Just like anyone who’s come to the UK capital previously, first-time London visitors are aware that it’s one of the premier cities across the world when it comes shopping options – if you’re after retail therapy then you’re definitely in the right place in London Town. However, once you’ve arrived, where exactly should you head? Well, wherever you’re staying (say, the Grand Park hotel Heathrow or anywhere else), you’ll find any and every of these six shopping districts ideal to sate your browsing, perusing and buying desires…
One of the most well-recalled and best regarded of all of the capital’s shopping districts, Knightsbridge is the sophisticated, elegant area that’s bordered by Hyde Park to the north, Belgravia to the east, Chelsea to the south and Kensington to the west. Here you’ll find two of London’s biggest tourist attractions; yes, they may be über-upmarket department stores, but Harrods and Harvey Nichols (or ‘Harvey Nicks’, as it’s affectionately known) enjoy an enormous footfall on a daily basis to rival with any tourist-focused venue anywhere else in the city. Chic and dedicated to providing every one of their customers’ luxury goods needs, both stores offer an experience should you merely wish to walking around them and take in the atmosphere as you window-shop.
One of the most salubrious thoroughfares in all the capital when it comes to retail outlets, Bond Street offers a true concentration of designer shops that simply ooze sophistication (it’s home to London’s flagship offerings by the likes of Tiffany & Co. and Cartier); it is, after all, of all the city’s shopping streets, the one to which the rich and famous are known to flock to perhaps above all others. A destination then for international designers’ creations; if you’ve expensive and extravagant tastes then Bond Street’s where to head, for sure.
Synonymous with the Swinging Sixties – and punk-inspired fashion outlets of the mid-to-late ’70s – it may always be, but Chelsea’s King’s Road is nowadays an unmissable destination for designer boutiques, antique stores, stylish restaurants and coffee shops, as well as rather awesome vintage stores that are dotted here and there; seemingly as a nod to the long street’s always-appealing ’60s and ’70s throwback legacy.
Another London street that will surely always be intimately associated with the Swinging Sixties, Carnaby Street felt like it was at the centre of the mod culture – if not the world – come the mid-point of that decade, being pretty much the birthplace of that whole fashion movement (if not the music that it accompanied). Here then the boutiques were all about elegant but bold, striking but perfectly talented looks; rebellious but gorgeously stylish at the same time. And the outlets that line the street nowadays retain that devil-may-care yet great-looking quality in the wares they vend, much of them urban fashion-focused with more than a hint of ’60s vintage about them.
Westfield (White City)
The latest unavoidable addition to the London shopping scene, West London’s Westfield is an enormous US-style mall, which is full to the brim with, in total, more than 300 different stores of all kinds (high-street and luxury-end), restaurants and eateries of every type and the obligatory multiplex cinema, all of it under one big roof. If the more sophisticated end of the retail spectrum’s your bag, then be sure to head for The Village, the area designated for all the seriously designer brands, as well as a chic champagne bar.
The Centre (Feltham)
Finally, a shopping and leisure development to be found slap-bang in the middle of the rejuvenated town that’s Feltham, ‘The Centre’ Feltham is located in the London Borough of Hounslow (in the west of the capital and so of particular convenience for travellers staying at accommodation such as the Best Western Hounslow hotel). Like the other options on this list, this shopping centre spans around one million sq. ft., is open seven-days-a-week, offers in excess of 635 parking spaces and, of course, a large number of different retail stores – more than 60 in total and every name you’d expect to come across on a dependable high street.