Five Hours East: Tips for Oxford Street Shopping

I decided to finally hit some shops and see the iconic Oxford Street. Here, I will lay out a guide based on my experience, successes, and takeaways.

When shopping the streets of London, it’s important to wear comfortable shoes, especially when navigating large crowds.

1. Wear comfortable shoes

First things first: Comfortable shoes are imperative. My day involved a lot of moving around, and even though I did more than was strictly necessary, any day of shopping is going to require a bit of walking.

I live in South Kensington, on the south side of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, so I walked through the park and up toward Oxford Street.

 

2. Develop a plan of attack

Once through the park, I was at the top of Oxford Street. I started walking eastbound, as I had planned to walk from one side of Oxford Street to the other.

My first stop was Primark, but I didn’t stay long because I knew there was a larger Primark just down the roadmy final destination of the day. It’s really helpful to know where you’re going when shopping, so that you can stay on track.

 

3. Get to know the stores in the area

Knowing which stores are in the area ensures that you won’t miss out on something you want to see. For example, I knew for sure that I wanted to stop by the Disney store in search of some Coco merch (sadly, they didn’t have any).

My reason for this tip is that there have been a few occasions in London when I accidentally passed right by a store that I meant to go to, simply because I didn’t know it was there.

My snack along the way: fresh strawberries, coated in warm chocolate.

4. Grab snacks and drinks along the way

I stopped at Juice Box near the start of my trip. I got fresh strawberries with warm chocolate for 5 poundsa bit priceybut it was totally worth it. It is, after all, important to keep up your energy when you’re out shopping.

 

5. Check out side streets

Side streets are less crowded and often have hidden gems in the way of stores. There are usually a lot of cool restaurants, too, if you need a bite to eat. Side streets are a good way to get to know a city beyond its tourist spots, so don’t write them off.

 

6. Do check out the tourist spots, too

Though side streets offer a unique attraction, the popular areas are usually popular for a reason.

Honestly, most of the stores on Regent Street (and Oxford Street) are a bit too expensive for me, but it was still really cool to see them.

I would also recommend checking out Carnaby Street. It’s a small but well-known alley where pedestrians walk in the streets—and it holds a lot of cool treasures.

 

The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens honors Prince Albert, husband to the late Queen Victoria.

7. Take the bus home

Shopping all day is absolutely exhausting, so take the bus home. Your feet will thank you.

I really enjoyed my shopping trip to Oxford Street, even if the crowds got a bit overwhelming.

 

Following these steps helped me make sure my day was successful, and I personally think they can be applied to a lot of travel situations. Then again, my shopping skills could always improve. (Maybe even while I’m here!)

 

 

 

Parker Sikes, Study Abroad Correspondent

Parker Sikes is a senior at Boston University spending her last semester in London. Studying advertising has revealed her passion for design and nurtured her passion for writing. As a small-town girl who prefers the city, she intends to move to Los Angeles, California after graduating to jump start her career. Parker’s favorite activities include driving, playing her Nintendo DS, reading, and using Oxford commas.

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