One of the most frustrating things about moving to a new country is suddenly realising that you have no idea where to go when you want to buy something, or anything, in particular. A whole new range of shops to familiarise yourself with makes it hard to know where to start and whether you’re getting a good deal.
To help, I’ve created a non-exhaustive, categorised London Shopping Guide – a list of some of the key shops around London to hopefully ease some of your frustrations and help you spend all your hard-earned cash 😉
My Favourite Shopping Areas in London:
These are all my go-to areas for shopping, where I’m pretty much always guaranteed to find what I’m looking for and undoubtedly spend more money than I want to
- Oxford Circus – Oxford Street & Regent Street (crazy busy, I recommend going first thing in the morning at 10am to avoid the huge tourist crowds)
- Covent Garden – Long Acre, James Street and Seven Dials (Also recommended you go earlier, but not quite as busy as Oxford Circus)
- Carnaby Street (A quieter shopping haven hidden from the main craziness of Regent Street)
- Westfield White City – Shepherds Bush (Everything you’ll probably need can be found here, though the vibe isn’t quite the same as the shopping on the high street, it’s great if you really need to find something specific or have a lot of shopping to do)
- Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons (all similar to Woolies and Coles)
- ASDA, Aldi, Iceland (budget, similar to Aldi)
- M&S, Waitrose, Wholefoods (premium, similar to Thomas Dux, the latter being purely organic)
For the Home:
- Argos, M&S, IKEA and Tesco (online) are great for tight budgets.
- High street retailers with affordable home collections include Zara, H&M, Muji, Oliver Bonas, Anthropologie
- Homebase (includes hardware and paint), Habitat, Tiger
- All the department stores (listed below) also stock a great range of home wares
- Harrods, John Lewis (similar to David Jones)
- Selfridges (similar to Myer)
- House of Fraser, Selbys, Marks & Spencer (also a supermarket)
- Aldo, Office, Debenhams, Dune, Clarks, Schuh, Kurt Geiger, Superga, Size
- Shoeaholics.com is amazing for quality shoes on a budget
- Footlocker and JD Sports are great for shoes
- Nike Town, Sports Direct and Lillywhites are some of the biggest retailers
- Sweaty Betty and Lulu Lemon Athletica are both similar to Lorna Jane
- Kathmandu and North Face are for more adventure sports & general outdoor things
Pharmacy & Health:
- Boots (similar to Priceline), Superdrug, GNC (Supplements), Holland & Barrett
- For a list of the best health food stores in London read my Health Food Stores post
- Opticians: Boots Opticians, Vision Express, Specsavers
Clothing – High Street Stores
- Biggest high street stores: H&M, Zara, TopShop, River Island, TopMan, Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters (similar to General Pants), GAP
- Low-Cost: Primark (aka Primarni, similar to Big W), New Look, Next (similar to Kmart), Forever 21 (teens, Supre and Valleygirl-esque), Warehouse, Joy, Evans (plus size), Marks & Spencer, Oasis
- Mid-range: COS, & Other Stories, French Connection, Pull & Bear, Cheap Monday, TK Maxx, All Saints, Banana Republic, Benetton, Esprit, Mango
- High-end: Whistles, Barbour, Burberry, Hobbs, Jack Wills, Jigsaw, J.Crew, Karen Millen, Mulberry, Reiss
- Space NK Apocatherapy, The Perfume Shop, The Body Shop, Toni & Guy, Aesop, Boots, L’Occitane, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Kiehl’s, Neal’s Yard Remedies
Kids & Baby:
- Argos, Currys (similar to The Good Guys)
- Jessops (photography, similar to Teds)
- HMV, Virgin Media (both similar to JB HiFi)
- Carphone Warehouse (mobile phones)
What are your favourite shops or shopping areas in London?
8 thoughts on “London Shopping Guide (& Aussie Equivalents)”
As a brit looking at moving back to the uk after 10 years in ‘straya, this is super helpful.
Amazing <3 There's an much more updated version of this list in the eBook but since you're from the UK you probably don't need advice on how to move to the UK haha! I'll think about the best way to update this post soon 🙂 x
Thanks for the tips! Favourite shop at the moment is definitely & Other Stories on Regent St…maybe add a vintage section too? Can’t forget brick lane there!
I find that this blog post is so helpful, especially for people not familiar with UK stores. I’m an American student studying abroad in London for a few months and I have a hard time deciding which places to go. It would be great to do a student oriented guide for college kids on a tight budget!
My preference is James Street for it’s lil crowd. In addition, I love it’s street side clothing shop and vintage shops.
There’s so much great shopping in London! I actually lived in London last summer and it did take me awhile to adjust and figure out the best places to shop. This is a great list you put together. I think it will be very helpful to people moving to London.
Thanks Paige, hopefully it’s helpful. I know, it took me a long time to work it all out too! I still sometimes come across new shops that Londoners seem to all know about yet I don’t, there’s just too much good shopping I think 😉
Great topic! It would be super handy if you could do a similar post relating to london suburbs and their similar Aussie equivalents.. Maybe based around Melbourne/Sydney suburbs. 🙂