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London Shopping

London is the shopping capital of the world. From the boutiques of Bond Street to the teeming Oxford Street fashion stores and vibrant street markets, there is something to suit even the most discerning of shoppers. Pick up the perfect gift from a luxury department store like Fortnum & Mason or while away an afternoon in the world famous halls of Harrods, our shopping guide is packed with all the advice you'll ever need!

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Bond Street

For serious fashionistas, Bond Street and its environs are the place to be seen in and shop! New Bond Street boasts one of the biggest and best concentrations of designer shops in the world, including Donna Karan, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Nicole Fahri, Armani, Versace and Ralph Lauren. Quintessentially English style can be found at Mulberry and Burberry's new flagship store.

 

Carnaby Street

The name Carnaby Street is synonymous with 1960s "Swinging London" - a phrase coined by Time magazine. Nowadays the area has gone through something of a revival and is once again boasting cutting edge designer talents and trendy street ware. With over 140 shops, bars and restaurants to choose from in the area, it's definitely worth a visit. Shoppers will find ad hoc collections like those at The Dispensary which stocks everything from John Smedley to Elspeth Gibson for the girls. There are also a couple of stores (notably Diesel and Animal) owned by multinational clothing corporations posing as urban clothing outlets.

 

The King's Road

For fashion, the King's Road offers High Street regulars such as Jigsaw, French Connection and Benetton. Plus, American Classics still sell vintage Levis and tuxedos while Johnsons stocks 50s and 60s inspired velvet suits and bowling shirts. A number of one-off boutiques and designer stores exude sartorial elegance, such as Ben de Lisi's store in Sloane Square which offers the ultimate evening wear in simple, but luxurious fabrics and his near neighbour Philip Treacy - who's millinery work has adorned the heads of the rich and famous for over a decade. Lulu Guinness's highly collectible and novel handbags can be purchased on Ellis Street, Emma Hope designs exquisite women's footwear and for those in the know, there's Jo Malone (Sloane Street), where you can splash out on chic skincare and scents.

 

Covent Garden

A visit to Covent Garden is a must, whether you intend to shop, sightsee or soak in the carnival atmosphere. The focal point of Covent Garden, the market, has dominated the area ever since the Middle Ages when monks tended their market garden here. Since the nineteenth-century the market has expanded. Watch out for mime artists - harmless but irritating.

 

Knightsbridge

Harrods is the most famous of the local shops, a huge tourist attraction employing over 3000 staff in more than 300 departments. However, locals turn their nose up at this garish overcrowded place and much prefer Harvey Nichols, a chicer alternative with three floors of designer wear, a huge beauty department and delectable delicacies on the fifth floor, all at extremely high prices.

 

Oxford Street

With over 200 million visitors a year, more than 300 shops and 5 million square feet of retail space, Oxford Street lays claim to being London's busiest street. The opening of Debenhams and Selfridges in 1909 marked the beginning of the street's dominance as a shopping centre. Amongst the chaos and bustle, retail therapists will find an oasis of calm in the area's unrivalled collection of department stores.