Prepare yourself for the onslaught of Christmas shopping and be organized by buying gifts now rather than at the last minute. Beat the crowds in the weeks leading up to the big day and use a weekend in the city to break the back of your festive shopping list.
A city escape, particularly our capital, can prove to fulfil any shopping list, with all the wares available at your fingertips. Whether you’re on a strict budget and being frugal this year, or can afford to splash the cash on your loved ones, London can provide something for everyone. Spend a weekend in the city and stick within your budget with an affordable hotel. With a multitude of accommodation options located within the inner city limits, you never have to be too far away from your stores of choice. For more information, visit Travelodge and grab some fabulous early bird deals.
If your budget can stretch to the high street stores, look no further than Oxford Street. Home to every store you can think of, it’s a fashionista’s paradise. Grab the latest threads for the trendsetter in your life; with chains ranging from TopShop to H&M, they are all here, ideally located along one stretch. Pop into the massive HMV for a gadget, DVD new release or latest computer game. Peruse the music section and pick up something by your loved one’s favourite artist. Treat your spouse to a funky gadget or some up-to-the-minute technology.
If you’re shopping for children, the Disney Store is a must. Set over two levels, it has to be one of the largest of its kind and offers everything from princess goodies to the latest Disney film merchandise. With Selfridges, John Lewis, and Debenhams department stores all centrally located, there is plenty to be browsing to ensure you cross off items from the wish lists.
Take a detour around Covent Garden and there are some brilliant little finds to be bought. From international candy in Cyber Candy, making ideal stocking fillers, to a variety of independent toy stores to visit, it’s a super area for festive shopping.
If you’re hoping, instead, for something a little more unique, London is the place to find it. For the alternative wears, head for Camden. From the clustered markets to the Stables, it’s hard not to find something quirky here. Particularly popular with young rockers and vintage lovers, brands such as Hell Bunny, PunkyFish and New Rocks can be easily found. Stop by the impressive Cyberdog store, right in the middle of the Stables market for some psychedelic wear and paraphernalia – if only to see the imposing futuristic giants that guard its doorway.
The Christmas markets are an excellent place to visit if you’re looking for something unique, independently made and affordable. Providing a vast array of stocking filler ideas, handmade items and delectable culinary goods, you could wile away hours perusing the wooden chalet-style stalls. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers a beautiful market that you can enjoy whilst basking in the festivities and Christmas spirit. Alternatively, the markets that line the South Bank provide some excellent hand crafted trinkets and festive gifts.
If you want to take a little break and are feeling lucky, treat yourself to a fabulous lunch at one of London’s high-end casinos. Gourmet prepared food and extensive wine lists will surely hit the spot while playing a few hands. It you’re a little rusty, get some practice in online and you may even win some extra shopping money!
Whatever your budget, there’s something that can be found in our bustling capital for everyone. A city break here will not be a waste and you will return with your arms full of tidbits for all of the family.