Take children to shops they’ll love


Children or teenagers, they’ll be bowled over by the variety of shops that sell toys, sweets and even magic

If your kids have been saving up their pocket money, they’ll love the range of London retailers jostling to excite children and teenagers alike. There’s a bit of everything, from stores selling exploding candy to magic shops teaching the latest in abracadabra.

Hamleys, on London’s Regent Street, is quite possibly Great Britain’s most famous toyshop. Trading for more than 250 years, the six-floor megastore sells popular action figures, board games, miniature cars and racing tracks, dolls, just about every type of remote controlled toy ever conceived and much, much more. Visitors can also interact with life-size children’s characters and watch live product demonstrations. www.hamleys.com

Another option is to let the little ones create their very own cuddly friend, at a soft toy factory. Custom made teddy bears are assembled before your very eyes, by passing through a set of interactive workstations that allow you to choose from hundreds of items of clothing and other accessories. There are two stores that offer this service in Central London: one located in the Brent Cross Shopping Centre and one inside Hamleys itself. www.buildabear.co.uk

Choccywoccydoodah is a fun-filled, Brighton-based sweet boutique with a branch in London’s Soho. It is famed for its extravagant creations, such as chocolate lollies peppered with popcorn and giant marshmallows. www.choccywoccydoodah.com

Hope & Greenwood is a colourful candy store in Covent Garden, replete with a traditional striped awning and huge pots filled with chocolates and delicious boiled sweets, some which explode in the mouth and some that smell of violets. www.hopeandgreenwood.co.uk

Just a short walk south is Davenports, the world’s oldest magic shop. Founded by Lewis Davenport in 1898 and currently run by his great, great grandson, Bill, the bazaar stocks an enormous variety of magic tricks, tools, clothing and illusions. Next-door is a private theatre that, on most weekends, serves as a magic school for children of all ages. Don’t be alarmed if you come across strange goings on in the area, London’s Society of Magicians regularly meets nearby. www.davenportsmagic.co.uk

The Disney Store on Oxford Street, which is the company’s largest store in Europe, is also worth a visit. www.disneystore.co.uk

The gift shop at the newly opened Harry Potter studio tour at Warner Bros Studios—20 miles northwest of London—is also noteworthy; mostly thanks to the display of various original artefacts from the films, the Hedwig puppets and the irresistible range of Bertie Bott jelly beans. www.wbstudiotour.co.uk


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