How to Shop on a Budget in London

Budget in london

You probably know by now that London is heaven on earth for people who love to go shopping. If you’re someone who believes that retail therapy is the best way to relax then we’re sure that you find the idea of going on vacation to the Big Smoke very exciting.

What you might not realise is that it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune when you’re there because, although London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, it’s still possible to have a great time there on a budget.

There are huge department stores and famous designer shops that are clamouring for your attention but don’t forget that the city is also filled to the brim with bargains hiding in markets and vintage shops.

All you have to do is go searching for them, which is all part of the fun. To help you on your journey, we’ve detailed just a few places where you can shop to your heart’s content but without breaking the bank.

Don’t underestimate the high street

Oxford Street is one of the best places for shopping in the entire city because there are more than 300 shops in this area, most of which are high street favourites. In fact, this is where a lot of different brands have their flagship stores, which means that there is much more choice and there are also a lot more sales.

Oxford shopping center

The only thing that you might find daunting about Oxford Street is how busy it is. Even during the week, this is one of the most packed, out areas of the city and at weekends, there are people literally everywhere.

If this sounds like too much for you and you’d prefer somewhere less hectic to enjoy your shopping time then you should pop along to Covent Garden or the King’s Road. Covent Garden in particular is lovely, as it’s aesthetically pleasing and there are usually string quartets playing or opera singers performing in the square to advertise an upcoming show or concert.

More interested in homeware goods rather than clothes? Tottenham Court Road is where you should go to take advantage of the different markets in the area.

Affordable department stores

Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges are at the higher end of the scale when it comes to department stores in London. If they are a little out of your budget, we would still recommend that you enjoy window shopping, particularly in Harrods because they have great free samples in their food hall.

More affordable department stores come in the shape of House of Fraser, Debenhams and John Lewis – the latter of which is just behind Oxford Street. Although it’s really close to the high street headquarters, John Lewis itself is usually much quieter, bizarrely.

Secondhand and vintage shopping

For the best shopping bargains, the best place for you to look without a doubt is at one of the many markets that are all throughout the city.

Shopping in london

You’re going to find the highest density of markets around Brick Lane and Camden, which are particularly good if you have an interest in vintage clothing. You’ll find everything from branded vintage clothing to authentic outfits from the 50s, 60s and beyond.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the people who run the stalls at these markets are always ready to give you a hand and are very knowledgeable about their products. Most people who run these stalls have done so for a very long time, so if you need directions or want to know some history about the area they’re going to be useful sources of information.

For vintage and secondhand shops, try the Beyond Retro chain of stores, which are in Dalston, Shoreditch and Soho. When it comes to books, the most famous destination for you to head to Charing Cross Road and delve into one of the many shops along there. You really can’t go wrong.

Independent boutiques

In general, you’ll notice that independent boutiques and stores are to be found wherever there is a market close by. For this reason, most of the best ones are again in Camden or on Brick Lane.

This is largely because the market spaces allow designers and others to start their craft somewhere small and then build it up to be able to rent out their own shop. Portobello Road Market and Spitalfields have afforded the same opportunities to designers, which shows just how thriving the markets in London really are.

For somewhere different, try having a wander around Carnaby Street, which offers hundreds of unusual shops all huddled together in the same area.

For information about a London holiday package, including what rates we have for families, contact The Shaftesbury Hotel London now.