About Sue H
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Jun 2014
I love travelling but London is my thing. I design and organise private tailor made tours of London and love exploring this great city.
Department Stores, Points of Interest & Landmarks,
Historic Walking Areas, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Flea & Street Markets,
, Flea & Street Markets
Flea & Street Markets,
Flea & Street Markets, Points of Interest & Landmarks,
Flea & Street Markets
Flea & Street Markets
You will see the famous shape of Harrods as you approach this grand store and stepping through its doors you enter into a world of luxury with price tags to match. Several thousand pounds for handbags and watches before you move onto the eye watering jewellery. Every designer and top brand you’ve heard of is here in this huge shop, apparently the biggest department store in Europe. Of the 330 departments, make sure you don’t miss the food halls with their elaborate tiles and wonderful mouthwatering displays. For shoe lovers the lavish Harrods shoe hall is heaven. Whatever your 'thing', Harrods’ motto is 'All Things For All People' so I hope you find whatever you're looking for here!
Oxford Street itself boasts 300 shops and leads into Regent Street, with even more on offer. With easy access to Carnaby Street and St Christopher’s Place, this area is London’s major shopping destination. On Oxford Street the upmarket Selfridges is a destination store; for more 'budget' shoppers there are two branches of Primark, the now-famous bargain store. This is Europe’s busiest shopping street so brace yourself for crowds all the way. Regent Street is generally more upmarket and slightly less busy, home to the Apple store, Hollister and top jewellers Mappin and Webb. Here you also find the fabulous Tudor-style building of Liberty, which is just off the main street. Parallel to Regent Street is Carnaby Street, steeped in fashion history. If you are shopping with children beware of the magnetic effect of Hamleys Toy store which is like Christmas to any child. At Christmas time this area puts on a great display of festive lights in the streets and shop fronts.
If you love markets then Portobello is one of the best in London to explore as it offers such a range of experiences and shopping opportunities. There are some stalls every day but Saturday is the full market. It extends the whole length of Portobello Road with about 1000 stalls and has many different sections. Each bit will delight you with a different range of tempting things to buy. I'd start at the Notting Hill Gate end with the antique section and go through clothing, jewellery, fruit and vegetables up to vintage and second hand fashion with lots more on the way.
Spitalfields is a lively covered market just east of the City which has a different theme each day for the stalls alongside some regular vendors. It is an old Victoria market hall and has seen markets held here since the 1600s. Around the central hall is a fine selection of boutiques and unusual design and lifestyle stores. A few minutes’ walk away are the on-trend shops and markets of Brick Lane, especially on a Sunday. The different themes include antique, vintage, new designers, African, fashion, art and record fairs – so something for every shopper.
Camden Market in north London is a sprawling collection of markets famous for its grungy vibe although there is much more to it than that. Walking down Camden High Street there are markets on both sides of the road and once past the canal the main market stretches up before you offering some more radical styles of clothing. Black has always been Camden’s favourite colour (this is 'goth' central) but you’ll find a really wide range of clothing, jewellery, bags and shoes among the hundreds of stalls and as chain stores are not allowed this really is the home of original and new design so make the most of the chance to seek out some one-off items that no one back home will have.
Marylebone High Street is a short distance from Oxford Street but is a very different experience, one of calm shopping with smaller boutiques in fashionable surroundings. It offers top foodie shopping with the expert butchers of The Ginger Pig and cheese specialist La Fromagerie as well as a vibrant farmers’ market to complement the shops. Fashion is very well represented, from Paul Smith to Agnes B, as is interior design and furnishing with a large Conran shop. As you would expect the cafes and restaurants are suitably upmarket too.
Covent Garden is a great place to explore for its varied shopping opportunities. The main square was formerly a busy fruit and vegetable market and these fine buildings now house shops, bars and restaurants and a range of markets, including a real food market to keep the tradition going.
Step back into another era of shopping when you enter Burlington Arcade. This is one of several arcades around Piccadilly where covered arcades managed to survive decades of change. Burlington is the most traditional of them, dating from 1819. A walk through its beautiful arches takes the modern shopper back to a time of truly civilised shopping. These were the first shopping centres, covered to protect genteel shoppers from the elements and the riff raff! The passageway is still lined with luxury brands and goods within a beautiful setting.
Borough Market is the place all foodie fans head to in London. Make sure you get the right days to avoid disappointment as it’s only on Wednesdays to Saturdays for most of the year. Everywhere you look are stalls selling a mouth watering array of fresh top quality British and international produce which will excite any palate: from mounds of cheese, fresh fish, the best fresh and cured meats, tasty looking fruit and vegetables to artisan bread and cakes. Alongside these are stalls selling snacks from roast pork rolls with crackling, to huge paellas and all kinds of ethnic street food.
There are two Westfield Shopping Centres but I would recommend the westerly one in Shepherds Bush, although the easterly one in Stratford does have the advantage of being next to the former Olympic Park. Westfield offers you nearly 350 shops to choose from with a high end 'Village' section with Prada, De Beers, Dior etc. There is also a wide choice of high street stores and brands such as Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, H&M and kids' stores - the list goes on.