London is a shopper’s paradise at any time of the year but particularly so in the run-up to Christmas. With the streets lit up with fairy lights and an almost unlimited choice of retailers from independent boutiques to large department stores, Christmas shopping in London is a real pleasure.
Here are our recommendations for the places that have the biggest and best selection of gifts and festive items to spend your money this Christmas:
Harrods is probably the world’s most famous department store and offers an unbelievable selection of goods with an emphasis on luxury brands. Whether you’re shopping for fashion, food, toys, homewares or London-themed gifts, you’ll find them at Harrods.
At Christmas time, Harrods pulls out all the stops with some of the best decorations in London to get you in the festive mood. They also have an amazing selection of decorations to buy, a Santa’s grotto for the kids, and a food hall stuffed with Christmas hampers and other festive treats.
87 – 135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW1 7XL
Open 10am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 11.30am-6pm on Sunday
Liberty of London
Liberty is lovely to browse at any time of the year, but especially so at Christmas. They have a gorgeous selection of old-fashioned decorations and toys and to make your Christmas table look extra fancy this year, make sure to pick up a box of luxury Liberty print crackers.
If you’re looking for gifts for one of those annoying people who already seem to have everything, Liberty is a great place to choose great quality and beautifully packaged items that you can’t buy elsewhere, including scarves, jewellery and designer stationery.
Regent Street, London W1B 5AH (Main entrance is located on Great Marlborough Street)
Open 10am-8pm Monday to Saturday and 12-6pm on Sunday
Fortnum & Mason
If you’re stuck for ideas, edible gifts are always a safe bet, and there’s nowhere better to shop for food and drink at Christmas time than Fortnum & Mason.
Choose from a massive selection of decadent hampers, tea, biscuits, chocolates, wine, cheese, preserves and other festive treats. There’s something for everyone, whether your budget stretches to caviar, or just coffee. They also have a great selection of Christmas ornaments, crackers and advent calendars as well as some unusual gifts (gold plated tea strainer, anyone?)
181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER
Open 10am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 11.30am-6pm on Sunday
London’s oldest department store makes an excellent one-stop-shop during December and the 4th floor Christmas shop is sure to get you in the festive spirit. In fact Selfridges have been ready for Christmas for quite some time as they first opened their special Christmas shop in August.
Shop for modern and traditional Christmas decorations, cards and gift-wrap with a London theme, crackers, trees, stockings and advent calendars. There’s a huge selection of board games for family entertainment on the big day and lots of fun stocking fillers to choose from to keep the kids happy.
400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB
Open 9.30am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 11.30am-6pm on Sunday
With its selection of boutiques, handicraft market stalls, and eateries, Covent Garden is a lovely place to while away an afternoon and is particularly charming when lit up with fairy lights and decorated for Christmas (this year there’s a 22-foot silver reindeer).
Top gift ideas include delicate pastel macarons from Ladurée, exclusive fragrances from Penhaligon’s and Victorian-style toys from Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop. There are really enough unique and inspiring retailers here to get all your Christmas shopping done in one go, without resorting to buying socks.
Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8RF
John Lewis has always managed to offer a good balance of luxury brands and good value for money with its “never knowingly undersold” policy. There are several branches in the city and you can pick up everything from household cleaning supplies, exercise equipment, baby toys and the latest fashion must-haves, while shopping for Christmas presents.
As with all the other big department stores, John Lewis Christmas decorations section is just like stepping into winter wonderland. They also offer one of the best selections of Christmas cards and wrapping paper, as well as a gift-wrapping service.
300 Oxford Street, London, W1C 1DX
Open 9.30am-8pm Monday to Friday and 12-6m on Sunday
See www.johnlewis.com for details of other branches
Heal’s is an amazing place to shop for home furnishings but it also opens an extensive Christmas shop every year, filled with Christmas decorations, tablewear for entertaining, gifts for the whole family and festive food and drink.
Don’t forget to check out the Heal’s Christmas Market with stalls offering designer stocking fillers and workshops in mulled wine tasting and Christmas wreath making.
196 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ
Open 10am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 12-6pm on Sunday
See www.heals.com for details of other branches
Debenhams always have lots of special offers on so it’s a good place to get some bargains on your Christmas decorations and gifts. Their Christmas shop has a great selection of Christmas trees, baubles, lights and wrapping paper, along with some lovely festive home accessories such as embroidered cushions and cosy throw blankets.
In terms of gifts, you can get your shopping done for the whole family in record time with an extensive selection of toys, clothing, beauty, gadgets, food and drink and gift cards and experiences for those who are a little tricky to buy for.
334-338 Oxford Street, London, W1C 1JG
Open 9.30am-10pm Monday to Saturday and 12-6pm on Sunday
See www.debenhams.com for details of other branches
If you want to have the most beautifully wrapped presents under the Christmas tree this year, you should head straight to the flagship Paperchase store in Tottenham Court Road and marvel at the unbeatable selection of Christmas wrapping paper, gift boxes, cards and funky modern decorations.
In terms of gifts there’s plenty to choose from too, including novelty stocking fillers, design mugs, desk accessories, and notebooks and diaries to suit any personal style.
213-215 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7PS
Open 8.30am-8pm Monday to Friday, 9am-7pm Saturday and 12-6pm on Sunday
Paperchase.co.uk for details of other branches
Whether you’re shopping for luxury gifts or just indulging in a spot of window shopping to get you in the festive spirit, the always-beautiful Burlington Arcade is at its best at Christmas time. With Christmas trees in every shop window and traditional decorations under the Victorian arches, this covered shopping street is a feast for the eyes.
This is not the best place to shop for cheap stocking fillers but if you want to impress your loved ones with fine fragrances, cashmere scarves, or a vintage watch, you’ll enjoy the shopping experience as much as seeing their faces on Christmas morning.
51 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0QJ