Souvenir Shopping in London

18 September, 2009

One of the must-do activities during London weekends is to visit the various types of markets selling all sorts of knick-knacks and enjoy interesting performances by buskers around these markets.

However be prepared for huge crowds everywhere, especially at Tube stations (see picture below).  Also check train service availability before leaving your accommodation – some Tube lines are closed for maintenance during weekends.

Crowded London Weekend

The Camden Market is quite a good place to look for fashionable clothing.  Just across the street lies Inverness Street Market – a smaller market selling a mish-mash of souvenirs, clothes, food, fruits.  You can get to Camden by tube on the Northern line.  On weekends, it might be better to alight at Chalk Farm or take a bus to avoid the crowds.

Inverness Street Market and Camden Market

There are over 200 stalls in narrow alley-ways of the Camden Market.  It was originally known as Buck Street Market and is one of several markets off the Camden High Street/Chalk Farm Road.  You can shop for items such as clubwear, jeans, t-shirts, jewellery, fashion accessories, alternative clothing and footwear here.  It is open from Monday to Sunday (9.30am to 6pm).

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Camden Market London

One other must-go area during weekends is Covent Garden.  Again, be prepared for long queues and jams even within the Covent Garden Tube Station.  To avoid this, you can get off a stop earlier (e.g. Leicester Square) and take a short walk over.

There are over 120 stores in Covent Garden’s Jubilee Arts and Crafts Market Hall, selling original handmade arts and crafts, ceramics, hand made knitwear, pottery, hand made house plaques & house signs, doll houses, cardigans and coats, soft toys and dolls and lots more.

Another popular part of Covent Garden market is Apple Market, a small subsection of the main market.  It sells intricate artworks, beautiful photographs of London landscapes, movie posters and other kinds of art-related materials.

Jubilee and Apple Market

Covent Garden is the only part of London licensed for street entertainment with performers having to undertake auditions for the Market’s management and representatives of the performers’ union and signing up to timetabled slots.

Currently performers operate in a number of venues around the market, including the North Hall, West Piazza, and South Hall Courtyard.  There are street performances at Covent Garden Market every day of the year, except Christmas Day.  Shows run throughout the day and are 30–40 minutes in length.  The following are some of the “static” displays outside Covent Garden – unscheduled performances. 🙂

Busking at Covent Garden

If you want a luxurious and grand shopping experience, go to Harrods at Knightsbridge.  You will find almost anything there – clothes, food, toys, Harrods souvenirs, books.  There is a smaller branch of Harrods in the Heathrow Airport for you to buy some souvenirs and get the coveted Green Harrods bag.  Apparently it is quite a fashion statement to carry one in Singapore – according to Caroline. 🙂

London Harrods Shopping

For tacky London souvenirs e.g. Red telephone boxes pencil sharpener, Big Ben magnets, try souvenir shops around Piccadilly Circus – you find a whole variety of souvenirs at reasonable prices here.

London Souvenir

You know you are in Piccadilly Circus when you see these colorful electronic billboards.

Piccadilly Circus

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (10)

  • l2012Reply

    12 August, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Just stumbled across this post and wondered if you had chance to check out during your souvenir hunt?

  • William K WallaceReply

    28 September, 2010 at 6:25 am

    London sure is a shoppers paradise and there are so many tourist trap shops waiting to enjoy the tourist money, espcially in central London!

  • Hannah HamiltonReply

    8 November, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Your work is amazing, I liked it. Thanks for giving me the details over shopping because I truly love shopping for myself. From the images I can make out what suits me fine for grabbing the available stock. I was searching for a fine place to fit in, and thanks for letting me know.

  • Tom HolmesReply

    11 November, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    We are supposed to go to London this weekend. My wife loves shopping and she really spends most of the time shopping, though I get vexed up some times but this weekend I give it all to her. She would be glad to know of the places you mentioned. Thank you for sharing.

  • JoselinReply

    22 March, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Boy am I jealous! I love England & have been wanting to go for awhile now. These pictures are great!

  • Audra levinReply

    31 March, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Thanks sooooo much! Going to London from USA in May on my dream vacation. I will def be stopping at Camden Market! I never even heard about it before. So excited!! If you have any other fun or tacky (besides Picadilly Circus)places that you would like to give I would love to hear them. Thanks again!!!

  • heatelsReply

    18 April, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Excellent post as always 🙂

  • Robert EtisonReply

    15 June, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Nice Click. Thanks For the Post. I’m Too planning for Vacation in London.

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