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GO carnaby street in central london

Carnaby Street in Central London

A shopping expedition to Carnaby Street [map] conjures up images of Mary Quaint dresses, Biba jeans, record-your-own record booths and London’s first continental cafes.

The area that was once home to famous mod shops such as Carnaby Cavern and I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet, continues to stay ahead of the fashion times and has been experiencing something of a revival since the 1990s when kids started to grow their hair, rediscovered Lambretta scooters and re-established a connection with guitar music.

Carnaby Street has now extended into the district of Carnaby, which includes Ganton Street, Foubert’s Place, Newburgh Street, and Kingly Street. Around every corner there’s famous shops and celebrities checking out the latest offerings.

The fashion conscious should head to Bond, Mambo, Ted Baker, and Diesel for up-to-date looks.

Men will find a range of top designer labels at places such as Ben Sherman, Henri Lloyd, and Merc. Women will be spoilt for choice with a large selection of flagship stores including Muji, O’Neill for beachwear and Liberty.

Clubbers can find their perfect outfit at Kyng, Savage London and Underground Shoes.

Shoe fanatics will be able to seek out the ideal pair at a variety of shops offering everything from Doc Martins to 1980s-inspired stilettos. Choose from Koko for the latest killer heels, Lambretta for funky trainers, Shelly’s for high street style or Undergound Shoes for unusual and alternative footwear. Sports fans will find their dream pair of football or running trainers at Soccer Scene and Puma, while skaters and surfers will have some of the very best footwear at their fingertips with a visit to the Vans Shop.

Alternatively, if you still hanker after that 1960s style check out Pop Boutique on Ganton Street, and Yesterday’s Bread, Foubert’s Place, for original 1960s and 1970s clothing.

Those longing for a break from shopping should find a good range of places to eat including Shakespeares Head, which is a traditional pub, a range of sandwich bars including Thanks For Franks and Caffe Pronto, and the stylish Sax European Restaurant.

Carnaby’s newest development is Kingly Court on Kingly Street [map]. This huge glass plaza offers a covered-central point to Carnaby and has a distinctly Mediterranean feel about it particularly as it overlooks a piazza-style courtyard. The courtyard plays host to live music acts on a Saturday afternoon making it the perfect place to chill out amongst the eclectic mix of unusual shops.

Kingly Court began life as a timber yard and still retains many original features giving it a unique feel that sets it apart from the usual run-of-the-mill mall. The distinct original wood features are complimented by various art exhibitions throughout the year.

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