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London shopping self-guided walk

Stage 1 Tottenham Court Road to China Town

Tottenham Court Road London Electronics Shop

Tottenham Court Road electronics shop

The walk takes you through many of the various shopping districts in the centre of London, from the mass market Oxford Street to the small specialist districts. It's a linear walk starting at Goodge Street.


The first few districts visited are very much specialist, if these are not of great interest or you know you want to spend time in the more mainstream districts towards the end of the walk, it's easy to start the walk at many points along the route.

It's unlikely if you are an avid shopper that you would complete this walk in a day, so we recommend you read through and improvise on what attracts you particularly.


These notes have focus on the logistics, no attempt is made to be a substitute for a good guide book on London.


Invest in a good London street map (the London A-Z series has a great range of suitable street maps) readily available in all news stands and shops and you'll have no problem following this walk and be fully equipped to make interesting diversions and adaptations with confidence.

Getting started from Tottenham Court Road (Electronics)

From in front of Goodge Street Underground Station turn south down Tottenham Court Road, against the flow of the one-way traffic. The southern end of Tottenham Court Road holds London's biggest concentration of electronics shops, from hi-fi, to cameras, vision and computer equipment.

The shops line either side of the road for about 500m, until you come to the Dominion Theatre on your left hand side with the junction of Oxford Street. The Dominion Theatre was built in 1929 now hosts musicals and has had a musical tradition. In 1957, Bill Haley & His Comets were the first US rock and roll band to play the UK.

Tottenham Court Road Underground is at this junction. The department stores of Oxford Street are at the western end. We visit these at the end of the walk.

Denmark Street - Music

Self Guided Shopping Walk Map London

Cross over Oxford Street, keeping in a southerly direction. Tottenham Court Road becomes Charing Cross Road. The tall tower block on your left at the junction on the opposite side of the road to The Dominion is Centre Point.


Centre Point was built in the early 60s and was designed to sit on top of a network of bunkers where government could retreat to in times of war. By the time it was built the design was obsolete and has never been used for this purpose.


In the 60s Centre Point became infamous for property speculation as the owners preferred to keep the block empty and watch the value of their asset rise.

After about 150m from the junction with Oxford Street, Denmark Street branches off Charing Cross Road to the left walking south.


Denmark Street is the centre of Britain's modern music industry. The relatively short street and alleyways contain musical instrument shops,recording studios and music publishers. There is a slightly seedy atmosphere, but for the music enthusiast a very interesting part of London.

In number 20 Denmark Street, Elton John worked as an office boy. At the same address Paul Simon failed to sell his catalogue of songs that included later hits like 'Homeward Bound' and the 'Sounds of Silence'. At number 4, the Rolling Stones recorded their early albums and Elton John also did early work here.

Explore the alley on your left and you will come across a noticeboard full of notices from bands looking for extra members as well as some more recording studios.

Charing Cross Road - Books

What Tottenham Court Road is to electronics, Charing Cross Road is the equivalent for books.

The road was immortalised in the book '84 Charing Cross Road', also a successful play.


The book was based on a real book shop that was visited by such immortals as Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw. Perhaps the hey day has passed, but for book lovers it's still a great place to loiter.


Foyles is one of the largest shops, delightfully eccentric and a million miles from some of the chains around.

Cross Shaftesbury Avenue past the Palace Theatre on your right.

Stanfords - Travel Books & Maps

If you have an interest in travel or maps then Stanfords is well worth a detour and should not be missed. Turn left (2nd turning after Shaftesbury Avenue) into Great Newport Street which brings you to a junction of six roads.


Long Acre is the main road directly opposite Great Newport Street. Stanfords is at number 12, a little way down on the right.


This is a specialist travel map and book shop. If it isn't here, then its probably not available. The British section is extremely worthwhile if you're planning on touring the rest of the UK.

London Pub

Typical pub passed in area

Return to Charing Cross Road, where you branched off into Great Newport Street.

Gerrard Street - China Town

On the opposite side of the road from the Great Newport Street turn off, a few yards south along Charing Cross Road is Lisle Street.


Turn into Lisle Street and you are now in London's China Town, Europe's biggest.

Turn next right into Newport Place, then left into Gerrard Street. The street has Chinese street furniture including a gate. Gerrard Street is the main street of China Town. You will find restaurants, acupuncturists and Chinese medicine shops, tea houses as well as other retailers managed by the Chinese community.

Explore the China Town area. When you have finished exploring make your way to the opposite end of Gerrard Street to that which you entered, (western end).

Turn left into Whitcomb Street. Then right into Coventry Street. You are now in Leicester Square.
Stage 2 of our walk continues visiting Oxford Street, Carnaby Street & Harrods amongst others.

Link to Stage 2 Leicester Square to Harrods via Oxford Street

Original London Tour hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses

Original London Tour Open Top Sightseeing Bus

For the vast majority of visitors to London, the way you get about town on a day to day basis is by the London Underground, perhaps supplemented by the occasional red London bus using an Oyster or Travelcard.


But, especially for the first time visitor to London, the popular hop on, hop off sightseeing buses are a great orientation to the city of London getting you up to speed on the layout and spotting new places of interest you were not aware of.


You will have invested a lot of time and money in getting to London so you will want to use your time as efficiently as possible.


The hop on, hop off sightseeing buses are perhaps unrivalled in their ability to give you a speedy informed orientation to the layout of London. They also help you identify new locations that appeal to you, perhaps pointed out by the on-board guide and also give the once over those attractions you had always planned on visiting.


These buses offer comprehensive coverage covering nearly all the main sights in London. The popularity of the buses means there is one along every few minutes and you get a grandstand view perched up on the top deck of the bus.


In addition to the bus tour a river cruise and some free walking tours are all part of the deal.

Key Points of Original London Tour:

  • Tickets valid for 24/48/72 hours
  • Three major bus tour routes supplemented by feeder services
  • FREE walking tours! (three of them)
  • FREE Thames River Cruise
  • FREE Wi-Fi on buses
  • Hop-on and hop-off service with stops at all the attractions
  • Kids' Club activity pack and commentary - currently the only London tour company to offer this
  • English live guides + audio guides (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic & Brazilian Portuguese.)

Original London Tour Tickets

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