By Koray Hussein
Let me start off this list with one simple fact: I hate shopping… And Christmas shopping is the worst kind of shopping imaginable. The crowds are just that little bit pushier and the shopping bags are in full on “swing into your groin” mode for some reason, so with that in mind, don’t expect to see the likes of Oxford Street & either of the Westfields on this list. No, instead I’ve picked five shopping locations that even a grumpy bastard such as myself can’t hate.
On, and you might also want to check out Esin’s five Christmas markets post she did last year by clicking here.
I didn’t really want to add any actual stores to this list, instead I wanted to go for streets or just general areas… But come on, how could I not include Hamleys? It’s probably the most famous toy shop in the world and that’s as good a reason as any for it to make this list. I could have included the whole of Regent Street but every Londoner knows how busy it is close to Christmas so my advice would be to get to Hamleys, do your thang, then get out.
If you’re looking for some high-end toys for the kids, then Hamleys can’t be beaten.
Not Camden market, although that could easily have made the list. No, this isn’t Camden at all. This is Camden Passage in Islington. Home to some of London’s best vintage and antique shops (although Brick Lane might have a thing or two to say about that).
If you’re looking for some different kinds of gifts, then this might be the shopping destination for you.
Marylebone High Street
Marylebone High Street is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon Christmas shopping. The entire street is flanked with great places to pick up cool and unique gifts like By Malene Birger, Brora, Skandium and one of our personal favourites, Daunt Books.
It doesn’t hurt that there are plenty of places to stop by and have a decent coffee in too.
Of course I was going to choose Covent Garden. Not only is it absolutely perfect for holiday shopping with stores like Apple, Kurt Geiger and the Disney Store surrounding the apple market but if you venture in pretty much any direction, you’ll find even more choice.
There aren’t many places better than Covent Garden for shopping…
… But one of them is Carnaby Street. It may be small but there’s just something about Carnaby Street that so few other places in London can match up to. The atmosphere is cheerful (probably because of the beautiful Christmas lights) and all the shops have very distinct characters. Just FYI, if you know someone who likes alternative jewellery, The Great Frog is a must visit.
The brilliant Liberty and Berwick Street are just around to corner too… Just in case you wanted even more choice.
What do you guys think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter.