Most Exciting souvenirs from London

Visiting England and wondering what are the most exciting souvenirs from London? London is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities on Earth, with a near-endless string of exciting attractions, ranging from royal residences and traditional tea houses to cutting-edge exhibitions and modern music venues.

And with each exciting experience, there’s an iconic British souvenir to bring home. If you wonder what to buy in London, then know that the capital is packed full of fabulous street markets, unique boutiques, luxury department stores and museum gift shops, selling unique items inspired by the city around them. The best London souvenirs are the ones that are practical, chic and will remind you of your great trip.

Before heading home, be sure to snap up a couple of these quintessential souvenirs from London. Here are the best London gifts you’ll want to add to the shopping list.

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An Umbrella from James Smith & Sons

London is rainy; a cliché we know all too well. But, the beautifully handcrafted brollies, housed in the charming James Smith & Sons shop, will give you an excuse to delight in even the worst British weather. The facade of the original Victorian shop, located on New Oxford Street, has hardly changed since James Smith & Sons first opened its doors in 1830. Entering the shop is like stepping back in time with mirror panelled walls, cane chairs and varnished wood. You won’t find a tacky plastic umbrella in sight.

Each luxury brolly is made using traditional methods and cut to the correct length for the customer. Alongside the expected traditional brollies, visitors will find other hand-crafted souvenirs including cufflinks, hip flasks and hanging horseshoes.

James Smith & Sons is not one of your ordinary souvenir shops in central London, which is why it is so perfect and unique.

Tea from Fortnum & Mason

Tea is serious business in the UK; it’s the cornerstone of British culture. Collectively as a nation, Brits drink around 205 million cups of the stuff every day – that’s enough to fill 50,000 swimming pools.

If you’re visiting London, British tea is definitely something you’ll want to check off your to-do list. But not just any tea. I’m talking a good, old-fashioned English tea time, with finger sandwiches, intricately decorated desserts and freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and a fruity jam.

And they certainly know a thing or two about that at Fortnum & Mason, where traditional afternoon tea has been served for almost 100 years. The store’s Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon was opened by the Queen in 2012 and is considered one of London’s most traditional and elegant destinations.

When your belly is full, wander downstairs to the Fortnum & Mason London gift shops, which sells everything from expertly packed hampers and elegant wines, to British jams, exotic teas and other tasty treats. Get some tea bags for yourself and for your loved ones. English breakfast tea is a particular favourite as it’s strong and bright.

history of tea UK

M&Ms from M&Ms World

Situated in the heart of Leicester Square, London’s giant M&M store is the largest chocolate shop in the world and draws around 5.3 million chocolate fans each year. While it’s not the first M&M World – there are five others around the world – it is the first that this chocolate giant has opened in Europe and is an experience that goes well beyond a bag of chocolate beans.

As you enter the 4-story building, you are greeted by a giant blue M&M character driving a big red London bus. And that’s not the store’s only nod to London. The Beatles walking across Abbey Road, union jacks and Beefeaters at the Tower of London, are all part of the M&M experience.

As part of your British chocolate retail therapy, you can find your favourite coloured bean at the largest candy wall in the world, and even print your message on the chocolate candies. You can also pick up branded egg cups, mugs, plates, shirts, bowls, baby grows, purses and pillows.

M&M gifts from M&Ms world

Vinyls from Soho Record Store

London’s Berwick Street has been a hot destination for record collectors since the 1980s, when it was coined “The Golden Mile of Vinyl.” And home to so many great bands, a classicvanyl sure is a great London souvenir.

Many of the shops struggled to stay alive amid the threat of digital music, but thanks to the ongoing vinyl revival, this corner of Soho is still home to London’s largest concentration of thriving independent record stores. Record stores, like Sister Ray, Reckless Records, and the Music and Video Exchange are showcasing new artists while also harbouring the classics.

From the Beatles and the Beastie Boys, Blur and Bowie – it’s all here. Aside from SoHo’s famous record street, there are close to fifty places dotted around London where you can get your hands on classic vinyls, including Dalson, Brixton and Crouch End, to name a few.

Vinyls are the perfect London souvenirs

Bulbs or Seeds From Columbia Road Flower Market

Whether you’re a green finger or a gardening novice, Columbia Road Flower Market, located in London’s edgy East End, should be high on your travel list. Every Sunday, between 8am-3pm, the street is transformed by rows of market stalls bursting with colourful flowers, from hot red roses to giant yellow sunflowers.

Follow the intoxicating scent of jasmine, lavender and lilies as you wander through a rainbow of blooms. The distinctive chants of the barrow boys “Everythin’ a fiver” adds to the market’s East London charm. Don’t be afraid to barter for a bargain, and make sure you take plenty of cash for your perfect London souvenir.

