The 7 Best Shopping Areas in London for Christmas

Whether you like to get your Christmas shopping done early or you leave it till the last minute, in London, you are sure to find what you are looking for to make Christmas a dream this year. From small boutique stores in big shopping areas like Bond Street to the huge establishments such as Harrods or Liberty, shopping can be a delightful winter activity.

If you enjoy the thorough store decorations, with its lights, trees and intricate holly displays, browsing for ideas and gifts in these stores would be a pleasure. These high-end stores make a huge effort to make Christmas shopping a special experience. Indeed very few shops can compare to Harrods’ iconic window displays and festive lights.

I’ve compiled a list of London’s most wonderful shopping areas and stores so you can organise a couple of fun hours browsing and getting into the right mood. Please note that this list of venues is arranged in no particular order and that some of these attract crowds during the weekend, so it’s best to visit off-peak times.

Without further ado, let’s check the best Christmas shopping areas across the British capital: From stunning historic locations to modern surroundings, here are London’s best shops in which to indulge yourself this winter.

1. Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason – Image sourced from their website

Fortnum & Mason, established in 1707 by William Fortnum and Hugh Mason, is one of London’s oldest department stores. With time, it has become known for the most wonderful hampers in Britain. You’ll spot them at horsing events and boat regattas. But the store offers a broad range of products that are perfect for gifting.

Look out for gourmet Christmas treats such as puddings, mince pies, chocolates and Christmas hampers fit for royalty. Cats take centre stage in Fortnum & Mason Christmas windows this year. Don’t miss the famous clock on the façade (with bells from the same foundry as Big Ben), once an hour Messrs F&M themselves appear to check that standards are being upkept.

Where: 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER (Google)
Nearest Tube: Green Park / Piccadilly Circus

 

2. Harrods

Harrods Kingdom of Christmas

Harrods Kingdom of Christmas – Image sourced from their website

Another well established store in London, Harrods was founded in 1824 by Charles Harrods. This store, the precursor of the Harrods we so much love and adore, used to be located in Southwark but following the opening of the Great Exhibition of 1851, it moved to its current location. Harrods rapidly expanded, acquired the adjoining buildings, and employed one hundred people by 1881. The rest, as they say, is history.

Harrods’ famous Brompton Road windows are now home to a menagerie of animal models; from brown bears, to sleek snow leopards. Each animal was chosen by a different luxury brand in reflection of their heritage and product aesthetic.

Where: 87-135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL (Google)
Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge / South Kensington

 

3. Selfridges

‘Future Fantasy, a Christmas for Modern Times’ – Image sourced from Twitter

Historically, Selfridges (founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1908) has been Harrods number one competitor. The flagship store on Oxford Street is the second largest shop in the UK (after Harrods) and opened in 1909. The superb building was designed by American architect Daniel Burnham, who also designed the much loved Flatiron in New York.

With the theme ‘A Christmas for Modern Times’, Selfridges’ displays retell classic fairy tales through a contemporary lens. There are 13 individual window displays for you to discover, all showcasing Selfridges wares. The Oxford Street store’s interior features a 13 metre Christmas tree plonked in the atrium and over 85,000 baubles hung throughout.

Where: 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB (Google)
Nearest Tube: Bond Street / Oxford Circus

 

4. Liberty

Liberty – Image sourced from their website

In 1874, Arthur Lasenby Liberty accepted the lease of half a shop at 218a Regent Street with three staff members thus beginning the history of this thriving department store. The building, a most curious Tudor revival structure, was completed in 1924 due to the steady growth of his business. By the way, not many people know that the store was constructed from the timbers of two ships: HMS Impregnable (formerly HMS Howe) and HMS Hindustan.

This year, Liberty London has built an incredible floating velvet bonsai inside the store for Christmas. Known as The Tree of Liberty, it’s made from blue velvet branches and real reindeer moss. Baubles, gifts and exotic animals are perched across the elaborate tree, which was inspired by a poem by Gabrielle Djanogly, telling the story of an All-Seeing Owl and the vision he had for a magical tree.

Where: Regent St, Soho, W1B 5AH (Google)
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

 

5. Oxford Street

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Oxford Street Christmas Lights – Image sourced from their website

From the more normal shops at Oxford Street to the high-end luxury goods shops of Bond and Regent Streets, venues across them try hard to display beautiful and intricate window designs that celebrate the festive spirit. Even if you don’t want to empty your pockets, the shop displays and Christmas lights are worth a visit.

Where: Oxford Street (Google)
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

 

6. Regent Street 

Regent Street

Regent Street – Image sourced from their website

Regent Street is one of the very few planned avenues in London, a clever urban design by extravagant architect John Nash completed in 1819. However, its Christmas lights tradition dates back to 1954. Since then, every year, Regent Street displays the famous angels called ‘The Spirit of Christmas’.

The high-end shops around the area make an effort with the window displays being Burberry and Hamleys especially remarkable.

Where: Oxford Street (Google)
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

 

7. Bond Street

Bond Street – Image sourced from their website

And the cherry on the cake goes to Bond Street: where London’s most expensive brands display flamboyant window fronts. From Cartier to Polo Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton to Paul Smith, these shops won’t fail to surprise you, even if it’s just for looking.

Where: Oxford Street (Google)
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

Note: Most winter sales begin on Boxing Day (26 December)

I hope you enjoyed this list and are able to visit some of these wonderful shopping areas across London. Make sure you check other Christmas plans, shows and activities around the city: