Head to London for some Christmas shopping

The Christmas hamper ads are appearing on the telly and the festive songs are starting to play on the radio, so it can only mean one thing – the holiday season is just around the corner.

This means it's time to start thinking about your Christmas shopping, and by taking a trip to London you certainly won't have any shortage of retail outlets to choose from.

Santa Clause comes to town in a big way every year, with shops covering all tastes and budgets to be found throughout the capital.

A good place to start is Oxford Street, which is Europe's largest and busiest commercial street. Fashion shops like Topshop, H&M, Primark and a number of high-end boutiques can be found along the length of this iconic road, while the enormous Disney Store is sure to provide some inspiration if you're shopping for young kids.

What's particularly great about Oxford Street at Christmas time is that it offers a real festive experience, so it's about much more than just shopping. The famous Christmas lights help to turn it into a winter wonderland, while department stores like Selfridges are full of fun activities for the whole family.

Hamleys, which can be found on the nearby Regent's Street, is perhaps the most famous toy shop in the world and is a great place to spend an hour or two – whether you plan on buying anything or not.

With the chance to play with most of the toys as well as watch live demonstrations by members of staff, Hamleys really will make you feel like a kid again.

Elsewhere, Harrods in Knightsbridge is always a wonderful place to go around Christmas time, with the world-famous department store being known for its luxury atmosphere and high-quality goods.

London is also full of excellent markets, such as the Stables Market in Camden, Spitalfields Market and Portobello Road Market. These really come into their own around Christmas time, and offer a huge number of items you won't find in shops.

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