Today I want to bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the best London department stores at Christmas. The city’s major names go all-out for the festive season, and their Christmas shops are hard to beat. From traditional to contemporary, there are a lot to choose from. I’ve included a map of where you can find them, too.
London Department Stores at Christmas
Christmas shopping in London can be overwhelming. Like many big cities around the world, London fills with shoppers in the run-up to December 25th.
Busy streets and crowded stores can create hassle and buzz in equal measure, so if you know where (and when) to go, you’ll stay on the right side of festive fun this Christmas season.
From Knightsbridge to Soho, there’s a lot of variety when it comes to London department stores at Christmas. The one thing they all have in common is that they’re well stocked with everything from gifts to decorations.
Whether you’re looking for presents for a loved one, garlands for your tree, or stockings for the family, there’s a department store in the UK capital where you can find what you need.
When to Go Christmas Shopping in London
As far as when to go to London’s department stores at Christmas, there’s no such thing as being too early. In fact, some stay open year-round. Furthermore, the sooner you start, the fewer crowds you’ll encounter.
If you’re organized enough to shop before or during the second half of November, you’ll get all the benefits of the city’s Christmas shops without as many people around.
Even if you’re not, you can still shop for London Christmas decorations and gifts throughout December.
In fact, there are good Boxing Day sales if you’re willing to wait until December 26th to do some of your shopping. New Year’s sales can offer good value as well.
Another way to avoid crowds at London’s department stores at Christmas is to go on a weekday or a weekend morning. They’re good times to enjoy a quieter experience.
What to Buy in London at Christmas
If you’re wondering what to buy, there’s no shortage of options. You can take a look at my blog post about the best things to buy in London for ideas.
1. Liberty London
First on my list of the best London department stores at Christmas is Liberty. This landmark shop offers a mix of beautiful architecture and festive cheer in the run-up to December 25th.
Right between Regent Street and Carnaby Street in Soho, Liberty’s half-timbered facade and eye-catching interior are legendary. Add to that a 4th-floor Christmas shop that’s open from the end of summer, and it’s hard to beat this place.
It’s famous for is festive window displays and interiors with all kinds of seasonal treats.
Harrods even has a dedicated Christmas shop on the lower ground floor. It’s packed with wreaths, nutcrackers, advent calendars, baubles, Christmas crackers, crowns, and more. It’s also where you can find the annual Harrods Christmas bear.
And that’s to say nothing of the seasonal treats in Harrods Food Halls. From mince pies to Christmas puddings, hot chocolate, and festive tins, there’s a lot to get excited about here.
My favorite thing about this place is that it has a range of fun ornaments. From celebrities to fashion icons, royalty, and artists, you can find ornaments featuring everyone from David Bowie to Anna Wintour, Queen Elizabeth II, and Yayoi Kusama.
Whether you’re looking for decorations, gifts, candles, seasonal tableware, stocking stuffers, or Christmas hampers, you can find it here. There’s even a personalization service where you can get names printed on ornaments and other items.
4. Fortnum & Mason
When it comes to classic London department stores at Christmas, Fortnum & Mason is hard to beat. This traditional number on Piccadilly in St James’s is one of the most quintessentially British places in the UK capital.
As such, it’s only natural that Fortnums would have an amazing Christmas selection. With a Christmas food shop featuring their famous hampers and a festive gift shop with all kinds of bright baubles, this place has something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for Christmas crackers, decorations, advent calendars, dishes, ornaments, classic British Christmas desserts, or tea, there’s something you’ll love.
I particularly adore the Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea Christmas ornaments and other shop-specific decorations.
5. Peter Jones
Right on the King’s Road in Chelsea, Peter Jones is another of my top picks for London department stores at Christmas. The lights and decorations both inside and out make this place worth a special trip.
When it comes to things to buy, Peter Jones is packed with classic British ornaments, tableware, trees, and crackers. They make this a great place to find gifts and decorations this season.
You’ll see the highlights as soon as you walk in. From Christmas trees full of pretty baubles to tables laden with all the festive trimmings, it’s a great place to find Yuletide inspiration.
6. Harvey Nichols
Next on my list of the best London department stores at Christmas is Harvey Nichols. Right near Harrods, this Knightsbridge number is one of the most famous luxury department stores in the UK.
Harvey Nichols is known for is festive window displays, which rival its neighbor’s in beauty. They’re fun to browse every winter when the Christmas goods grace them.
Inside, there are lots of Christmas treats to be tempted by. From classic hampers to luxury home gifts, fragrances, traditional British Christmas food, wine, and beauty products, there’s plenty to love here.
7. John Lewis
John Lewis is another of the top London department stores at Christmas. Not far from Selfridges on Oxford Street, this landmark is one of the most famous shops in the city.
John Lewis has a Christmas emporium featuring festive gifts and decorations. It also offers workshops and events, from Christmas crafts to mouth-watering tastings. There’s an independent makers’ market here, too.
Known for home goods, gifts, and electronics, this flagship store is a great place to pick up basics and Christmas staples. From delicious food to British Christmas drinks, toys, and tableware, there’s a lot to choose from.
London Christmas Shopping Map
As promised, I created an interactive Google map of all the department stores I listed in this blog post. You can find it here. I hope it helps you plan the perfect Christmas shopping trip!
Best London Department Stores at Christmas
I hope my guide to the best London department stores at Christmas has helped give you good ideas for where to find the ideal gifts and decorations this winter.
Wherever you go, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the seasonal spirit as much as you’ll have fun choosing what to buy. Merry Christmas and happy shopping!
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