Piccadilly Circus Guide: Best Things to do in Central London

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Last Updated on 1st February 2018 by Sophie Nadeau

It’s no secret. I love shopping and these stores are not to be missed. Here’s a guide to exploring the stores around Piccadilly Circus! A complete list of the very best things to do in Piccadilly Circus and beyond, as well as a history of the area in central London.

A Little History of Piccadilly Circus and its surrounds:

Regent Street: It was always intended to be shops and so there aren’t really any green areas in the area. When plans were first laid out for the construction of

Piccadilly Circus: Over 72 million people visit Piccadilly circus annually. It is also the location of a giant advertising board where Coca-Cola has been advertising since 1995! The origin for the name ‘Piccadilly’ is incredibly interesting; the ‘piccadil’ part comes from a 17th century neck collar worn by men and was invented by Roger Baker who lived in the area.

The Circus part comes not from some nearby attraction but the actual architecture of the area; the name comes from the Roman word ‘circus’ meaning circle or ring. Did you know that the iconic London buses weren’t always red but varied in colour depending on their route?


Hamley’s- Regent Street

By stocking over 50,000 toys in their flagship store, Hamley’s is not only the oldest toy shop in the world but also one of the biggest! We all know the saying- ‘everyone’s a kid at heart’ etc etc. Well, when I visited, I really wanted a demonstration of Every. Single. Gadget. In there! Who doesn’t want a toy car that can be driven on any surface?!

As well as all the latest gadgets, they also stock classic teddy bears etc. Whilst there, make sure you make it to the top floor- they have life sized lego models of all the royals. Check out the time I met the queen: she’s a bit shorter in real life- don’t you think?


Topshop- Oxford Circus, Oxford Street

TopShop was the first high street store to be featured in London Fashion Week, this is literally my favourite fashion forward store. Well, the brand’s flagship store is located along Oxford Street, at the intersection of where Oxford Street meets Regent’s Streets. Not only does the TopShop flagstore have all the latest TOPSHOP trends, but it also stocks a number of concessions (other brands) selling their merchandise like vintage pieces…


Waterstone’s- Piccadilly

Very close to Fortnum and Mason’s, the flagship Waterstones store is enormous. It’s no secret that I absolutely love books and there is every possibility that I could spend days exploring this store! According to the Waterstones’ Website, every single one of their stores is specifically tailored to suit the people who shop in them!

Whilst I may love reading, I also love coffee and so a combination of the two is often close to heavenly! The flagship store near Piccadilly tube station has a café set at the back of the store and is well worth a visit with your new purchase!


About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!

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