It has come to that time of the year already: the festive season is well and truly upon us! For many, the decorations are up already and if you turn on your radio you’re guaranteed to hear a christmas classic. All that’s left to be done then is, of course, Christmas shopping, but this need not be a daunting prospect. Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have called England “a nation of shopkeepers” and this might just ring true today. London especially has such a rich assortment of shops that you won’t struggle to track down the perfect gift for even the pickiest of people.
From luxurious high end purchases to unimagined bohemian treasures off the beaten path, London can cater to all of your retail requirements. If you’re looking for a house in the city and want to know about the shopping hotspots within your prospective neighbourhoods, we know some great little places!
We all think of East London as one of the places that the trendy crowd converges and indeed, Hackney has definitely become a “hipster” hot spot. However, you should shake off any preconceived notions of pretentiousness you may have about the area as it has so much to offer. There are always popup shops cropping up offering all sorts of unusual delights, as well as underground music shops and delightful little cafes dotted about in the area. There is also Broadway Market which was established towards the end of the 1800s and is always full of energy despite being around for so long.
If you’re looking for an even more unpredictable shopping experience, there is the nearby Netil market with a mix of 15 permanent shops, or “residents”, and temporary traders. With both markets bringing in droves of creative minds, you won’t be at a loss for things to find. Likewise, in this area you are guaranteed to stumble across some of the finest street food London has to offer! Hackney then, is the perfect area for those that want to live in the midst of a buzzing and incredibly inventive neighbourhood. Finding a home that reflects the creativity of the area need not cost an arm and a leg either. With the help of a conveyancer, you may be able to cut down on the legal costs once you’ve found your dream abode!
With Oxford Street just up the road, Marylebone has no shortage of highly prestigious shopping spots to explore. Although Oxford Street is a world famous destination for devoted shoppers everywhere, Marylebone offers a more relaxed shopping experience close by, whilst still retaining a polished atmosphere. Additionally, Marylebone is close to Edgware Road and even St John’s Wood. It has also had quite the extensive list of high profile residents over the years, ranging from John Lennon, Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, T.S. Eliot, H.G. Wells, the great Charles Dickens and many more. All have left their mark in the area in some way or another and this is reflected in the assortment of specialist shops one can find all over Marylebone. Some of these include a shop dedicated to the Beatles, a century old tea shop and bespoke instrument shops such as Steinway and Sons.
This appreciation of culture is not limited to the shops however, with RIBA, Asia House, the Hellenic Centre and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre all within the vicinity. If that wasn’t enough, Marylebone is also the home to numerous farmers’ markets with over 30 stalls to foray. This area is truly a mixture of bustle and culture then, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the price range will be astronomical. One way to cut down on the cost of buying in this area is to hire a mortgage broker who will help you find the best possible deal for your mortgage.
For those seeking pure opulence, this area is the perfect fit! Once known as the bohemian haven in London, Chelsea also became the home of the British Punk movement and has seen the likes of Vivienne Westwood setting up shop there. It has an endless list of famous residents ranging from Oscar Wilde, Stella McCartney, Sir Richard Branson, Paloma Picasso, Mary Shelley and Sir Laurence Olivier to name but a few. Aside from this, Chelsea is primarily known for being an area of sheer affluence with the average house price being situated in the millions. As such, this is the place you want to head to if it’s luxury shopping you’re after. King’s Road is the home to countless trend setters and consequently attracts throngs of street style photographers on a daily basis. There, you can find a mix of boutiques as well as more mainstream stores such as Space NK and Reiss.
For finer designer items however, Sloane Square is a major destination to go for. With high end shops such as Prada, Fendi, Valentino, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and many more, Sloane Square offers nothing but luxury. Moreover with less tourists than areas such as Oxford or Regent Street, you are guaranteed to have a peaceful christmas shopping experience. Aside from Harrods, there is also the Chelsea antique market and the Saatchi gallery if you are seeking an altogether different experience in this upscale area.
St Paul’s cathedral serves as a historical and cultural cornerstone of the very heart of London. It is situated on the highest point of the City of London and thus offers gorgeous views of the city alongside the intricacies of its exquisite interior. Surrounding this iconic cathedral is London’s financial district with Fleet Street close by. Adding to the rich heritage of this area, Chancery Lane is now the home to numerous prestigious law societies as well as Ede and Ravenscroft, London’s oldest tailors.
The newest addition to this location is One New Change which is comprised of over 60 restaurants and shops as well as multiple offices. This new complex contains a blend of high street and high end shops to create a modern and eclectic shopping experience for those who want the best of both worlds. The building is also equipped with a roof terrace with panoramic views of the city, which is open to the public from 6am to midnight everyday. Overlooking St Paul’s you’ll be able to take in breathtaking sights if you need a break from your retail venture.
Hammersmith and Fulham is a theatre goer’s dream. Not only are there 4 theatres within the borough, it is also the home to LAMDA as well as the legendary Hammersmith Apollo. If that wasn’t enough, Hammersmith also has multiple cinemas to offer which makes it a formidable entertainment hotspot outside of the West End.
This area is not just a sanctuary for theatre or film lovers however, as it is also the home to the famous Westfield shopping centre. Another shopping destination that can also be found in Hammersmith and Fulham is Kings Mall. Founded in 1980, the shopping centre underwent refurbishment in 2013 and will continue to undergo further face lifts worth millions. With a healthy measure of high street favourites and a location between several stations that makes it easy to access, this shopping centre is perfect for those on the go. If you’re looking to get some of your christmas shopping done whilst you’re on the move, then passing by this shopping centre may be the answer. If you want to live within an exciting entertainment hub without all the added bustle of central London, why not work with a buying agent to make sure you have as many options as possible at your fingertips?