From Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to the British Museum and the London Eye, London is filled with world-class attractions that are sure to give you a memorable experience. If you want to bring home something more than photographs to remember your trip, plenty of unique souvenirs can be found in shopping areas throughout the city. Here are the top things to buy in London for yourself or friends and family.
An umbrella from James Smith & Sons
James Smith & Sons is a historic shop that opened in 1830 that sells only umbrellas and walking sticks. Located near Tottenham Court Road and Holburn Stations, the shop features its original Victorian shop front and sells umbrellas made on site, which are a staple for Londoners due to the many rainy days. Bringing home an umbrella or walking stick is a great way to remember your time in London, especially if you make use of them while you’re there.
Houses of Parliament memorabilia
For branded souvenirs, there’s no better place than the Houses of Parliament shop. You can find a range of gifts marked with the stamp of the government, such as playing cards, flasks, pens, toys, notebooks, cufflinks, tiles, watches, jewellery, and more. The shop is conveniently located near Westminster Station, so it’s easy to stop in and grab a few gifts before returning home.
A hat from Lock & Co.
Lock & Co. is the oldest hat shop in the world. It was established in 1786 and boasts a range of hats and celebrity visitors, including Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, and Charlie Chaplin. They also created the first bowler hat ever in 1849. If you bring home a hat from Lock & Co., you’re bringing home a stylish piece of U.K. history.
A toy theatre from Benjamin Pollock’s toy shop
Benjamin Pollock’s toy shop is one of the few remaining toy shops in the West End. Specialising in toy theatres and shadow boxes, you can find all types of unique and nostalgic toys to bring home as unique souvenirs by shopping at Benjamin Pollock’s. There’s also a range of other toys, books and games, so you can pick up gifts appropriate for children of all ages.
Tea from Whittard and Twinings
Tea is ingrained in British culture, so what better souvenir to bring home with you? You can find Whittard and Twinings shops all over London for traditional Earl Grey or flavoured teas pre-packaged to take home, as well as teapots and hampers. If tea isn’t to your taste, you could also pick up coffee or cocoa that’s more to your liking.
Harry Potter souvenirs
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, a visit to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour and Platform 9 3/4 is a must-see on a trip to London. After sightseeing, you can visit the gift shop for exclusive Harry Potter-themed merchandise like plush toys, tee shirts, jewellery and a personalised Hogwarts acceptance letter, perfect for yourself or other fans in your family.
London landmark souvenirs
Whether it’s your first time in London or you’ve visited many times, you’re probably going to visit a few of the city’s landmarks during your trip. Places like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the British Museum and the Tower of London all have gift shops with iconic souvenirs, such as tote bags, cufflinks, keychains, miniature statues, and more that are modelled after the landmarks themselves. With so much to choose from, you can bring home a different piece of London culture and history for yourself and your friends and family.
You can find independent gin bars all over London that offer craft spirits you can bring home. One of the best is the City of London Distillery, which serves food and refreshments. You can visit the City of London Distillery to take the Distillery Tour and Gin Tasting Experience, which gives you a background into the craft of producing fine gin. Before you leave, visit the shop on-site to buy some original London gin to take home.
The Beatles are one of the most popular and influential bands in music history, and though they didn’t start in London, you can find their mark throughout the city. Abbey Road is featured on one of their most iconic album covers, and there’s a Beatles Store in London that offers all types of Beatles memorabilia. You can bring home various gifts, from postcards and photographs to original Beatles tour programmes.
Fragrance from Jo Malone’s Regent Street Boutique
Jo Malone shops are found throughout the UK high streets, but the Regent Street boutique offers some unique gifts you can’t find elsewhere. You can get exclusive fragrances, coloured bottle caps, personalised candles with a message, and other fine gifts for yourself or your family and friends back home. You can also pick up favourites from the Archive Collection and Artisan Studio.
Ready for your trip?
With so much to choose from, you can bring home a touch of London history and culture for your friends and family and to remember your trip. When it comes time to plan, take a look at things to do in London and check out London holidays to get ready for the time of your life.