Step away from the online shopping basket and head to these toy shops in London instead for hours of enchantment, magic and fun. These are our top 5 which make whiling away an entire afternoon easy…
It is so easy these days to not venture far from the comforts of the virtual trolley. There are no queues, no tantrums and everything is organised into various different tabs – so very orderly. However, London really does offer a magical and legendary British shopping experience, and it is home to many iconic toy shops. We recommend getting out there and visiting these in person for a long afternoon that both you and the kids will love…
The oldest toy store in the world and the haven of all childhood dreams. Hamleys opened its doors in 1760, so today with 255 years of experience in bringing joy and amusement to children, it’s not surprising that it is most peoples’ go-to toy store in the city. With 7 storeys full of various treasures, it’s the perfect place to get lost for an afternoon. But, be prepared to spend, spend, spend… 188-196 Regent St, Soho, London W1
Established originally in 1856 in Hoxton, Benjamin Pollock’s moved to Covent Garden in 1980 and is still one of the very few toy shops in the West End. Still selling their famous paper theatres, they also have a large range of books, puppets, music boxes and traditional toys. Hours of enjoyment and fascination for all the family, then head to the square nearby for daytime street performers that the kids will love too. 44 The Market, Covent Garden, London WC2
This charming shop situated near Finsbury Park stocks the best range of the classic miniature animal figurines and accessories. A wondrous place filled with every Sylvanian accessory you could dream of, Sylvanian Families fans will want to stay there for hours. Start creating your own little village; the shop sells everything from a campervan to a Dentist set. Undoubtedly the best selection in town. 68 Mountgrove Rd, London N5
Harrods’ Toy Kingdom is a whopping 26,000sq ft. in size. To make it a more interactive experience, Harrods adopted the idea of not just selling toys but creating a real toyshop, so that children can actually touch and play with the toys rather than just look at them. With 6 different worlds within the department, it is easy to get lost in the Enchanted Forest or the Space Odyssey – great for adults who wish they were kids again. It’s also the first toy shop to take a gender-neutral approach, with toys organised by theme as opposed to sex. Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1
Semmalina is a luxury children’s shop specialising in bespoke party bags, toys, cakes and gifts. This pretty little store attracts the celebrity gang, not only for its unique boutique, but for its second to none customer service too. The best place in London to go to create a great little party bag that will make even the adults envious. Their slogan hits the nail on the head – ‘full of things you don’t need, but suddenly want’. The kids will most certainly agree. 225 Ebury St, Westminster, London SW1
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