Last minute Christmas shopping tips

As Christmas approaches ever closer and the winter nights become darker, it can often be a pain to do that last-minute shopping for gifts for loved ones. Here are a few tips to try and tackle the behemoth that are London's shopping opportunities.

Before you even step out of the house, be sure to plan ahead. Ask yourself: What do you want to buy? How much do you want to spend? How long will you be in the city? This will determine whether you head to Oxford Street for an abundance of high street stores or to Shoreditch for something a bit more bespoke. Also make sure to plan your parking in advance to avoid driving around trying to hunt down a space. Pre-book a spot with a car park operator, such as NCP, and the earlier you book a space, the cheaper it tends to be.

London has some great unknown spots away from the hustle and bustle. Charing Cross Road and Hanbury Street are perfect for vintage stores and art goods, ensuring that you get something for a loved one that will be individual, customised and unique, with no hefty price tag following.

During a day of bargain hunting, you are sure to get a tad peckish. London is full of bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants that will cater to any taste or budget. St Martin's Lane and Acre Lane are great for cheap eateries, while Soho and Covent Garden should be for those looking for something mid-range. And if you have the cash to splash, Michel Roux’s Le Gavroche and the Dorchester are simply a treat to the taste buds.

Finish off your day catching a spectacular show in the West End. With over 40 theatres to pick from, you can enjoy chocolate goodness at Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the simply-amazing The Lion King or the glitzy spectacle of Wicked.

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