The Designer's Guide to London

Shopping

London is known for its style, which is why it's home to some of the best shops in the world. From luxury items at shops like Harrods to bargains at one of London's many famous markets, there's shopping to suit all budgets in this city. Whether you're looking for something specific, just fancy a stroll or want to go bargain hunting, you'll find exactly what you're looking for in one of these top shopping spots...

Borough Market

  • Location: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL (map)
  • URL: www.boroughmarket.org.uk
  • Opening times: Mon-Wed: 10:00 - 15:00; Thurs: 11:00 - 17:00; Fri: 12:00 - 18:00; Sat: 08:00 - 17:00

If you're a foodie, then a trip to London's famous Borough Market is a must. Capturing the country's rich culinary history, the wholesale fruit and vegetable market is a source of quality British and international produce. All of the traders share a love of food and many of them make, grow or rear the produce they sell so customers know exactly where it has come from. Most stalls offer little tasters of their treats so you can try before you buy too!

Designer views

Jonathan Denby

"My personal favourite is Borough Market. As a keen cook, you can get some of the best locally sourced ingredients as well as great foreign foods too." - Jonathan Denby, creative professional at Digital Annexe

Carl Addy

"Borough Market: the perfect setting for foodies to hunt down the best ingredients. My suggestion for newcomers: rye bread gruyere cheese toastie followed by a Monmouth coffee." - Carl Addy, creative director at The Mill

John Oxton

"Borough market is horrendously expensive but lovely. And it's right by London Bridge and the Shard too." - John Oxton, user experience and web designer

Adrian Williams

"Hit Borough market for food, especially the confit of duck ciabatta." - Adrian Williams, designer for MRM Meteorite

Brick Lane & Spitalfields Market

A premier attraction, London's Spitalfields Market offers an impressive selection of antiques, art, fashion, gifts and food via its many stalls. Both independent boutiques and famous names are nestled in amongst this popular shopping destination.

Right next door to Spitalfields is London's renowned Brick Lane. Once associated with poor slums and its proximity to the scene of a Jack the Ripper murder, this street is now extremely popular with London's creative crowd, featuring galleries, markets, vintage clothes shops and chic boutiques. Brick Lane is also world famous for its brilliant street art, which includes pieces by Banksy and Ben Eine.

Designer views

Olli Breuer

"A trip to Brick Lane is definitely high up on my list. On weekends you can explore the street market's offering of second-hand stalls as well as vintage clothes and bike shops. It's also the place to head to for world food stalls and bagels." - Olli Breuer, interaction designer at Huge

Jonathan Denby

"Brick Lane - if not for its bagels, for its various little boutiques and the occasional pop up shops at places like the Truman Brewery." - Jonathan Denby, creative professional at Digital Annexe

Tom Muller

"The whole Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Shoreditch High Street triangle keeps evolving as a great shopping destination in what is probably design central in London. Even though it's becoming more and more commercialised with big brands plonking down stores, it still has great independent shops, and whenever I'm in the area I'll spend a lot of time browsing music at Rough Trade East." - Tom Muller, freelance graphic designer and art director

May Foster

"Sunday (Up)market on Brick Lane and around the Truman Brewery are good for vintage stalls, one-off designs and crafts. As is Spitalfields on a Saturday." - May Foster, graphic designer at Links of London

Phil Birchall

"Outside of the two Westfield giants which have their place for 'big' shops, I'd recommend Spitalfileds. The market has been gentrified and now boasts lots of independents as well as a host of smaller chains, and if you get board of conventional shops, there's Brick Lane and the Truman Brewery where you can almost guarantee a new pop-up every week." - Phil Birchall, designer and owner of GRIN

Broadway Market

Located in the east end of London, Broadway Market is great for food stalls, original clothing and soaking up the vibe of a proper London market. There are 100 more stalls to welcome you, featuring everything from coffee and cupcakes to spices, cheese and bread. But the true beauty of this little gem is cost, with stalls offering top-quality food at prices that are as good, or better, than the supermarkets.

Designer views

Mike Lythgoe

"My all time favourite market in London is Broadway on a Saturday. It's essentially a local mini version of the tourist-populated Borough Market at London Bridge. The street food is great, and there are a few good vintage and book stalls to boot!" - Mike Lythgoe, designer at Studio Output

Jonathan Denby

"Broadway Market is a great little market that some members of our team would swear by. Great stalls, great shops, great coffee shops. You can't go wrong!" - Jonathan Denby, creative professional at Digital Annexe

Camden Lock Market

  • Location: Camden Lock Place, Camden, London NW1 8AF (map)
  • URL: www.camden-market.org
  • Opening times: Mon-Sun: 10:00 - 18:00

For a more picturesque outdoor shopping experience, head to Camden Lock Waterside Market. Part of Camden's popular collection of markets, stalls here feature everything from crafts and clothing to fast-food and multicultural food stalls. A great place to take five, grab a coffee and enjoy the tranquil view of the barges travelling along the canal.

