Visit London Blog » hamleys Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Valentine’s Day London Shopping News Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:22:33 +0000

London is heaving with show-stopping shopping events in the lead-up to London Fashion Week and Valentine’s Day. Here are a few of our favourites:

Black Roses in Carnaby

Go gothic this Valentine’s Day by getting your mitts on a macabre bouquet of black roses. London creative Miss Cakehead has teamed up with Kraken Black Spiced Rum to open the Think Ink pop-up, the first-ever florist offering only black roses. The bouquets will be lovingly arranged in grave vases, full of Kraken rum, rather than water, turning them black. A bottle of rum will be given in place of the traditional Champagne option. Open from 8am on 14 Feb for one day only. G12 Kingly Court, Carnaby W1

Free Roses in Chelsea

Feel the love in Chelsea this Valentine’s Day! More than 1,000 complimentary roses will be handed out to commuters and passers-by on 14 February at shopping hub Duke of York Square. A violinist will be playing romantic music and serenading on request.

 Message on a Bottle of GinBombay Sapphire from Selfridges

Add a personal message for your loved one onto a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin, through an exclusive hand-graving service at Selfridges. The service is free for all those buying a bottle of the gin. Available on 12 Feb.

 Vintage Fashion Fairs

Got a passion for designer vintage? Don’t miss The Vintage Collections at Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair, a So Vintage Fashion Fairhighlight of the fashion week schedule. Popular with costume designers and fashion bloggers, this fashion week event offers classic labels like Vivienne Westwood, Ossie Clark and Biba. Sun 16 Feb from 11am-5pm at The Old Finsbury Town Hall, Rosebury Avenue, EC1R 4RP. Entry is £4.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to designer labels, rummage for vintage clothes for men and women, retro accessories, reworked jewellery and one-of-a-kind homeware at the So Vintage London Fair at Old Spitalfields Market. 1 Mar from 11am-5pm

Donutterie to Open in Box ParkTom Daley is mesmorised by a box of Dum Dum Doughnuts

Celebrity favourite Dum Dum Doughnuts is opening is first-ever Donutterie in Box Park later this month. These tasty treats are freshly baked rather than fried and only have 6 grams of fat compared to the usual 17 grams of fat in a classic American jam donut. Big name stars like Olympian Tom Daley have already been flocking to the Westfield Stratford City doughnut stand to sample the baked goods.

Underground Attraction at HamleysLuke Friend and Hamley Bear at the Hamleys Underground

Legendary toy store Hamleys has unveiled a lost underground station at its Regent Street store. The new Hamleys Underground will see a tube station come to life through experiences including games, such as a NERF tunnel target board, a kiosk and entertainment. Central to the attraction is an actual driver’s cab that was used on the Piccadilly line in the 1970s.

More shopping in London

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London Shops Loved By All The Family Wed, 11 Sep 2013 12:00:41 +0000 Museum of London shop Science Museum shop Sylvanian Families shop Sweets at Hope and Greenwood The LEGO shop at Westfield The Beatles Abbey Road cover recreated at M&Ms World

Taking the kids shopping can be a challenge but suggest these stores and they’ll be dragging you there!

London’s Top Museum Shops
London has plenty of fantastic museums and many also have an excellent gift shop. Whenever I need to buy a present we head to the Museum of London shop or the Science Museum shop, and we never leave empty-handed.

At the Museum of London shop there is a dedicated children’s section and my daughter usually loves to choose a new book and a pocket-money toy. It’s one of those places where you’ll go to buy a gift and always find something for you too. The Science Museum shop is huge and has plenty of pocket-money toys too but also fantastic science experiment kits and space-themed fun including the Astronaut Ice-Cream Sandwich I seem to buy every time we’re there.

London’s Best Toy Shops
A visit to Hamleys on Regent Street is always fun. There are seven floors of toys and lots of demonstrators. My daughter loves the nail art and colouring pens before dashing to the dolls section to make a wish-list of dolls for Christmas or her next birthday.

The Sylvanian Families shop in north London celebrated its 20th anniversary this year so there’s no sign of these little animal folk going out of fashion.

I’ll admit I was surprised when my seven year old told me she loved visiting Westfield Stratford City but her reasoning was because they have the LEGO shop and Disney Store! The LEGO store has a wall at the back where you can fill a cup with the individual pieces you really want for your next creation. I like to make the set of three LEGO mini figures which you put together yourself and only costs £3.50.

A recent addition to my daughter’s favourite shops is Lush as the bath bombs still amaze her. It’s all natural ingredients and it makes bath time fun, appealing to her love of science experiments and her wish to be all grown up too soon.

If your kids are older take them to Forbidden Planet and release your inner geek. We bought Doctor Who figures and want to go back for moustache cookie cutters or the Darth Vader cake tin.

