What are the main shopping streets in London’s West End?
Oxford Street has over 300 stores of affordable fashion, beauty, homeware and department stores Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams.
Regent Street runs adjacent and is known for premium labels like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade.
Bond Street is the West End’s most luxurious shopping street with global fashion houses such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton, world-famous jewellers and auction houses.
Mount Street offers luxury in a village-like setting. Stores include Loewe, Oscar de la Renta, Balenciaga and Christian Louboutin.
Synonymous with gentlemanly style, Jermyn Street is the destination for handmade shirts and shoes while Savile Row is the home of English bespoke tailoring.
Which are the most famous flagships stores in the West End?
The flagship department stores are some of the most notable. Selfridges, on Oxford Street, Fortnum & Mason, on Piccadilly, Liberty, just off Regent Street, and Fenwick Bond Street are some of the most unique experiences in the West End.
High Street favourite Zara has a four-floor flagship at 61 Oxford Street and Topshop, near Oxford Circus, is one of the biggest fashion stores worldwide. For designer wears, Burberry’s Regent Street flagship is popular.
Tech giants Apple and Microsoft have their flagships on Regent Street and the Leicester Square Lego store regularly attracts a queue.
Why come shopping in the West End?
London’s West End is renowned for being one of the best shopping destinations in Europe. It’s estimated that £9bn is spent here every year.
The unique combination of distinctive historical buildings such as Regent Street’s row of Regency buildings or the Covent Garden market hall, which house modern, global brands is an experience that can’t be replicated.
The number of festivities throughout the year also mean there’s something exciting going on from the Regent Street Summer Streets that offers a fun day of traffic-free shopping, to the Christmas light switch ons, the Pride parade, Record Store Day amd the Lumiere festival of lights to name a few.
Where are the best jewellery stores?
London’s West End is glittering with incredible jewellery stores with some notable hubs. For leading names in the world of jewellery, including Harry Winston, Cartier and Tiffany, head to Bond Street. Here you’ll find a premium service and plenty of choice from around 20 jewellery boutiques that also include high-fashion names like Bulgari and Chanel. Make sure you also visit the iconic Asprey of London store, known as “the Queen’s gift shop”, which has occupied the street since 1847.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, head to Burlington Arcade which has long had a relationship with some of the most respected, yet under-the-radar, names in vintage and modern jewellery and watches. Susannah Lovis, Richard Ogden, Michael Rose, Somlo and Hancocks make up some of the 13 names that squeeze in plenty of sparkle among the arcade’s 196-yard length.
When did the West End first become a popular shopping destination?
The West End has been a shopping hub since the area was first built upon in the 17th century. Being so close to Buckingham Palace and the mansions of the aristocracy that lined Piccadilly once upon a time (Burlington House, now the Royal Academy, is the only surviving example), it has always been an area for the well-to-do to spend their fortunes.
Some of the earliest shops to start trading in the West End are still in business today. Lock & Co Hatters on St James’s has been on the street since 1676 and is the oldest hat shop in the world. You’ll also find the world’s oldest toy store, Hamleys, which was established in 1760, on Regent Street and the world’s oldest tailor, Ede & Ravenscroft, which has been trading since 1689 on Burlington Gardens.