Britain/United Kingdom/England/A Visit to London for Shopping
We are 3 young ladies planning to visit London, UK, for shopping purposes only. We know that great sales are on the way after Christmas and New Year, therefore we intend to book from Jan. 2nd to Jan. 6th. We need to know where is best to shop in London in such a short period of time (NO Haute Couture in mind). We also need your advice on low-priced good hotels to book for the trip and which are close to the shopping areas. In addition, is it better to rent a car or use the tube instead?
Thank you in advance.
Without knowing exactly what you are shopping for, its hard to answer. But there is a good resource for post-holiday sales on the VisitLondon.com site
Sales start December 26 (although January is traditional). Large concentrations of stores are along Regent Street and Oxford Street in central London, and there are shops in Covent Garden too that might be of interest. If you had more time, I'd suggest hitting some of the London markets — like the area around quirky Old Spitafields Market, Camden Market, etc. And even some of the museum shops are worth a visit, like the one at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Westfields has two huge malls in London; the newest at the site of the 2012 Olympic Park.
Keep in mind that London is an expensive city, and many consumer goods are pricey as well. There's a significant value-added tax (VAT) applied too, and it may be worth your while to look at a VAT Refund service such as www.gbtaxfree.com.
London has thousands of hotels--many of those in the central areas are expensive. You could look at the Premier Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties in central London. Not much old English charm, but modern and somewhat less expensive.
Final note: Do not
rent a car in central London: too crowded, too chaotic for the average visitor, too expensive to park, and an extra central London "congestion charge" for driving in the city center. Use the Underground, bus, and taxi system. Look here for information on fare cards for visitors:
But you do not need to buy cards in advance: you can purchase them upon arrival at Heathrow Airport.
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