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Shopping in London

In this part you will find a mention of particular streets and shopping centres in London where you will have a chance to do a shopping spree and spend your hard earned money. There are just so many places where you can see and buy things so that it would be impossible for us to tell you about all of them now. Instead let us concentrate on main ones that you are the most likely to visit.

The street that you have all heard of and will visit first is Oxford Street. It is the most famous street in London where you can buy souvenirs, clothes, electrical equipment and so on. So many big retailers are represented here so you will be spoilt for choice. That is the good point but for the bad side of the coin you will have to be prepared to struggle from store to store. So many people are milling around that it looks like an anthill. Recently there has been talk of making a "slow" and "fast" lane for pedestrians due to the crowds of people doing window shopping and blocking the paths. If that goes ahead you can be fined for being in "fast" lane and walking slowly. No matter which day you choose to come here you will be bewildered by mass of shoppers. The only thing we can say and advice we can give, is that if you want to have some kind of peaceful day you have to be an early riser and come between 9 and 10 am when most of the other shoppers are either in bed or having a breakfast. The nearest tube stations are: Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road.

Second most likely street that you are going to visit is Regent`s Street. With Oxford Circus tube station on one end and Piccadilly Circus on the other one this street is packed with all kinds of shops. The main reason for us mentioning this one is, the Hamley`s store. This store is every child dream come true. Packed with all kinds of toys this shop will make a hole in your pocket from demands from your children. Michael Jackson was seen doing his shopping there while he was in the town.

Just off the Oxford Street less known and less crowded but more expensive are New Bond Street and Old Bond Street. These streets have designer shops ready to dazzle you. Most stores have a doorman who is there to open the doors for you, smile at you and wish you a nice day. The main difference with these two streets compared with the Oxford Street is hospitality of stuff Harrods during Christmas time working there and price of the things they will try to sell it to you. But if you are looking to buy designer clothes, expensive furniture, and paintings or maybe go to the Auction then this is the right place for you to be in.

Near to these two streets is the Savile Row. The one and only thing they do here is to make and sell you the clothes. For a "good" suit you will have to make a reservation up to six months in advance and pay up to 20,000 pounds.

Other popular shopping areas include Covent Garden and King's Road, both of which offer high fashion as well as quirkier independent shops. Knightsbridge draws the crowds with high-class department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

If you really want to treat your feet, try two of the biggest names in fashion shoes: Jimmy Choo (169 Draycott Avenue, SW3, 7235 0242) and Manolo Blahnik (49-51 Old Church Street, SW3, 7352 3863). For something rather more trad, try John Lobb.

Late opening
Stores in central London are open late one night a week (usually until 7pm or 8pm). Those in the West End (Oxford Street to Covent Garden) are open until late on Thursdays, while Wednesday is late opening in the chi-chi Chelsea/Knightsbridge/Kensington triangle. In addition, some shops are open on Sundays, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Bookshops General
The Riverside Walk Market (10am-5pm Sat, Sun and irregular weekdays) on the South Bank under Waterloo Bridge has cheap paperbacks. Another fertile hunting ground in terms of second-hand bookshops is Charing Cross Road, WC2.

 

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