11 Great Souvenirs To Buy When Shopping in London

Top Souvenirs

Updated On: February 18, 2024 by   Noha BasiounyNoha Basiouny

London, a city steeped in history and buzzing with contemporary cool, beckons with more than just iconic sights and double-decker buses. From timeless classics to quirky finds, its diverse shopping scene offers something for each taste and budget. But with so many options, where do you begin?

Fear not, intrepid explorer! Whether you are a fashionista seeking unique pieces from independent designers, a foodie yearning for authentic British flavours, or a culture vulture drawn to historical trinkets, we will guide you towards top souvenirs that spark memories, not regrets. Embrace the essence of London with our curated list of must-have treasures.

Buckle up; your London shopping adventure awaits!

1. English Tea

Top Souvenirs
Twinings is a high-quality tea brand to take home from London.

Stay frank. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word England after the elegant accent, the royal family, and red double-deckers? Yes, tea.

Ever since they bought it from the east, the British have been associated with the tradition of drinking tea. This precisely dates back to the 17th century when tea became fashionable among the aristocracy. However, the real surge in tea consumption occurred in the 18th century and tea became a popular and affordable beverage for the general population, leading to the creation of the traditional afternoon tea ritual.

The British influence in India also contributed to the growth of tea production there. Today, tea remains a quintessential part of British culture and is often symbolically linked with England.

London is home to renowned tea merchants and establishments with centuries-old legacies that ensure a commitment to quality. The city’s dynamic culinary scene also contributes to a wide array of artisanal and speciality teas, allowing shoppers to explore and indulge in unique flavour profiles. 

It does not matter if you are seeking classic blends or avant-garde infusions for London’s tea shops cater to all tastes. Some exceptional tea brands to bring home include Twinings, Yorkshire Tea, Fortnum & Mason, Ahmad Tea, Harney & Sons, and Ringtons, to name a few.

2. Teapot and Cups

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Teapots and cups make great souvenirs from London.

To complete the English tea-drinking experience and take home a practical and culturally significant souvenir, you should surely consider buying a teapot and cups.

Whether exploring traditional tea houses, attending afternoon tea, or simply strolling through London’s vibrant neighbourhoods, having a dedicated teapot and cups provides another tangible connection to the city’s tea culture. Moreover, London offers a variety of designs and styles, from classic and elegant to modern and eclectic, allowing visitors to find pieces that suit their tastes and preferences.

Bringing home a teapot and cups serves as an aesthetically pleasing reminder of the delightful tea-drinking moments experienced in London, making for a cherished and practical memento of your time in the city.

3. Oyster Card

The Oyster Card is a souvenir like no other, one that has a primary function besides reminding you of your trip to London and one that you actually use while on your trip in London.

Basically, an Oyster Card is a smart travel card used for public transportation in the city, including buses, trams, the London Underground (Tube), Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, and some National Rail services. It works on a pay-as-you-go system, allowing you to load credit onto the card and use it to travel seamlessly across various modes of transportation within London’s extensive public transport network.

While there, you should really consider getting an Oyster Card because it offers several advantages, such as discounted fares, daily fare capping, and the convenience of not having to buy separate tickets for each journey. Plus, it is widely accepted and can be easily topped up at various locations, providing a hassle-free and efficient way to navigate the city’s transportation system while saving both time and money.

4. A Hat from Lock & Co.

Do you know what is in common between all the photos of Queen Elizabeth II in which she did not have the crown on? Yes, the hat. It is not only the Queen, however, but almost all female members of the royal family wear hats on most formal occasions.

Besides the influence of the royal family, the association of the British with hats is rooted in historical fashion trends and cultural traditions. Wearing hats was once a common practice, particularly in the early to mid-20th century, and continues to be associated with formal occasions and specific cultural events in the UK.

That is why you, as a tourist, should consider getting a hat from Lock & Co., one of the oldest hat shops in the world, renowned for its rich heritage and craftsmanship and providing the opportunity to own a timeless piece of British fashion.

Lock & Co. Hatters has been crafting high-quality hats since 1676, and its reputation for exceptional design and durability has made it a symbol of British elegance. It offers an extensive range of hats, from classic styles to contemporary designs, ensuring that visitors can find a hat that matches their taste and reflects the iconic and sophisticated aesthetic associated with British fashion.

5. Harry Potter Merchandise

Do you know what else is synonymous with England? You are right, Harry Potter.

London is home to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where you can immerse yourself in the magical world of Harry Potter and witness the film’s sets, costumes, and props. You can then enrich your experience even more by purchasing Harry Potter merchandise, such as wands, house scarves, and magical artefacts; the perfect souvenirs for a tangible and nostalgic connection to this enchanting city.

