London shopping

harrods london shopsHarrod’s, John Lewis, Selfridges, Dickens and Jones, Fortnum and Mason’s and Liberty’s are among London’s top department stores. Marvellous tailors can be found along Savile Row, in Westminster or St James’ in Piccadilly. Wonderful shops along Regent and Bond Streets. Boutiques specialising in the unique can also be found in Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge. The old fruit, vegetable and flower market area of Covent Garden has been converted into an attractive tourist area of shops, restaurants and cafes as well as offering good street entertainers. You won’t find any bargains but the atmosphere is great although cafes are pricey. If you are looking for a bargain, however, London has many very good markets where you can pick things up for a good price and also drink in the wonderful authentic atmosphere.

Camden Market in north London, has become one of London’s most popular tourist attractions but is also a fun place for Londoners to visit. Its location is on the Camden Canal and this old canal still has the operating lock and canal boats chugging along – as well as tourist boats. The market takes up the whole length of Camden High Street and is really several markets in one. Here you can buy virtually anything, lots of funky retro gear, ethnic clothing and art, bric a brac, health food and some antiques. The market is open at weekends from 8a.m. to 8pm. Its always busy and crowded but lots of fun and especially lovely on a bright sunny day. For more antiques the famous flea market in Notting Hill, the Portobello Road Market, is still going strong. Its busiest day is Saturday and stalls begin to open by about 8 a.m You will find the antique section of the market at the south end, the other end being bric a brac, with the middle of the market selling vegetables. Although the market is open during the week Saturday is definitely the best day. If you are clever you may still pick up a bargain, although market traders are a bit more savvy than they were back in the 1960s when the market became famous outside of England. Don’t be shy to try and get the stallholder to drop their price.

The Sunday markets in the East End are also worth a visit. Traditionally known as Petticoat Lane the area also spreads out to include the flower market of Colombia Road, the old Spitalfields market and Brick Lane market. The Brick Lane Sunday market is a must. The area is fascinating with a wonderful history of immigration going back hundreds of years. Here too you will find the curry mile (curry restaurants) as well as Jewish bagel shops and interesting shops selling authentic ethnic clothing and furniture. The market stalls sell all kinds of things, second-hand furniture, clothing, and whatever seems to be to hand. Petticoat Lane is actually in Middlesex Street and is a typical Sunday market that specialises in market type clothing, bric a brac, household goods and leather. Both can be walked to from Liverpool Street Station. Close to these markets is the flower market at Colombia Road where the gardening enthusiast can buy bulbs, trees, gardening tools as well as plants and flowers. Old Spitalfields Market. opposite Liverpool St Station is a good place to start your Sunday morning market fest. Here the stalls are in the old covered market and interesting bargains can often be found here. All these Sunday markets open at 8a.m. and close by 2p.m. so don’t leave it too late. Another covered market that is worth visiting just for the pleasure of seeing the authentic Victorian architecture is in the City of London. Leadenhall Market which sells fruit and vegetables and other foodstuff. can be found quite close to the Bank of England and the Lloyds of London building and is open Monday to Friday between 8a.m. and 3p.m.