Are you planning to go shopping in London while you visit and not sure where to start? I’m an American expat living in London and experienced the same problem. If you only have a short amount of time in London, you won’t want to waste time figuring out where to go and what’s cool to buy. I spent so much time thinking about how this car park system worked. It is different back in America, so it did take me a while to figure this out. Did you know that if it wasn’t for the UK’s top sheet piling contractors, the car park that you always use in shopping centres like Westfield wouldn’t look like how it does now. So think twice before you complain about not getting a parking space or not being able to navigate around. Just like with anything new, it does take time to get used to it.
That’s why I created this guide for you. I lived in Florida and New York prior to meeting and marrying a man born in London. I love clothes, shoes, beauty products and chocolate. My favorite American brands are: White House Black Market, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Sephora, Kiehl’s and Nine West. Even though some of them are in London, I generally like to buy things in London that are British and different. However, it took a while to figure out which brands were the best.
I made a few YouTube videos to show you all the information you need for visiting London and shopping in London. The videos will give you a chance to actually see the different areas I recommend so you are fully prepared for your trip to London.
Shopping in London: Video, Maps and Links
The first is a basic guide of easy to find malls, streets, and neighborhoods. The short video below starts with the easiest places to find and then gets progressively more challenging. After it, you will find the maps and store links that you need to research and plan your trip.
The map below shows the two Westfield Shopping Centres. They are on the east and west and are identified with the double red circles around them. For Westfield Stratford you can exit at either Stratford or Stratford International stations. For Westfied London (the shopping centre in West London) exit at either White City or Wood Lane underground stations.
The map below shows Oxford Street. It is runs east-west and is parallel to the red bar below. Selfridges is circled in the west. The best Regent Street shopping begins at the circle around Oxford Circus underground station and heads south. Circled just to the southeast of that is Carnaby.
This map shows the Covent Garden area best for shopping within the box. Long Acre is identfied with arrows. The Seven Dials area has the double circle around it.
To make things super easy for you, these are links to all the places shown in the video:
- Westfield London
- Westfield Stratford
- Regent Street
- Events (shopping, street food and music parties)
- Seven Dials
- Events (shopping parties will be advertised here)
Shopping in London: British Brands to Buy
One of the most difficult things I found about shopping in London is trying to figure out specific British brands to buy. There are tons of American shops you’ll recognize. But if you’re like me, you’ll want to buy things unique to London as much as possible.
This video below will show clothes, beauty products, shoes, chocolate, toy shops and travel gifts.
Shopping in London: How to Save Big Money
Aside from discounts on specific streets, there is another way you can really save a lot of money while shopping in London. Many shops have coupon schemes with a company called Nectar. All you need is a Nectar card and you’ll be rewarded just for shopping. This Guide to MyMail Rewards in Partnership with Nectar gives more information on how to get the most out of Nectar when shopping in the UK. Similarly, this video on the VAT Refund Scheme is a guaranteed way to save money. It’s literally allowed me to knock hundres of dollars off of the amount I spent in London when I was visiting from the U.S. You need to make sure you take certain steps as you shop in London to make it happen, but it can be well worth it! Just like in the US, the majority of British shops are self service orientated (if you are unsure of this term why not read this article) so nothing is that alien in this big city!
Shopping in London: What Would You Like?
I have several other videos planned for the shopping in London series. However, if there are certain items that you are seeking or questions that you have, leave them in the comments below. I will either make a video to answer them or give you a quick answer as a response.
For regular updates about hotel, restaurant and event launch parties, follow the Sunny Instagram. The Sunny in London Pinterest account features boards dedicated to hotels, things to do, food and drinks, and day trips from London. Start by pinning the image below to your London trip planning board and/or bookmark this page so you have everything in one place. If you know people visiting London soon, you can share it with them. And, there’s always Sunny email updates to keep informed.
I can’t wait to help you 🙂