Souvenir Shopping, London (Self Guided)

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of the must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades and from snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street there are a host of shops selling items which typically depict this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs for yourself or gift for friends, here are a few ideas to give you some great inspiration.
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Souvenir Shopping Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping
Guide Location: England » London (See other walking tours in London)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Author: Daniel
1
The British Museum Shop

1) The British Museum Shop

What to buy here: Tower Bridge Cufflinks. These classy cufflinks are actually made in Deptford, Southeast London and exude a touch of classic luxury and sophistication without being flashy. They feature a beautifully detailed photographic image by Allison Wiffen of the iconic Tower Bridge. These contemporary ceramic accessories make a beautiful fashion statement with their subtle black and white image and glossy finish. The cufflinks are entirely hand crafted and measure 0.7 inches square. Suitable for any age of recipient, they will add the finishing touch to any dress shirt. The cufflinks are made from lightweight white earthenware clay with nickel plated backs to make them light but durable. They are easy to pack in their beautiful black velvet presentation box, which features the maker’s signature inscribed on the white satin liner. Price: £55.

Business Hours: Open daily 10am - 5.30pm; Fridays 10am – 8.30pm
2
Foyles Bookshop

2) Foyles Bookshop

What to buy here: London Memory Game. This clever game in a Union Jack style box is the ideal gift even for those who have never visited the city of London. The game has 25 pairs of photographic images of London landmarks such as Big Ben, museums, pubs, bridges and famous architecture. Players have to match the cards into non-identical pairs by theme, such as food, pubs, newspapers or railway stations. Suitable for youngsters as well as adults, it is a great way to enjoy 50 first-class scenes of London while getting to know the city a little better from a local perspective. The game will prove to be a delight to anyone who loves London or who wants to know it better. It is also the ideal gift to share with family and friends back home for hours of fun matching pairs of typical London sights. Price: £14.

Business Hours: Monday - Saturday: 9.30 am – 9:00 pm; Sundays 11.30 am - 6:00 pm
3
Liberty Store

3) Liberty Store

What to buy here: Liberty Print Knot Watch. Price: £55.

A great way to own and wear a fabulous Liberty fabric is with this modern multi-colored Liberty print knot watch. Stylish yet eye-catching in a range of contemporary designs it is a great way to give a truly British gift from this iconic London landmark store. Built in the 1920s from timber from HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan, the Liberty building is now as much a London icon as Harrods. Liberty prints continue to be developed by up and coming London designers and are instantly recognizable. The Liberty print knot watch is made from a twist of fabric and has a small circular gold watch face with neat gold fingers. It can be twisted, tied or doubled up, however you wish to wear it and it looks stunning with a matching Liberty scarf or coordinating outfit.

Business Hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm; Sunday: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
4
Stella McCartney store

4) Stella McCartney store

What to buy here: Stella McCartney Pembridge Zip Wallet. Price: £335.

This signature zip wallet is created by London fashion designer Stella McCartney, daughter of musician Paul McCartney. Simple yet chic, the eco cotton fabric is beige with a simple monogram design. Bound with a faux leather trim it will look good with any outfit. The zip is finished with a logo disc with the designer’s name embossed around it. Once unzipped, the brown interior opens flat to reveal a credit card organizer for up to 9 cards. It has a further zip interior pocket and a gusseted wallet for tucking other essentials. This Pembridge zip wallet measures 8 inches by 5 inches and is less than one inch deep. Spot cleaning is recommended for the eco cotton fabric exterior. This is a beautiful gift from an established London designer which would look great when teamed with the matching Monogram tote bag.

Business Hours: Monday - Saturday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
5
The Queen’s Gallery Shop

5) The Queen’s Gallery Shop

What to buy here: Buckingham Palace Hand Towel. Price: £19.95.

Live like royalty with this Buckingham Palace Hand Towel, part of a range of towels that are all boldly decorated in gold thread with the Buckingham Palace lion and unicorn emblem. This is the official royal coat of arms of the British monarch. The rampant lion with its crown represents England while the heraldic unicorn comes from the royal coat of arms for Scotland. Made from 100% cotton this high quality hand towel is finished to a very high standard with deep plush pile and a woven trim. It measures a generous 33 inches long by 19 inches wide and is sure to add a little touch of elegance to any bathroom. The pure white towel with its regal gold design will match any existing color scheme and makes a thoughtful gift to take home as a souvenir of your trip to Royal London.

Business Hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
6
The Royal Mews Shop

6) The Royal Mews Shop

What to buy here: Commemorative Pillbox.

This tastefully designed and decorated pillbox is part of a collection of items produced by Buckingham Palace to celebrate the wedding of Prince William to Katherine Middleton on April 29, 2011. The official Royal Wedding china collection is only available from the Buckingham Palace shops and makes a very special souvenir and collectible gift. The pillbox measures 2½ inches in diameter and stands one inch high. The removable lid has the couple’s initials entwined in gold and silver with the royal coronet above. The collection is handmade in the Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent using methods unchanged for over 250 years. After being decorated and embellished, the pillbox has several layers of burnished gold and platinum added before a final layer of 22-carat gold is applied by hand. For safe keeping the box is supplied in a presentation box and wrapped in tissue with designs inspired by wall hangings in Clarence House, one of the royal households. This lovely piece makes a thoughtful souvenir which is sure to become a family heirloom. Price: £25.

Business Hours: Daily 10am – 5 pm
7
Harvey Nichols

7) Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols, founded in 1831 on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street, is a luxury British department store. It sells fashion collections for men and women, fashion accessories, beauty products, wine and food. It is one of the top high-end shopping destinations in London and is said to be the favorite place to shop of the late Princess Diana who used to live in Kensington Palace nearby. The building also features a lovely dining facility on the Fifth Floor with cafe, bar and several restaurants to choose from.

Business Hours: Mon-Sat 10am – 8pm; Sundays 11.30am - 6pm
8
Harrods Ltd

8) Harrods Ltd (must see)

Argubly the best known luxury department store in the world, Harrods is an emporium of elegance, sophistication, and opulence. The history of this famous luxury store goes back to 1849 when Charles Harrod opened a small shop at Brompton Road in Knightsbridge. It started out in a single room employing two assistants and a messenger boy. But two years later when the Great Exhibition of 1851 took place at Crystal Palace in nearby Hyde Park, it brought many visitors to the area. Harrod store boomed.

Charles Harrod's son (also named Charles) took over and quickly expanded the store into a thriving retail operation selling medicines, perfumes, stationery, fruits and vegetables. Harrods rapidly expanded, acquired the adjoining buildings, and employed one hundred people by 1881. The department store also became well known for its high quality products and excellent personalized service.

Today the store has 330 departments covering 1.1 million square feet (102,200 m2) of retail space. Products on offer include clothing for women, men, children and infants, electronics, jewellery, sporting gear, bridal trousseau, pet accessories, toys, food and drink, health and beauty items, packaged gifts, stationery, housewares, home appliances, furniture, and much more.

The items in Harrods are pricy, but don't let that put you off. There are so many beautiful things, stunning art, ornaments, cutlery, crockery, glassware and cookware, clothes, food and everything else you can imagine can be found in its beautiful historic building! Harrods is a must-visit for any London shopping experience.

Business Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am - 9 pm; Sunday 11.30am - 6 pm

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

Creating your own self-guided walk in London is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bridges of London

Bridges of London

Thirty-three bridges span the Thames river in London. Each one has its own history and is worth seeing. This self-guided walk takes you to see ten historical bridges in central London.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 km
South Bank Walk

South Bank Walk

Situated south of The Thames river, the South Bank is an ever-changing and always lively area at the heart of London’s cultural scene, and home to world-class arts venues like Shakespeare Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, and the Southbank Centre. Dotting along the tree-lined riverside walkway are also food markets, restaurants, and historic pubs and cafes.

