Tick off all those must-buy items on your list during a spot of festive shopping in London at Christmas.
In the run-up to Christmas, the capital's top shopping destinations are as crammed full of festive gifts as Santa's sack, and its twinkling Christmas lights and picture-pretty window displays add a touch of magic.
Flash the plastic at iconic Christmas shopping London hotspots such as Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street, seek out heritage brands in Carnaby, beauty boutiques in Covent Garden and bespoke fashion in St James's. Or shop under one roof at one of Westfield's two huge malls. You can also pick up stocking fillers and last-minute gifts at the many London Christmas markets.
Covent Garden and Seven Dials
Wander through Seven Dials, a kaleidoscope of heritage brands, boutiques and beauty stores scattered across seven cobbled streets. Hunt for the latest arrivals at Nudie Jeans, original jewellery pieces at Tatty Divine and fresh takes on classic cuts at Farah.
A short stroll away, you can discover Covent Garden’s famous piazza. This is where you’ll find one of London’s biggest and best Christmas trees, magical mistletoe chandeliers and Instagrammable decorations.
Check out the dazzling array of designer brands, including British style from Hackett, classic jewellery from Tiffany & Co and must-have bags at Mulberry. For all things beauty-licious, head to Covent Garden’s Beauty Quarter, a cosmetics heaven home to iconic brands including skincare pioneer DECIEM, bespoke fragrances from Jo Malone and the flagship Charlotte Tilbury store.
Oxford Street and Regent Street
Fill your Instagram feed with snaps of the famous Christmas window displays at Selfridges on Oxford Street or venture to nearby John Lewis for even more gift choices – make sure to check out the department store's winter-themed rooftop bar while you're there.
Or re-enact Oasis' (What's the Story) Morning Glory? album cover with a stroll down historic Berwick Street, the place to shop for music fans. Sister Ray and Reckless Records are among the many cool and quirky shops.
The 14 pedestrianised streets that make up Carnaby are perfect for shopping for gifts for that super-cool friend or family member.
Carnaby Street is one of London’s trendiest shopping destinations, lined with independent fashion boutiques and cutting-edge brands, including Diesel, Sweaty Betty and the quintessentially British Fred Perry. Or treat your loved ones to a rockin' Christmas with items from the Rolling Stones' first flagship store, RS No.9 Carnaby.
The famous Christmas lights on Carnaby Street sparkle above shoppers' heads and are themed each year.
Mayfair and St James's
No Christmas shopping excursion in London is complete without paying a visit to Fortnum & Mason, the Queen's grocer. Leave plenty of time to discover the delights of the food hall, with Christmas puddings, mince pies, chocolates and Christmas hampers fit for royalty.
Wander just around the corner to South Molton Street to find sparkling jewellery at Monica Vinader and fashion stores The Kooples and Boudi Fashion – pose for a festive shot under the pedestrianised street's lit arches.
If you’re on the lookout for gents' gifts, make your way to Jermyn Street in St James’s. Bag a bespoke hat from Bates, stock up on colourfully patterned socks from New & Lingwood or treat him like a king with scents fit for royalty at Floris.
Chelsea and Belgravia
Join the well-heeled Chelsea set and shop in luxury stores along the King's Road, stocked with the latest London winter trends.
You'll find an eclectic mix of trendy boutiques, unique labels, designer shops and high-street staples, alongside many trendy cafes and restaurants.
Stop off at Sloane Square to explore the long-running Peter Jones department store and be sure to check out nearby Duke of York Square as well. Located just off the King's Road, this tranquil square is decked out with festive lights for Christmas.
Neighbouring Belgravia has plenty of upscale options of its own. Pick up artisan-made fragrances at Elizabeth Street's pretty Les Senteurs or hunt down treasures from emerging designers at 50m in Eccleston Yards.
Coal Drops Yard, King's Cross
Around the corner from Granary Square in King's Cross, Coal Drops Yard mixes big brands with emerging craftspeople and designers, and it's a great place to find elusive gifts for those who are hard to shop for.