The flowers change depending on the season, so spring will bring different blooms to October. Pretty bouquets in every colour take centre stage, but you can also pick up herbs, shrubs, pot plants and even garden ornaments and tools to properly kit out your garden. For a bargain, wander around in the last hour when the market is winding down, and you’ll find traders dropping their prices to shift the remaining stock. Flowers aside, Columbia Road is lined with over sixty independent shops including vintage boutiques, small art galleries, Italian delis, cute cafes and antique stores. Not your ordinary souvenir shops, but perfect for finding great gifts to bring home.

Flower market in London

A Book From The Notting Hill Bookshop

Located minutes from vibrant Portobello Market is the world famous Notting Hill bookshop, better known as The Travel Book Company in the romcom, Notting Hill. The charming shop originally specialised in travel books, but today focuses on beautiful gift editions, pocket hardbacks, satin-bound classics and golden gilt leather-bounds.

As a nod to the film, the back section of the shop is still called The Travel Book Co. And while you won’t spot Julia Roberts declaring her love to a bumbling bookshop owner, you may still witness a little romance. Since the film was released back in ‘99, the shop has become a popular proposal spot for young lovers hoping to re-enact scenes from the popular romcom. Book from Notting Hill bookshop are the best souvenirs from London for romantics at heart.

Notting Hill Bookstore in Notting Hill

London Distilled Gin

The ‘gin craze’ first hit London in the ‘70s when ‘dram shops’ and distilleries popped up on every corner of the city. At that time, anyone was allowed to distil their own gin and the lack of quality control caused a social breakdown which resulted in a series of Gin Acts passing.

Over the past decade, a new wave of amazing gin distilleries has brought the juniper-based drink right back to its London roots. Gin bars, distillery tours, tasting rooms and gin festivals are dotted all over the city. there are several gin parlours in Covent garden, so try your favourite before dinging the perfect London souvenir.

So, where is the best place to procure a bottle of gin in town? You can design and distil your very own gin at the ‘Gin Lab,’ or sign up for an afternoon at Ginstitute where you will learn about the history of gin, blend your own bottle and mix up a gin-inspired cocktail. The tours are highly recommended, but if time doesn’t allow, you can simply grab a bottle at almost any distillery. Other popular gin venues include the City of London Distillery, Sipsmith, and Jensen’s at Bermondsey Distillery.

Gin bottles as London souvenir

Butterscotch Biscuits From Harrods

Located in the heart of one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, the iconic Harrods department store is a must-stop on every visitor to London’s list. The lavish, seven-story building contains over 330 departments selling everything from luxury furniture, ladies fashion and children’s items to fancy food and wine – living up to its motto, ‘Everything For Everybody Everywhere.’ This is a great place to find Christmas ornaments and best gifts to bring home from your London trip. You won’t find trinkets and knick knacks, but you’ll find authentic English souvenirs.

Once you’ve checked out the luxury boutiques in the superbrands department and befriended the giant stuffed teddies in the toy store, head down to the lavishly decorated Food Hall located on the first floor. Here, you’ll find a gourmet grocer, a wine shop, chocolatiers and confectionists, a boulangerie and pâtisserie, a sushi bar, and more.

Created with traditional British flair, the huge selection of mouth-watering biscuits, chocolates, marmalades and other tasty treats makes for a lovely gift and a charming souvenir.

Exciting souvenirs from London

Toys From Hamleys

The oldest toy store in the world and the place of all childhood dreams, Hamleys on Regent Street is a British institution and a tourist attraction in its own right. Spanning seven floors, each packed full of soft toys, craft materials, outdoor games, dress up boxes and action toys, it’s the perfect place to get lost for an afternoon. And let’s face it, you’ll find children’s favourite London souvenirs right here.

As you step through the doors, you are greeted by a colourful and energetic scene. Miniature trains wizz across the shop floor, model planes circle above your head and enthusiastic staff demonstrate toys and gadgets on every floor. If that isn’t enough to get you excited, you’ll find Harry Potter and his wizard friends on the lower ground floor, and a miniature LEGO land and an ice cream parlour on the fifth floor. What more could you possibly want? Hmmm, perhaps lower price tags?

Hamleys Toys as London souvenirs

Royalty Souvenirs

Everyone loves a good fairytale. Whether you’re a royalist or not, a trip to London would not be complete without a visit to one of the city’s royal residences. As one of Britain’s oldest institutions, the Royal Family has lasted longer than many other regal houses. The changing of the guards, anniversaries, weddings, and other formal occasions are full of grandeur and are watched by countries all over the world.

Buckingham Palace is the obvious place to get your royalty fix, but don’t forget about the lesser known Kensington Palace. Tucked away behind Hyde Park, the Palace has been home to royalty for over 300 years and is currently the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, while also remaining open to the public.