Take this self-guided walk to...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

All across the globe William Shakespeare is referred to as the preeminent writer in the English language and the leading dramatist. His London was a very small world, and the theatrical world within that was even smaller. This 3-hours walk will take you to the significant Shakespeare places in London.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
East London Walk

East London Walk

The City is a notable part of central London. This neighborhood is colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 square miles (2.90 square km) in area. The City of London is able to offer great number of things to see. This tour will guide you from the Tower Bridge to the “30 St Mary Axe”, great achievements of architecture and engineering.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
West End Nightlife

West End Nightlife

Be prepared for the exciting, throbbing sensation of London's nightlife, one of the best in the world. You will find everything you are looking for: trendy clubs, hot atmosphere and exclusive drinks. Follow this London West End nightlife tour to get the party started!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Charles Dickens London Walking Tour

Charles Dickens London Walking Tour

Born in Portsmouth in 1812, Charles John Huffam Dickens was the second child to arrive in a big family of his father, a Naval clerk. At the age of three, Dickens traveled to London along with his family, upon which two years later they moved to Chatham in Kent. Starting circa 1840 until his death in 1870, Dickens remained the most famous and popular writer in the world. He authored some of...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

London Souvenirs: 20 Distinctively British Products for Travelers

Most visitors to London consider shopping as part of their must-do London experience. From street markets to Victorian arcades to snobbish Sloane Square to busy Oxford Street, there are a host of shops selling items which typically represent this vibrant city. Whether you are shopping for souvenirs...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in London for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best London has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting London's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the London Pass, London Explorer Pass, or iVenture Card.

A city pass combines all or multiple London's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of London hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: The Trafalgar St. James London Curio collection by Hilton, Corinthia Hotel London, The Grand at Trafalgar Square.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as London, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of London typically costs somewhere between US$30 and US$130 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of London from the open top of the bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the six interconnecting routes, plus get on board the Thames River Sightseeing Cruise. The tickets are valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours.

- Spend half a day pedaling your way around London Royal Parks on a guided bike tour to see the city's most spectacular highlights stopping at some for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions from a knowledgeable group leader.

- Commit yourself to a full-day of sightseeing to appreciate the English capital in its full splendor complete with its top (UNESCO-listed and other) attractions, plus to enjoy a sightseeing cruise down the River Thames, and more.

- Dive into Britain’s royal and political history on the Westminster Abbey & Houses of Parliament tour for an up-close view of the country's two most prominent landmarks that have been in place and duly served their purpose for almost a millennium.

- Explore the WWII chapter of the British history on a guided 2-hour walking tour of Churchill War Rooms & Westminster to see how they operated back in those days. Hear some little-known war tales and tidbits about London and the country's most celebrated leader, Winston Churchill.

- Satisfy your penchant for English tradition, glamour and food culture in style with an afternoon tea experience at the 5-star Grosvenor House Hotel in London complete with a full set of lovely cakes, sandwiches and tea!

- If you're into music, give yourself a treat, whilst in London, to the Musical Theater Show at Apollo Victoria Theatre presenting the alternate side of the famous Wizard of Oz story previously untold.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in London, why not use it to explore some out-of-town destinations like the Warner Bros. Studio London, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle, Cotswolds, or Leeds Castle, Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury. For as little as circa US$100+ to US$120+ per person you will get a chance to explore the postcard-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage sights, get behind-the-scenes of the mystical world of Harry Potter, see what has been the home of the British Royals for the past 900 years, explore the ancient rock formations, Roman Baths and medieval castles, walk the streets of the charming hometown of William Shakespeare, check out one of the world’s most prestigious universities, get to see the picture-perfect region officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, otherwise known as “forever England,” renowned for its quaint villages and rolling hills, admire the symbolic White Cliffs of Dover, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in London and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach or train (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.