Green-fingered friends will love indoor plants from Botanical Boys, chocoholics will thank you for tasty treats from Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse while fashion-lovers are catered for at Universal Works and American Vintage.
Press pause on your shopping spree to warm up at one of the cosy cafes or restaurants at this shopping destination that was once a Victorian rail yard.
Head to Knightsbridge as darkness falls to see world-famous department store Harrods sparkling with more than 12,000 lightbulbs.
Explore the department store's giant Christmas shop, filled with luxury decorations, posh Christmas crackers and ornaments from top designers. You can also hunt for presents for family and friends in the 300-plus departments on the other floors.
If that isn’t enough, the lavish department store Harvey Nichols is just a few steps away with a fantastic selection of fashion, homewares and Christmas hampers.
Late-night and last-minute shoppers can breathe a sigh of relief – both shopping hubs are usually open until 10pm in the run-up to Christmas.
Whether you’re buying for parents, grandparents or your best friend’s dog, Westfield offers everything from high-street stalwarts to luxury brands including Prada, Gucci and Jimmy Choo, as well as a mouthwatering selection of restaurants to refuel in.
Grab cosmetics and beauty products from Morphe at Westfield Stratford City, its only store in London, or pick up stationery, diaries and more stocking fillers from Typo.
City of London
Tick off items from your list at One New Change shopping centre, in the heart of The City. Find stocking-sized gifts at Hotel Chocolat and Dermalogica, stylish footwear at Dune or alternative accessories at All Saints. Make sure to take the lift up to the rooftop terrace for epic views.
If you want an extra touch of magic in the build-up to Christmas, seek out Leadenhall Market, the filming location for Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter film. It's home to small-scale and independent traders selling everything from watches to wine, with some big-name brands too such as Barbour and Diptyque.
Don't miss charming The Royal Exchange for sweet treats from La Durée, cameras by Leica and more unique ideas.
Find one-of-a-kind gifts in Connaught Village, an exclusive shopping district just a short stroll from Oxford Street.
This hidden gem is full of picture-perfect shops selling unique wares, such as vintage books, antique jewellery and exquisite pieces of art, as well as Instagrammable cafes such as Saint Aymes. Bid for something unique at auction house Lyon & Turnbull, find luxury shoes at Lucy Choi and trawl through pre-owned designer items at The Dresser.
While away the winter days shopping across trendy Camden, with a compulsory visit to Turkish De-Light for festive lights.
Seeking something different? Lay your hands on some unique, personalised presents found only in Camden. Gift a message in a necklace (on a grain of rice, in fact) from Trinity Camden and pick out modern, striking home decor from Photo Typewriter.
Enjoy late-night shopping at Camden Market on select days the week before Christmas, just in time to grab unforgettable gifts for that special someone.
Many of London’s outlet centres are home to high-street and high-end brands which sell heavily discounted goods, so they’re the place to spoil your loved ones with fancy treasures for less. Keep an eye out for Christmas events, offers and decorations over the festive season.
Head to the Icon Outlet at The O2 for high-end Boss for less, kit out the kids at Tommy Hilfiger Kidswear and shop for luxury leather goods at Osprey London.
Dig through the options at the London Designer Outlet in Wembley Park, the biggest outlet store in London, where you can pick up classics from Levi’s, Guess, Nike and more.
Find something unique at one of London’s many Christmas markets, from one-off pieces to handmade jewellery and beautiful arts and crafts. These markets are havens for even the most disorganised, last-minute shoppers.
Christmas markets in London include handmade gifts, stocking fillers and seasonal foodie treats. Head to Christmas by the River at London Bridge City, where you can shop against the iconic backdrop of Tower Bridge.
Away from central London, visit the fashion, crafts and food stalls of Greenwich Market which are given a festive makeover. West of the city, the traditional market town of Kingston upon Thames has an ancient market place that turns into an Alpine Village and features stalls crammed with stocking fillers and unique gifts.
Download the Visit London App to find more festive shopping inspiration.