Activities & Days Out / 1 April, 2023 / Christina Walter
If a family trip to the capital is on the cards this summer, you might want to know where the best toy shops are in London. With so much online these days, there aren’t as many as you might think, so we’ve done our research and unearthed some independent gems and old-fashioned stores as well as world-famous destinations, so you can plan your visit with ease.
Benjamin Pollock has been selling toys and games to discerning adults and children alike for over 100 years and is one of the few remaining toy shops in the West End of London.
The toyshop also sells reproductions and original toy theatres from around the world and stock a large range of books, puppets, music boxes, pocket money novelties and traditional toys hand-picked from individual artists’ ranges and international toymakers.
WHERE: 44 The Market Covent Garden
CLOSEST TUBE: Covent Garden
A colourful place filled with toys, gifts, party supplies, cards and gift wrap, everything in Cachao Toys has been carefully chosen to give you a happy buying experience.
In the shop, you’ll find beautiful partyware from brands such as Meri Meri and Talking Tables, suitable for children and adults of all ages. They have a wide variety of balloons, from latex to super shape foils, as well as helium to inflate them for you.
Their shop is open from Mondays-Saturdays 10 am-5 pm, and their toys are also available online!
WHERE: Muswell Hill
CLOSEST TUBE: East Finchley
You won’t be surprised to hear that the Disney store is a premier destination when it comes to toys and gifts for kids. Visiting the Disney Store is a magical experience, and includes a bit of everything for kids and adults a like.
You’ll find Disney clothing, toys, games, and stuffed animals from Elsa & Anna to Lilo and Stitch to Buzz Lightyear and Woody. Explore National Geographic merch or turn your home into a Disney castle with home décor inspired by Cinderella.
Shopping can feel like a magical Disney vacation, so be sure to wear your Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse ears!
WHERE: 350-352 Oxford Street
CLOSEST TUBE: Oxford Circus
The Hamleys story began in Cornwall, England, with a man called William Hamley, who could have become a tin miner or a fisherman, had other ideas. William dreamed of opening a toy shop, and in 1760 he did just that. Little did he know that it would become The Finest Toy Shop in the World.
With humble beginnings as Noahs Ark in 1760, by 1837 Hamleys was already a famous London landmark with families flocking to visit the “joy emporium”.
So successful was the shop, that in 1881 a new branch opened in Regent Street to cope with the hugely growing demand of the Hamleys signature fun, magic and theatre for all to enjoy.
Hamleys added a further five floors of toys! We can only imagine the spectacle with toy theatres, puppets, pedal cars and miniature railway trains jostled for space in the largest toy shop in the world.
WHERE: 196 Regent Street London
CLOSEST TUBE: Oxford Circus
The LEGO® Store at Leicester Square is the biggest store anywhere in the world! It spans two floors, packs in 914 square metres of LEGO® fun.
The newly expanded and completely refurbished store features impressive 3D builds inspired by ‘Stories of Britain’, which celebrate the country’s icons, heroes and history. Visitors can get selfies with William Shakespeare, who is waiting at the bus top for a red double-decker London bus (made out of 270,884 LEGO bricks), in the driver’s seat of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5; in Harry Potter™’s Gringotts, Diagon Alley and a Dark Arts scene; and alongside Sherlock Holmes. Also featured is Buckingham Palace and Big Ben as well as our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
WHERE: 3 Swiss Court, London
CLOSEST TUBE: Leicester Square
London Tree House is a toy shop with a focus on traditional British characters. They stock a range of children’s toys and accessories.
Located within the bustling, world-famous Portobello Road Market, it is the home of Paddington Bear.
WHERE: 146 Portobello Road, London, W11 2DZ
CLOSEST TUBE: Ladbrook Grove
Patrick’s Toys is a family-run business established 60 years ago. It’s one of London’s biggest and oldest traditional toy and model Shops. In the model department they specialise in rocketry, planes, cars, military and science fiction. They’re a stockist of
Brio toys as well as TP activity toys with a range of outdoor toys for every size garden or just toys to take to school or the beach.
They also stock climbing frames, swings, slides, trampolines, pools, football goals and sand pits.
WHERE: 107-111 Lillie Rd, London SW6 7SX
CLOSEST TUBE: Earl’s Court
A magical puppet shop near London’s Clapham Common, where puppets past and present from around the world come to life! There’s something for everyone, from children’s toys to collectors’ items… Kitsch and culture!
WHERE: 787 Wandsworth Road
CLOSEST TUBE: Wandsworth Road
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QT Toys is a family-owned toy shop established in 1983 and has been voted as one of London’s best toy stores by Time Out, the Londonist and the Evening Standard.
You’ll find a treasure trove of toys and books, including retro toys from the 80s. From fancy dress to skipping ropes and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in this awesome independent shop.
QT Toys and Games is a must-visit if you’re visiting Battersea or Clapham.
WHERE: 90 Northcote Road
CLOSEST TUBE: Clapham Junction
Selfridges London is home to so much more than just a toy shop. It’s a creative playground where you can socialise, get inspired and explore positive ideas.
Enter the world of FAO Schwarz at Selfridges London and discover everything from the exclusive giant piano experience to real-life toy soldiers and more.
WHERE: Oxford St, London
CLOSEST TUBE: Bond Street
A brilliant toy shop with a balance of traditional, hand-crafted toys and popular branded ones including Lego, WOW, and Orchard toys.
Open Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm, Sun 11am-4pm.
WHERE: 56 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, London W4 1QP
CLOSEST TUBE: Turnham Green
The perfect stop for birthday pressies or gifts for new baby. They have plenty of wooden toys and creative activity sets as well as the sofest teddies!
The Toybox was set up thanks to investment from local people who were promised that they would fund a shop run for the community and one that would be an asset to the local scene. Nowadays, the shop continues to thrive and develop and remains in the same hands.
Stock is constantly reviewed and refreshed to bring great products to the local community.
WHERE: 223 Victoria Park Rd, London E9 7HD
CLOSEST TUBE: Mile End or Bethnal Green
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