Whether you’re looking for a last minute present for your niece’s birthday party or are wanting to find somewhere you can take the kids this summer’s holiday, we’ve rounded up the best toy shops that London has to offer.
Channel your inner big kid and venture to London’s biggest and best toy shops, from the iconic Hamleys through to creativity-led Ottie and the Bea.
Blackheath’s Ottie and the Bea is a place where creativity, community and playfulness collides. Set up by founder Julia back in 2010, the shop is named after her two daughters, and is home to a whole host of thoughtful gifts, books and toys that are perfect for kiddies.
The shop is centred around Julia’s two childhood passions: imaginative play and creativity, so the store front is crafted with carefully curated goodies that both children and parents will love. As well as being a shop, Ottie and the Bea also runs regular book clubs and plays host to workshops led by authors, illustrators and makers.
A true toy emporium, Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop feels like it could slot perfectly into a movie dedicated to the history of toys. Founded by Louise Heard, it’s become the beating heart of Covent Garden for over 30 years and is cherished by both children and adults alike.
The store itself, home to bright red doors and theatrical illustrations at the entrance, is known famously for its toy theatres. It brings the Victorian favourite back to centre stage, with toy paper card theatres inspired by Britain’s theatrical heritage. They are elaborately decorated and make for such a special birthday present to be loved for years to come.
The king of London toy shops, Hamleys is a London institute that’s loved globally by children, adults and eager toy enthusiasts.
Hamleys, first founded by William Hamley all the way back in 1760 before moving to its current residence on Regent Street in the early 1880s, is home to thousands upon thousands of much loved toys. Expect to find all your usual favourites, as well as old classics, new film icons and musical moments. A maze of toys, heading here is a day out in itself.
Tucked inside the luxury retail destination sits Harrods’ Toy Kingdom. Known around the world for its expensive but traditional Santa’s Grotto come Christmas time, the Harrods Toy Kingdom is well worth a visit no matter the time of year.
Fall in love with all of your childhood toys, from old time favourites to new friendly characters.
Who remembers these little furry friends from childhood? Visit the Sylvanian Families store in Highbury for a touch of nostalgia and let your little one’s collection grow bigger.
The family-owned independent toy retailer has become popular with collectors and children alike, and boasts one of the largest collections of Sylvanian Families, as well as boasting a few other collectable miniatures.
Let your imagination run wild as soon as you step foot inside Muswell Hill’s infamous Cachao Toy Shop. Kiddies will be able to fall in love with a new favourite toy, while flicking through the endless puzzles and games on offer.
A famed spot in the local area, Cachao started life back in 1997 selling homeware, chocolate and confectionery, before growing into the toy shop it’s become today.
Where: 452 Muswell Hill, Broadway, N10 1HE
Who can resist stopping by the Paddington Bear Shop while waiting for your connection at Paddington Station? The nation’s favourite bear (alongside Winnie the Pooh of course), Paddington’s toy shop at the famous Paddington Station is a must visit for those wanting to eke out their children’s London experience.
Opt for the fluffy bear in cuddly toy form or choose from their wide range of Paddington themed books, clothing and collectables.
Where: The Lawn, Unit 4, Paddington Station, W2 1HB
If you’re going to venture to the tourist-ridden Leicester Square, you may as well make a pitstop by the LEGO Store. See all of your favourite characters come to life in giant lego form, from Batman to ninjas.
Don’t forget to take a few snaps of the giant lego Big Ben and other London landmarks scattered throughout the store. Perfect for just walking around even if you don’t want to purchase anything.
Where: 3 Swiss Court, Leicester Square, W1D 6AP