous. It has 330 departments, 7 floors and occupies 20,000 square metres. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here, from an array of the latest Burberry collections to luxury prams to Harrods’ own teas and everything in between.

If Harrods is too overwhelming to attempt, go for the more manageable shops of Knightsbridge. Name brands such as Orla Kiely and Rag And Bone stand proudly in Sloane Square; the nearby Duke of York Square is home to other brand names such as COS and AllSaints. As you venture further from the Sloane Square Tube stop, you will stumble upon smaller, independent clothing and shoe shops.

Camden Market

Vintage loyalists, grunge diehards and punk rockers will find a shopping heaven in Camden Market. Specialty stores, such as Hats Off - specialising in hats, of course - and Black Widow - specialising in goth clothing - mix with stores that buck the trends. And if you ask us, vintage shops, record stores and rock paraphernalia outlets make this market perfect for people-watching.

Portobello Markets

More vintage - plus antique furniture and contemporary independent designers - can be found at the Portobello Markets. A departure from the Camden Market, Portobello Markets have a bit more of an upscale, classic London feel. An entire antique section is inviting for anyone who takes their antiquing seriously. But first-timers will get a thrill out of perusing the stalls and stopping at the fruit & veg stands for a bite.

Hoxton Square

As the apex of Shoreditch, the ‘hipster’ part of London, shopping here is bound to keep you inspired. Shoppers looking for quirky souvenirs can head straight to this hip part of London. Gift-shopping, for friends or even for yourself, is made easy at Maiden, which is filled to the brim with kitschy knick-knacks. For a wider selection, Wonderound offers men’s and women’s clothing, accessories, perfume, and a selection of stationary and home decor. A gift straight from the East End would be quite the token of appreciation.