Christmas 2020 in London will be unlike any previous years, that much is clear, but our much-loved capital still has many delights in store for the festive season – and the Christmas shopping opportunities will far from disappoint.
Shopping districts throughout the capital have worked very hard to ensure there are plenty of coronavirus safety features in place including widened pavements, face masks, enhanced cleaning, hand sanitisation stations and new signage.
As with any year, in the run-up to Christmas, the capital's top shopping destinations are crammed full of festive gifts and the famous Christmas lights and decadent displays adorning the windows will add a touch of magic to any shopping trip.
With such a large variety of shops and markets there is something for everyone and a huge amount of choice. If you don’t know the capital well, it can be a little tricky to work out exactly where to head for.
We’ve been operating our serviced apartments in London for over 20 years and have taken much joy in handpicking some shopping destination ideas below. Each one is a firm favourite from Team Flying Butler so we hope it helps with the decision making!
Oxford Street is the one we all wanted to start with - it is the capital’s undisputed shopping heaven and an experience you’ve got to see to believe. Stretching almost 1.5 miles long, if you can dream it, chances are you can get it on Oxford Street. And you'll not be able to miss the famous Christmas lights, which sparkle from high above and are themed each year.
With shops to suit all budgets, there are department stores aplenty (many flagship stores) as well as independent designers. If you’re looking for a calm retreat mid-shop, take a break within the charming streets of St Christopher's Place which is perfectly tucked away just off Oxford Street and offers a variety of cafés (with lots of al-fresco opportunities, particularly this year) and shops.
While Oxford Street certainly offers enough shops to keep the keenest shopper occupied for a whole day, you might also want to take a detour onto Regent Street, which is home to the iconic department store Liberty London and historic toyshop Hamleys.
And if you have time to spare, the 14 pedestrianised streets that make up super-cool Carnaby are one of London’s trendiest shopping destinations, lined with independent fashion boutiques and cutting-edge brands.
| Make a mini break out of it: Flying Butler Bloomsbury |
One of London’s top shopping locations, enjoy over a mile of retail heaven with over 150 shops along the King’s Road. The leafy, well-heeled neighbourhood attracts a fair number of visitors, but the crowds are no match for Oxford Street.
King’s Road offers products for all tastes with a beautifully diverse melting pot of styles: trendy boutiques, unique labels, designer shops, high-street staples and a regular supply of pop-ups to add to the variety.
This shopping district is also a great place for inspirational interiors, with Peter Jones, India Jane and Anthropologie all more than worthy stops.
And don’t forget the side streets which branch out beyond King’s Road – they are filled with hidden gems, such as Manolo Blahnik and Biondi Couture.
| Make a mini break out of it: Flying Butler Chelsea |
Christmas markets can really help get you in the festive mood and Camden hosts one of the most creative in London.
Camden Market with its distinct personality and very own North London vibe provides a contrast to big-brand shopping. Wander round the eclectic mix of stores and stalls at your leisure: from bespoke clothing to jewellery, wall-art to make-up-art and furniture to crafts. Chances are that the person selling the item you’re browsing has a genuine passion for it, indeed this famous market provides a golden opportunity to buy direct from the designer-maker who (very) possibly created the purchase you’ve just fallen in love with. And you’ll have the chance to secure some of the most unique stocking fillers around!
Chic cafes, cool bars and top-notch street food are also readily on hand around the market to keep you well fuelled.
| Make a mini break out of it: Flying Butler Camden |
Offering a range of world-renowned fashion, beauty and lifestyle stores, Covent Garden is one of London’s most popular Christmas shopping destinations for good reason. The area boasts a unique blend of global and independent brands curated to satisfy every shopping desire.
Even in this very different year, Covent Garden’s cobbled piazza and market buildings are still dressed beautifully for winter. The huge 60ft hand-picked Christmas tree has arrived and is sparkling across the piazza.
Also take the time to wander through nearby Seven Dials, a wonderful selection of historic brands, cute boutiques and worthwhile beauty stores scattered across seven cobbled streets.
| Make a mini break out of it: Flying Butler Bloomsbury |
Marylebone Village is more than just your typical high street. Nestled between the picturesque haven of Regent's Park and the delights of Mayfair, this wonderful shopping area is a firm favourite with locals, but remains largely unknown to tourists.
Behind the beautiful facades that line the streets, shoppers can find a diverse range of boutique shops, luxury name brand stores, home stores, beauty and wellness shops. Enjoy the small-town, relaxed vibe whilst shopping here, with the knowledge that Oxford Street is only a few streets away should you wish to venture into a more mainstream shopping experien
| Make a mini break out of it: Flying Butler Marylebone |
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