The best shopping areas of London
People flock to London from all over the world to do a bit (or a lot) of shopping.
There are areas of London that have made their names purely off the back of this trade, and their reputations go back hundreds of years.
Bond Street and West London have high-end, bespoke boutiques for the more padded customer, Oxford Street has a collection of high street and independent brands to make any fashionista’s mouth water, there are two gigantic Westfield Centres (Shepherds Bush and Stratford City), there are great malls in Shoreditch, St Pauls, Angel and Wembley, and further out of town offer their own, often cheaper branch of shopping outlets, such as Centrale in Croydon and The Glades in Bromley.
We have budget hotels, cheap BnBs and hostels throughout these areas to help maximise your spending on things you want, rather than where you’re staying.
Booking the cheap accommodation that’s right for you will depend on your mode of transport and how you get in to London; as a shopping trip might well mean you leave with much more stuff than you came with.
Travelling to London by car
If you want to load up the car with things you’ve purchased (and, with Christmas around the corner, it seems a very sensible option) then you’ll want to find somewhere that you can park for free.
Moreover, if you’re travelling into London to shop, then you do not need to reside in the centre of town as much as if you had a 24/7 itinerary of sight-seeing planned.
Luckily, many of London’s biggest shopping centres are outside the Congestion Charge Zone. If you can avoid paying for that, then your biggest worry is going to be paying for parking (whether at the shopping centre or at the hotel).
We recommend that you find a hotel with free parking that’s a little farther out and take public transport to your centre of choice.
If you wish to stay in North London so that you can access the Angel Shopping Centre (formerly known as the N1 Shopping Centre) then why not try one of our top-picks: the Bridge Park Hotel in Wembley? You can park for free, stay for as little as £16.60 per person, then take the train from Harlesden to Euston and then the tube two stops to Angel.
The Amhurst Hotel in Stamford Hill also offers free parking and easy access to public transport into North London. With prices from £25 per person, you’d save a great deal that you can spend on buying yourself something nice.
To make the most of the Westfield Shepherds Bush, why not try the London Guest House Acton? With free parking, easy access to public transport and prices from £20.80 per person, you can expand your shopping to suit your needs.
The Boston Manor Hotel in Ealing not only has free parking and easy transport to Central London, but it is located nearby its own array of high street shops in Ealing itself. You can double your shopping potential whilst staying in a cheap London hotel.
In Crystal Palace, the Queens Hotel London offers free parking, a range of great discounts and is fifteen minutes by train from central London, allowing you to take your pick of shopping centres.
It’s also fifteen to twenty minutes in the other direction from the large shopping centres of Croydon, which is easily drivable and has parking priced lower than elsewhere in London. This means that, if you want to buy something massive that you wouldn’t want to carry on a train, this is your chance.
We also have a number of cheap hotels in Croydon, such as the Hayesthorpe Hotel Croydon, with free parking and access to public transport that you have you at London Bridge in fifteen minutes.
With probably the most on offer of any area of London shopping-wise, the east of London is a great place to sort yourself out with a budget London accommodation.
Whether you want to park up in the beautiful Park Hotel Ilford and take a train into Stratford to shop at the Westfield Stratford City or alternately stay in the equally cheap Cranbrook Hotel located nearby (both with prices starting from £14.75 and £13.75 per person respectively), you’re not short of options.
Although parking is an absolute premium in London, we do have a number of central London accommodations with parking that won’t break the bank.
Hamilton’s Hotel in Paddington is just shy of the Congestion Charge Zone and charges £15 per night for parking. While this may sound a lot on top of your tariff for the room (starting at £22.50 per person), it is still considerably cheaper than leaving your car in an NCP car park or similar.
The New Market House Hotel in Camden, allowing you wonderful access to the markets of Camden and the Angel Shopping Centre, offers free street parking from 16:30pm until 9:30am and over weekends.
Where to stay for shopping centres
Westfield Shepherds Bush
The appropriately named Westfield Hostel in Shepherds Bush is a very cheap London accommodation, where the starting price of £17 per person will allow you to do much more shopping. The only downside to this accommodation is that it’s a hostel and therefore has limited storage facilities for all the lovely things you’ve bought.
The Royal Guest House 2 offers excellent on-foot access to the Westfield shopping centre as well as exhibitions at Kensington Olympia and the shopping experiences of Latimer and Goldhawk Roads. With rooms starting at £18.75 per person, it’s very good value.
The closest budget hotel is the Royal Guest House, which is virtually across the road from Shepherds Bush station and will allow you to quite literally shop until you drop. With rooms starting at less than £20 per person, you can shop to your heart’s content.
Westfield Stratford City
With a host of cheap accommodation in Stratford, there are plenty of reasons to get yourself down and enjoy not only the shopping of Westfield Stratford City, but the night life, the restaurants, the theatre and the vibrant area.
Why not try the City View Hotel, which is a short walk from Stratford City, has its own pub and has rooms starting at a staggering £13.75 per person? This budget and basic accommodation is simple but does not lack in comfort.
Lodge 51 is a more upmarket establishment, however is still privately run and therefore possessed of a very homely feel. The location is superb, located a five minute walk from the Westfield, and at £20 per person, a great deal too.
The Stratford Hotel London is similarly close and offers budget rooms for economy conscious shoppers.
Oxford Street, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road
If you are desperate to stay near to where you wish to shop (in case you just buy too much to be able to carry very far) then during the summer months, Carr-Saunders Hall is right up your street.
With rooms to match any budget – from singles to studios – and located just off Oxford Street itself, there really couldn’t be a more perfect place to stay. The rooms are spacious too, allowing you plenty of room to stash your haul.
The lovely New Dawn Hotel has tastefully decorated but basic rooms starting from £21.75 per person and is located near the edge of the stunning Hyde Park. The walk from thence to Oxford Street is delightful and short.
One New Change
Our top pick for this beautiful new centre in St Pauls is just over the river in Waterloo, at International House London; a repurposed student residence available outside of term time. The walk over the Millennium Bridge will take your breath away and enable you to do some great shopping.
The Dictionary Shoreditch is a great budget hostel with a friendly vibe and access to phenomenal nightlife, as well as being close to this shifting shopping centre London’s hipster hub.
The Shoreditch Inn is a beautifully renovated, modern, 3-star accommodation nearby to a raft of local amenities. Staying here won’t break the bank and ensures that you can get the most out of your shopping experience by providing you with a private room and on-foot access to the arty boutiques of Shoreditch and the Boxpark shopping centre.
Centrale and Whitgift Centre, Croydon
These shopping centres have a distinct advantage over others in London: they’re quite a lot cheaper. The added distance outside of London seems to have had a downward effect on prices, and this means that people fly into Gatwick just to shop here and then fly home again.
The Ibis Styles Croydon is a short walk from the northern end of the vast shopping centres, and offers high-standard, budget-price accommodation. With prices starting at £25.00 per person and generous rooms, you can have an entire shopping holiday here.
Around the corner are the Windmill Place Apartments, which offer vastness of space as they are their own, self-contained studios a ten-minute walk from the Whitgift Centre. The price is, naturally, slightly higher for such accommodation, but it will enable you to relax at the end of a hard day’s shopping in relative luxury!