Additionally, London offers various speciality shops and official Harry Potter stores, like the Platform 9¾ shop at King’s Cross Station, providing a wide array of authentic and unique merchandise that may not be easily found elsewhere. These items serve as mementoes of the magical journey through the wizarding world and make for memorable souvenirs or gifts, capturing the spirit of the beloved Harry Potter franchise and bringing a touch of magic back home.

6. Chocolate and Confectionery

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London has many confectionery shops that offer handcrafted chocolates, fudges, and toffees.

When it comes to chocolate production and consumption, England is often overshadowed by other countries like Belgium or Switzerland.

As for London, the city boasts a rich culinary scene, and its confectionery shops offer an array of handcrafted chocolates, fudges, toffees, and other delectable sweets. Purchasing these treats allows you to savour the distinct flavours and craftsmanship of British confectionery and even take it home.

Additionally, many chocolate shops in London have a long history and are known for their commitment to quality ingredients, making these purchases a taste of tradition. Whether exploring renowned chocolatiers in neighbourhoods like Mayfair or Covent Garden or discovering hidden gems in local markets, buying chocolate and confectionery in London provides a delightful way to experience the city’s gastronomic culture.

7. Perfumes and Colognes

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London has a rich heritage in the fragrance industry.

Like with tea and chocolate, England has a rich heritage in the fragrance industry and the opportunity to explore a miscellaneous range of scents. London, especially, is home to iconic perfumeries and luxury brands, such as Penhaligon’s and Floris, which have been crafting exquisite fragrances for centuries.

Additionally, London’s vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods provide a platform for niche and independent perfume shops, offering you, beloved visitor, a chance to discover exclusive and artisanal fragrances not readily available elsewhere. The act of buying a perfume in London then becomes a sensorial journey, connecting you to the city’s olfactory history and allowing you to carry a distinct and memorable piece of London’s aromatic charm back home.

So take the time to visit renowned department stores like Selfridges or Harrods, where you will find an extensive selection of fragrances from around the world.

8. Paddington Bear

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Paddington Bear is a fictional character popular in children’s literature and associated with London.

Created by author Michael Bond in 1958, Paddington Bear is a fictional character popular in children’s literature, a polite and friendly anthropomorphic bear from the country of Peru, wearing a distinctive hat and carrying a suitcase. He is known for his love of marmalade sandwiches and his adventures in London, often getting into comical situations.

Like America’s Mickey Mouse, Paddington Bear is deeply associated with London, so buying it or any of its merchandise, whether it is a plush toy, book, or other memorabilia, makes a delightful and meaningful souvenir, representing the whimsical and heartwarming spirit of Paddington’s London adventures, while supporting local businesses.

9. A House of Commons Merchandise

The House of Commons is an iconic institution in British politics. Elected by the UK public, it acts as the heart of lawmaking and government accountability, with 650 members who debate and vote on laws, grill ministers, and approve spending while holding the power to remove Prime Ministers.

So, yes, having a notebook associated with the House of Commons carries a sense of historical and political weight, serves as a tangible connection to the heart of the UK’s democratic processes and traditions, and makes a nice—a bit formal, yes—souvenir for taking notes or jotting down travel memories. It is also a thoughtful gift for those interested in politics or British history.

We also highly recommend visiting the House of Commons in London if you do not already have it on your list of to-visit locations.

10. West End Show Memorabilia

The West End, British Broadway, is synonymous with world-class theatre productions. Purchasing memorabilia such as posters, programmes, or merchandise from a favourite show, besides supporting the local arts and entertainment industry, serves as a tangible reminder of the cultural and artistic richness of London.

These items often carry the signatures, designs, or logos associated with the specific production, making them unique and cherished mementoes.

11. London-Themed Presents

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There are many London-themed presents to buy from London.

Let’s also not forget about the simple London-themed presents that still encapsulate the essence of the vibrant and culturally rich metropolis and make meaningful and representative souvenirs. These can be anything from mugs, keychains, and T-shirts to artwork featuring iconic landmarks like Big Ben, Tower Bridge, or red double-decker buses. They make thoughtful presents for friends and family back home, ones that carry a piece of London’s identity.

Along with those, a stronger reminder of your trip can be royal memorabilia. These often include items like commemorative plates or collectables featuring images of the reigning monarch or significant royal events.

London’s vibrant tapestry offers something for everyone, and its souvenirs reflect that diversity. From the timeless elegance of English tea to the playful charm of Paddington Bear merchandise, your souvenirs can tell the story of your London adventure and transport you back to the bustling streets, grand monuments, and charming shops whenever you see them.

Yet, remember, the best souvenirs are those that resonate with your experience, spark joy and evoke fond memories. So, as you pack your bags and say goodbye to the black cabs and red buses, let your London souvenir be a tangible reminder of the magic you discovered in the heart of England.

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