Designer view

Alex Brooke

"If you're in to vintage jewellery and creative goodies, forget the main famous Camden Market - Camden Lock Market is the place you need to visit. Situated right next to the pretty little canal is this little, cute market that sells all kinds of cute, unique things ranging from jewellery through to antiques. Perfect for any creative!" - Alex Brooke, web designer and developer at Gamaroff Digital

Covent Garden

  • Location: 41 The Market, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RF (map)
  • URL: www.coventgardenlondonuk.com
  • Opening times: Mon-Wed: 10:00 - 19:00; Thurs: 10:00 - 20:00; Fri-Sat: 10:00 - 19:00; Sun: 11:00 - 18:00

Covent Garden is famous for its shopping experience. The area is brimming with everything from high-end fashion and specialist stores to vintage boutiques and markets. One of London's most popular areas, Covent Garden is a major tourist attraction, featuring amazing street performers, a variety of restaurants and unusual market stalls. Whatever you're after, Covent Garden is a shopping destination not to be missed.

Designer view

Neil McFarland

"Why wouldn't you spend a day walking from Covent Garden all the way to Soho? That's my tip. There’s literally every kind of shop you can imagine. If you're feeling flush, cross over Regent Street and wind your way through the shops of Oxford Street and experience high-end retail." - Neil McFarland, lead visual designer at ustwo

Deptford Market

  • Location: Deptford High St, London SE8 3PR (map)
  • URL: www.lewisham.gov.uk
  • Opening times: Wed, Fri & Sat: 09:00 - 16:00

A fruit and veg, antiques and bric-a-brac street market - Deptford is one of South London's busiest. Between the hours of 9am and 4pm, three days a week, some normal suburban streets are transformed - full of lively market traders selling everything from clothes and shoes to artwork and vintage magazines. A brilliant place for bargain hunting!

Designer views

Rebecca Barker

"Deptford Market is full of interest and a great reflection on the area, you'll definitely find some wonders here." - Rebecca Barker, design director at Studio Output

May Foster

"Deptford Market is good if you're up for a good old rummage, there's some serious gems to be found if you're up for the challenge (old cameras, typewriters, second-hand clothes, prints)." - May Foster, graphic designer at Links of London

Greenwich Market

An indoor venue, Greenwich market is often referred to as one of London's best sources for arts and crafts. If you're after original artwork, limited edition posters, handcrafted toys, fashion, jewellery and various cuisines then this is the place to visit. In many cases designers work on art pieces at their stalls and chefs prepare fresh food on the spot, creating a truly vibrant atmosphere.

Designer views

Ash Joseph

"Greenwich market has a quirky mix of bric-a-brac stalls, selling everything from antique watches to '40s cigarette cards and fabrics. Hidden at the back is the real gem; the Flood gallery. Full of pop-pulp inspired paintings and stylised movie posters, it’s amazing." - Ash Joseph, graphic designer at The Foundry

Rebecca Barker

"Greenwich Market has an amazing array of market stalls which changes throughout the week, great for vintage finds and junk shops." - Rebecca Barker, design director at Studio Output

Portobello Road

One of the world's best known markets, Portobello Road is famous for the sale of antiques. But that's not all, market stalls that stretch a mile long hold treasures including books, music and fashion, both old and new. It also features a diverse selection of cuisines. This is a market full of character, where bargains are just waiting to be discovered.

Designer view

Lucie Agolini

"A cliché, but I love Portobello market. The range of treasures from the tacky to the trendy never fails to please me." - Lucie Agolini, digital designer at Digital Annexe

Stoke Newington

  • Location: Stoke Newington, Church St, London N16 0LU (map)

Stoke Newington is a district in the London Borough of Hackney, which has become well-known for its array of independent shops over the last decade. The popular area is home to boutiques selling everything from vintage clothes and accessories to pregnancy and baby supplies. You can also find the Film Shop here - one of London's great resources for world cinema and independent film DVD rental.

Designer views

Tom Muller

"I don't know if it has to do with me getting older but I do like Stoke Newington Church Street. It's all a bit upper-middle class and laden with 'yummy mummies' blocking the pavement with their strollers, but there are some great independent vintage shops as well as places to eat and buy food without the business of the East End of London. Any place where you can find old Chuck Norris film posters is good in my book." - Tom Muller, freelance graphic designer and art director

Carl Addy

"The vintage stretch on Kingsland Road and Stoke Newington High Street has a collection of well curated vintage shops where pre-worn garments are selected and displayed like the treasures they are." - Carl Addy, creative director at The Mill

Westfield Stratford

For an all day shopping experience under one roof, head to Westfield Stratford City. Opened in 2011, it's one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe and the third largest in the UK. Located adjacent to the London Olympic park site, Westfield Stratford has plenty to keep you busy all day, including 300 stores, a 17-screen all digital cinema, 70 restaurants and Britain's biggest casino.

Designer views

John Oxton

"Huge! Also by the iconic BBC Television Centre (where you can get tours and there's always the option to book a free seat in the audience of some show or another)." - John Oxton, user experience and web designer

Jonathan Denby

"Westfield is always great fun. You can find everything there - and with a cinema, food courts and bowling lanes you can make a full day out of your visit." - Jonathan Denby, creative professional at Digital Annexe

We'll be updating this post regularly, so let us know if we've missed anywhere out - and tell us about your London experiences in the comments below!

Discover more in our London guide

Restaurants

Design Landmarks

Nightlife

Accommodation

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