Best Shopping Streets and Markets of London
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Best Shopping Streets and Markets of London

London's best shopping areas range from the elegant Harrods and neighboring smaller stores where jewelry and couture clothes come at the highest prices, to colorful markets such as Brick Lane and Portobello. The city is also a fertile ground for specialty shoppers: there are streets crammed with antique shops, antiquarian booksellers and art galleries. Have an enjoyable shopping experience.

King’s Road

The King's Road has an abundance of small fashion shops filled with young people seeking for avant-garde fashions.  In fact, the miniskirt revolution of the 1960s originated here and so have a number of subsequent style trends, the most famous of which perhaps was punk.  Antique-lovers will find three warrens of stalls on the south side of the King's Road: Antiquarius at No. 137, the Chenil Galleries at Nos. 181-3 and the Chelsea Antiques Market at No. 253.

Portobello Road

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Portobello Road is actually composed of three or four markets rolled into one.  The market is immensely popular with tourists and tends to be very crowded on summer weekends.  The southern end has more than 200 stalls selling a wide array of jewelry, antiques, paintings and other collectables. Since most shops are run by experts, real bargains are extremely rare.  However, it is still worth visiting only to experience its lively and cheerful atmosphere even if you don't plan to buy anything.

Brick Lane Market

Once a lane running through brickyards, the immensely popular Brick Lane Market is now a bustling center of London's Bengali district.  Explore the Cheshire Street indoor stalls, packed with ragged furniture and old books, or the mish-mash of junk sold on Bethnal Green Road.  East End vendors gather on Bacon Street offering gold rings and watches, while on the wasteland off Cygnet Street, new bicycles, fresh meat and frozen goods are among the countless goods up for grabs.  You can also find some interesting fashion and design shops on Brick Lane and Cheshire Street. 

Harrods

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Harrods is London's most famous department store, which had its humble beginnings in 1849 when Henry Charles Harrod started a small grocery shop nearby on Brompton Road.  By focusing on good quality and impeccable service, the store became sufficiently popular to expand its business over the surrounding area.  Harrods has one of the most famous sales during sales seasons (usually from January to February and June to July), when people form lines outside the store long before opening.

Gabriel's Wharf

Little shops filled with ceramics, paintings and jewelry surround a handstand in Gabriel's Wharf where jazz groups sometimes play in the summer.  A few stalls are set up around the courtyard, selling ethnic clothing and handmade jewelry and pottery.  The book market under Waterloo Bridge includes a good selection of new and old Penguin paperbacks.

Petticoat Lane

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Probably the most famous of all London's street markets, Petticoat Lane continues to attract thousands of visitors and locals every Sunday.  The atmosphere is noisy and cheerful, with Cockney vendors making use of their wit and insolence to entice customers.  The prices may not be as cheap as some of those to be found elsewhere. But the sheer volume of leather goods, clothes (the Lane's traditional strong point), watches, cheap jewelry and toys, more than makes up for that.  A variety of fast-food sellers do a brisk trade catering for the bustling crowd.

Camden Lock Market

Camden Lock Market, which is in fact six markets located close to each other, has grown swiftly since its opening in 1974, spreading along Chalk Farm Road and Camden High Street.  The markets sell a wide range of exciting goods including crafts, new and secondhand street fashion, organic foods, books, records, antiques, and new age remedies, although young people by the thousands come here simply for the atmosphere, particularly on weekends.

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Comments (4)

Thanks for the tour!

This is a great article for tourists.

Thank you for the guide to England streets and markets.Great job!

Your articles are providing visitors to London with some very helpful information Eddie!

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