Covent Garden / Jubilee Market, London
This is a wonderful little place where I have found many bargains in outdoor gear over the years. I think it works on the principle of selling off remaindered gear from larger shops cheaply. There is no doubt that all the big name brands for are represented - Berghaus, Karrimor, Lowe Alpine, North Face, Vango etc. etc. There is a good selection of clothing, sleeping bags, footwear, accessories etc. The staff, most of whom seem to be antipodean backpackers themselves, are friendly and knowledgeable. Worth a visit for a bargain.
What to buy: Anything related to outsoor pursuits.
What to pay: Cheaper than the "name" shops in the same area.
Covent Gardens was an interesting experience! The markets were colourful and exciting. There seemed to be alot of jewellry for sale. There were coffee shops and restaurants and plenty of outdoor entertainment. From comediennes to a talented band.
What to buy: Lots to buy. Clothing, jewellery, china and souvineers.
If you are a fan of Dr. Marten shoes or just in need of a good pair of boots, this is the place to go! I am a major lover of Doc Martens so this was a must for me. The store has 4 floors, the first was mostly clothing (shirts and stuff), then the floors were kind of divided by gender and kids.
What to buy: This store is amazing because they have those hard to find colors and styles that the stores at home may not have. Like orange, hot pink, or flowered boots. When I was there I bought a pair of the original style boots like the first ones that Doc Martens ever made (Cherry red 8 wholed boots) and blue sandals.
What to pay: Now remember that this was almost 5 years ago but at the time they were considerably less that what you would expect to spend in the US. My boots cost 54 british pounds. So even at an exchange of 1.50 US to 1 pound (which was not the exact exchange) it was about $84, a good deal in my book.
It is highly unusual in Britain to find shops open on Sunday, but Covent Garden and the surrounding area has special dispensation which makes this one of the few areas in London with an active street life on Sunday afternoons.
We loved this place!
When you walk out of the tube station you find yourself in the middle of a cobblestone street filled with performing artists, fruit stands and small shops. Go to your right and the courtyard is filled with local artists, musicians and magicians. Plenty of places to eat (try Ponti's cafeteria style restaurant inside the courtyard). Don't limit yourself to the courtyard though, there are plenty of little shops in the area and another "indoor" market right next door.
What to buy: Great local artists sell everything from jewelery to prints to dolls.
Several shoe stores in the area, bookstores, music stores, pubs and look for a store called Octopus (very funky gifts!)
A paradise for Disney lovers, here you can buy toys from Disney such as cars, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and so on.