Visit the best toy stores in London and you might be tempted to renounce online shopping altogether...
When it comes to Christmas shopping, it can be tempting to skip the queues and manage everything from the comfort of your virtual trolley. But when you’re visiting London, it’s worth doing the rounds in real life. At these toy stores in London, from the iconic Hamleys to the beloved Honeyjam, kids are sure to be happily overwhelmed by the treasures on display.
There are the cosy toy stores in London that give off an air of old-fashioned, British charm - and then there’s Hamleys. A seven-storey carnival of childhood delights, Hamleys is the capital’s preeminent toy seller (and, in fact, the oldest toy store in the world). Beyond what’s on the shelves, the brand’s Regent Street flagship also offers a playable floor piano, dressed-up meet-and-greeters and even the chance to meet Father Christmas himself.
DAVENPORTS MAGIC SHOP
Said to be an inspiration for Flourish and Blotts, the magic shop in the Harry Potter series, Davenports Magic Shop in Central London has been selling the finest in tricks and illusions since 1898. For kids looking to brush up on their card tricks, rabbits in hats and beyond, there’s no better toy store to explore – and the staff of professional magicians will ensure that the less magically inclined know just what to slip into those shopping baskets.
CACHAO TOY CAFE
In need of something of a reprieve from the crowds in Central London, but still have quite the lengthy shopping list? Salvation awaits at the Cachao Toy Café in Muswell Hill. For kids, a wide-ranging stock of popular toy brands awaits (from Brio and Jellycat, to Sylvanian Families and Inky and Mole). And for adults? The café portion of the shop offers the caffeinated redemption you seek.
THE SELFRIDGES TOY SHOP
Though it doesn’t rival Hamleys for floor space, the Selfridges Toy Shop is hardly less diverting for kids – there’s plenty to do that’s hands-on (a Scalextric track, Lego stations and more). For adults, a prime location in Central London is complemented by the cleverly curated selection, which ensures that classic items, as well as the season’s most coveted products, can all be found under one roof.
BENJAMIN POLLOCK'S TOYSHOP
Above the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden, you’ll find the treasure trove of Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop. They’ve been selling toys since 1880 and just one glimpse inside the store and you’ll see why they are experts at what they do. From traditional puppets and theatre-inspired gifts, to spy pens and board games, the shelves are filled with fun. Your little ones will be occupied for hours browsing their wares.