After you’ve explored the four stately rooms, make your way to the souvenir shop where you can pick up official gifts and memorabilia inspired by the Palace’s rich royal stories, past and present. Cotton tea towels, teddies, key chains, bone china, crystal brooches and antiques are just some elegant items on offer. These make for a great gift for those who love London.

Royal souvenirs from London

Artistic Souvenirs At The V&A

If you like your shopping with a side of culture, then head to one of the gift shops inside London’s museums. Your first port of call should be the V&A – the world’s largest museum of arts and design, which houses a collection of over 2.7 million objects.

There are four impressive souvenir shops at the V&A, with an enticing selection of art design, homeware and jewellery inspired by the museum’s collection. At the heart of the museum, the main gift shop resembles a modern-day bazaar and specialises in exclusive pieces inspired by the museum’s collection. The new exhibition Quarter Shop, located above the Sainsbury Gallery, showcases the best of contemporary design, as well as celebrating the beauty of the V&A’s existing building. At the end of the Sculpture Gallery, the standalone bookshop stocks an impressive selection of books that range from fashion to art and design, and architecture to entertainment.

Fashionistas should head to the V&A Fashion shop where they will find clothing, textiles and quirky accessories that reflect the dynamic exhibition programme and fashion displays in the museum. Every purchase in the shop helps to support the museum.

Harry Potter Wizarding Gifts

Potterheads can find all the wizarding supplies they could ever need at platform 9 ⅓, located at Kings Cross station. Fans of JK Rowling’s best-selling series will know that Kings Cross is where Harry Potter and his friends catch the Hogwarts Express to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Harry Potter shop is reminiscent of Ollivander’s wand shop, decked with tons of magical objects from souvenir wands, toys, and Gryffindor gear.

Visitors can also take home their very own Hogwarts acceptance letter or have their photo taken with the famous trolley. Embedded in the wall, the trolley is accessible at all hours, and you don’t have to pay to take your photos. The shop gets busy, so arrive early to make sure you’re first in line. You’ll find plenty of Harry Potter souvenirs here including sweets, books and pens.

Do you have extra time in London? Head to the Harry Potter studio tour for extra fun with your children and pick up some authentic souvenirs from the gift shop dedicated entirely to Harry Potter.

Universal Studios

An original Paddington bear

Head to the Paddington station, searching for the Paddington bear shop. This is a train station store that specialises in Paddington bear products including books, toys, and even sweet marmalades.

Travelling with kids? Take a picture with the life-size bronze statue of Paddington in the station. This is a significant place for the Paddington bear, as it’s where Mr and Mrs. Brown first found Paddington when he arrived in London.

Paddington Bear in London

British museum souvenirs

Entry to the British museum is entirely free, so add it to your London itinerary list. But the beauty of this iconic London museum is its superb gift shop.

You’ll find fantastic replicas from the museum, books and homeware and even jewellery. Some of the best London souvenirs will be on these very shelves. Did you know that you can even pick up useful objects inspired by the Rosetta Stone? From face masks and fashion to stationary.

British museum London

Floris of London souvenirs

Floris is the oldest English retailer of fragrance and toiletries that’s been ran for 8-9 generations of the same family. The original shop is still in the same building Juan Floris created his business in the 18th century, located on Jermyn Street.

Floris created bespoke fragrances for the British royal family and it’s references by fictional characters in movies. For the perfect London souvenir, you must visit this famed British perfume house and purchase the scent you love the most.

A special hat from Lock & Co Hatters

Lock & Co Hatters is not just the oldest hat shop in London but the whole world. Established in 1676, this is one of the oldest family-owned businesses still in operation.

If you love hats and want something truly unique from London, then this sure is the perfect souvenir shop for you. There’s history in the hats, too. Amongst its prestigious shoppers, there’s some of the greatest figures in history. Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir Winston Churchill and author Oscar Wilde.

Cory London Big Ben Night

Gifts from John Lewis

If you don’t fancy searching for London souvenir shops, then you might want to consider a visit to the luxury department store, John Lewis. Founded in 1864, this high end department store has everything your heart desires ranging from teas, through clothing to homeware.

You’ll find many British brands, and the store itself prides itself in offering quality and sophisticated items. Fun fact: The flagship store on Oxford Street began as a drapery shop.

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Cory from You Could Travel entering Senso-ji in Tokyo, Japan

Cory Varga – Cory is a published travel writer and award-winning photographer. She travels full time with her husband and is passionate about creating in-depth travel guides. Cory published her first book on Japanese customs and manners because she’s obsessed with everything Japan. She has visited hundreds of destinations and has lived in 7 different countries. Cory is multilingual and an alumna from The University of Manchester.


One response to “Most Exciting souvenirs from London”

  1. This is perfect for trips to London. A complete guide to grab your England souvenirs.

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