London Sweet Shops
It’s not just kids who love sweets. Hope and Greenwood has traditional English sweets in jars behind the counter ready to be weighed out. Also in Covent Garden, Cybercandy stocks all the brightly-coloured imported treats expats and visitors might be craving.

M&M World in Leicester Square is four floors of noisy sugar rush. There are fun photo opportunities with the red bus on the ground floor and the recreated Beatles Abbey Road cover on the lower level.

And chocoholics need to go to Choccywoccydoodah for the kitsch madness. We went to the cafe with friends and it’s a chocolate heaven.

Laura Porter writes the London Travel site and is also a VisitBritain Super Blogger. She’s @AboutLondon on twitter and fits in further freelance writing while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival the Queen’s.

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Top Five Things to do in London This Summer by Kane, Eight Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:54:26 +0000

Young Londoner Kane, eight, shares his five favourite things to do in London during the summer holidays.

Hampstead Heath

kane-face-250Hampstead Heath is awesome. When I went last time I played Frisbee on the hill and when we walked through the wood we saw two really cool guys doing sword fighting and another man practising the tightrope. It is really good to fly a kite and they have a lido which is amazing as you can swim outdoors. When we go to Hampstead Heath we always walk to Hampstead village after we have played and have a burger or fish and chips in a pub.

The South Bank

I love the South Bank as there are lots of performing actors, like people pretending to be statues. There is a gold man who jumps out at anyone who walks past, which is really funny. You can get pictures with them. Once I saw a chameleon riding a bike and a man pretending to be a dog. There are magic people who do tricks like escaping from chain jackets and juggling swords, and amazing limbo dancers who are really cool – even when they are just half a metre above the ground they can still get under the limbo pole. There are always ice cream vans on a sunny day and the big wheel is on the South Bank too.

kane-hyde-park-610-2Roller Blading in Hyde Park

If you go skating in Hyde Park you can hire skates from the Blue Room near the Marble Arch. It is a really exciting thing to do. You get to try skates on and pick your own colour. It is fun skating because you see more advanced skaters doing cool tricks; you may even see me skating when you go as I like skating a lot. The really cool thing about skating in Hyde Park is that it is bigger than any other place I skate and the roads are really smooth, so you don’t trip up and it is a lot easier to do stuff like slalom, wheelies and one foot tricks. There is a really cool lake if you skate further down, which has a lot of ducks on it. The park is really busy so you see a lot of people, but you still have lots of room to skate and do tricks.


Hamleys is awesome. It’s really fun. There are loads of toys. When I first went in I said, “Woah, I have never known anything so cool”. It is massive. There are guys playing with remote controlled helicopters; there are giant models hanging off the ceiling, like Ben 10; and there are also loads of computer games if you like that sort of thing. My favourite visit to Hamleys was when my mum’s friend took me to choose my birthday present – I got so many different types of Trash Pack.

Legoland Windsor

Legoland is a brilliant day out for all the family. It is really fun. There is a massive roller coaster made out of Lego with a dragon on it, and a baby one for kids who are younger. My best friend really loves it as well. There is a toy shop where you can buy loads of Lego. Once I bought a sword and shield and an Egyptian tomb with loads of gems. I still have them and still play with them. When you drive in you see Lego people waving and building things like tables. If you go you should spend about five hours there. It is definitely worth spending five hours – they have loads of flavours of popcorn, ice cream and hotdogs. There are loads of rides. You get squirted by water dragons when you go on the roller coaster. There are also big spaces where you can play. It is so much fun, I have been twice.

Want more kid-friendly London ideas? Read these top London suggestions from eleven-year-old Stan and leave your own ideas in the comments below. For even more child-friendly things to see and do in London, visit our Family page

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London Video of the Week: A Perfect Winter’s Day in London Fri, 07 Dec 2012 14:01:00 +0000

Here’s a lovely video from British Airways, showing two of their cabin crew, Mark and Lucy, enjoying a perfect day in London. 

From London Heathrow Terminal 5, to the Houses of Parliament, Primrose Hill, Camden Passage, The Langham, Hamleys, Fortnum & Mason, Natural History Museum Ice Rink, and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, they certainly enjoy a busy day. (I’m just not sure about that picnic, considering today’s temperatures are hovering around the 3°C mark.)

For more London videos, check out our YouTube channel.

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Warwick Castle at Hamleys Toy Store in London Tue, 05 Oct 2010 13:00:35 +0000

If the children of London won’t come to Warwick Castle, then Warwick Castle will come to the children of London.

Bold knights, fair maidens and even noble birds of prey arrived in the capital on Sunday as very special birthday party guests. The characters brought a touch of medieval mayhem to Hamleys, one of London’s leading stores, which celebrates its 250th birthday this year.

