When you think London toyshops, your first thought will almost certainly be the giant that is Hamleys. This is not however the only big toy store in London, and whether you are taking your kids shopping in London as a birthday treat, or starting to plan Christmas, it is worth visiting some of the other capital city sized toy boxes too. Most children will have only ever seen toyshops as big as those found in London on films, and the whole experience can be a magical one. There is too much to see and do in London to fit it all into one day, to get more out of your trip consider staying near Liverpool Street for a night or two.
The Disney Store
Disney stores are a global phenomenon, but there are none so big in the Europe as the London branch. You can’t miss the Disney Store, with its luminous orange sign and huge shop front it brightens up its part of Oxford street wonderfully. Spot the Disney Princesses, who appear at the windows of the shop, follow Tinkerbell round the walls inside and say hello to Mickey and Donald as you enter. Whether your kids are into Cinderella, or Lightning McQueen, there is something in here for everyone. Parents are like to find themselves reminiscing about their favourite Disney films from their childhood as they make their way round this maze of characters and magic.
The Science Museum Shop
Now this might not be the conventional toyshop, but there are certainly plenty of great gadgets and gizmos to keep all the brood happy. All the toys have their roots in science but are also great fun to play with. There are in-store demos, so watch out for planes flying overhead or staff with voice transformers. There are big kid toys here too as the Science Museum sells larger tech gadgets and gadgets for the home, as well as chemistry sets and science putty. You do not need to have been to the museum to go in the shop, but it’s highly recommended that you do, as it is great fun!
You can’t take a trip to London’s toyshops and miss out the daddy of them all, Hamleys. Plan your trip carefully and aim for the quieter ends of the day. This is particularly important during the holiday season when it gets very busy, so busy in fact that you form an orderly queue to snake round the perimeter of the shop. Founded in 1760 Hamleys was a small toyshop with few offerings. It grew quite quickly and has been in its current Regent Street spot since 1881. Hamleys has it all, from nursery toys, to collectables, to the very latest gadgets and games, and even the Queen has kitted her children out with toys from here in the past.
Watch your children’s eyes light up as the enter some of the biggest toyshops in Europe. Watch demonstrations and discover toys you never knew existed. To fit in more on your trip you can stay in the city, close to the shops. Toyshops of this scale will delight all visitors, from the very small, to the very tall so forget your age, start acting your shoe size.