Officially the world's oldest and largest toy store, Hamleys on Regent Street is arguably the planet's greatest. With seven floors stuffed full of toys, games, crafts and magic tricks, people travel from across the globe to visit this magical shop and to stock up on gifts for lucky little ones. The staff often dresses up in costumes to entertain, and there are always lots of toy demonstrations and craft activities taking place, so you can try before you buy.
- William Hamley opened his first toy store (Noah's Ark) back in 1760 and it soon became a London landmark.
- Hamleys opened on Regent Street in 1881 during Queen Victoria's reign and sold all manner of puppets, pedal cars, and miniature railway train sets.
- In the 1930s, Hamleys received its first Royal Warrant (supplier to British royalty).
- During WWII, Hamleys was bombed five times but staff reputedly carried on serving from the front door while wearing tin hats.
- The fifth floor features life-size Lego sculptures of the Royal Family
- Got crafty kids? Keep them entertained on the third floor where regular hands-on craft demonstrations take place
- In-store birthday parties are available, including sleepovers and private tours
Tips for Visiting Hamleys
- Hamleys can get extremely busy, especially at weekends and in the run-up to Christmas. Aim to plan a trip in the morning or evening to avoid the mid-morning to mid-afternoon crowds
- Time a visit to coincide with a character meet and greet by keeping tabs on the events listings
What to Buy
- Fun London souvenirs
- Limited edition Lego
- Life-size teddy bears
Address: 188 - 196 Regent Street, London W1B 5BT
Nearest Tube Stations
- Oxford Circus
- Piccadilly Circus
- Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.