William Hamley opened his first toy shop, Noah’s ark, in 1760 on High Holborn. This was later destroyed by fire and a new branch called Hamleys opened on Regent Street. The store has had a colourful past, having been bombed five times during the Blitz and given a Royal Warrant as a toy and sports merchant. So stepping back through Britain’s magical past would seem a fitting way to mark this momentous anniversary.

My sons certainly thought so. The boys were thrilled to be greeted by Sir Warwick the Knight, clad in full armour, and were all the more impressed when the brave warrior let them handle his shimmering sword. Then there were big blushes from my eldest when a fair maiden approached, begged he tell her his name and asked how many dragons he had slayed recently.

They had an opportunity to meet Warwick Castle’s 22-year-old bald eagle, Sydney. The kids had never been up close and personal with an eagle before, so were rather in awe – though the sight was not quite as awesome as the fabulous array of toys that surrounded them. Having the opportunity to spend their Sunday in Hamleys was like a dream come true for my sons – and an expensive day out for myself!

If you were unable to attend on Sunday, fear not. Every Saturday and Sunday through October and also half term, Sir Warwick, the castle knight, will be coaching budding heroes in store. Princess Arabella will be spreading an air of royal beauty around too. Visitors will also be treated to a 2-4-1 voucher to Warwick Castle – Britain’s ultimate castle – when they visit Hamleys in October.

Tim Harrison-Jones, general manager at Warwick Castle, said: “Throughout October, all who visit Regent Street will get a taste of the medieval for the first time.

“With birds of prey, castle characters and discounts on offer they’ll be plenty to keep the children entertained – we look forward to seeing you there.”

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Hamleys at Christmas with Magic FM Tue, 22 Dec 2009 16:00:33 +0000 Angie's two daughters and nephew enjoying the Christmas party at Hamleys

Hi, I’m Angie Greaves from Magic FM’s Drivetime, and I’m a brand-new guest blogger on  

What I’m hoping to do is bring some suggestions of things to do in London, whether it’s eating out, seeing a good play at the theatre, enjoying outdoor London, or, if you’re a parent, finding interesting and stimulating things to do with your children.   

Every Christmas, Magic hosts a Christmas party at Hamleys toy store in Central London. Now, I have to be honest, the thought of braving Hamleys doesn’t immediately fill me with much joy, (human traffic isn’t one of my favourite pastimes). However, the faces of the children when they come out with their gifts and toys does!  
The main concern I hear when I mention Hamleys is price, but it really isn’t as astronomical as you’d think. As well having concessions like Build-A-Bear and Hello Kitty, Hamleys do their own range of toys, games and gifts which suits every budget.

In Hamleys, you can find anything from a tiny fluffy cat, to a talking-and-walking dog; perhaps you’re looking for a magician’s box of tricks or remote-control car. If you want to be a little more adventurous, you could even go for moving farm animals, to a life-sized giraffe.  The choice really is yours. 

If you stick within your budget, there’s no reason why an afternoon at Hamleys couldn’t be considered as part of your Christmas shop, and it’s got a great atmosphere for kids.  
Each floor is themed: 

  • Girls
  • Boys
  • Soft Toys
  • Computer Games
  • Toddlers

There are staff are on every floor conducting demonstrations and the children are the priority.  
Hamleys’ cloakroom facilities are brilliant, and the baby changing room has everything you need if you have very little ones who need changing and/or nursing. Then there is a café with hot drinks and snacks keeping everything you need for your day under one roof.

This is also the special time of year when your children can go to Santa’s Grotto. Pose for a photo with the big man as a reminder of the fantastic day you had at “London’s Favourite Toy Store”.
Set your budget, be realistic and make your way to Hamleys, it’ll be fun for the kids and you too!

It’s Hamleys’ 250th birthday in February so keep an eye on in the New Year for news on special birthday events that we can all enjoy!

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1,000 Days to Go to London 2012 Olympic Games Fri, 30 Oct 2009 15:00:28 +0000 Instructors and young sailors from the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy - the sailing venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games - mark 1,000 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games at Durdle Door in Dorset

On Saturday, there are just 1,000 days to go until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has released details suggesting more than 5 million people are now “involved” in the Games in one way or other.

So, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re either one of them, or you know someone who is!

Whether it’s the Inspire Programme looking at community projects, the Get Set programme in schools, the Cultural Olympiad, School Sports Week, or your company is working on the Games, it’s becoming clear than 2012 is having quite an impact.

So, tomorrow is time for London to celebrate this involvement in different ways:

With just 1,000 days to go, all eyes are on the next step: the aquatic centre’s roof is due to be finished before the end of the year…

But, alongside London 2012, we want to know what you’re going to achieve in the next 1000 days? Let us know in the comments below, tell twitter @london2012team, or visit

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