Biggest Toy Store in London for Toys, Toys, and More Toys
Hamleys Toy Store on Regent Street may be the Biggest Toy Store in London, but it is certainly the finest. Opened in 1760, Hamleys has been bringing the joys of toys to kids and families for over 225 years! (Can you even imagine?)
The Hamleys Story – How it became the biggest toy store in London
Young William Hamley grew up dreaming of opening the best and biggest toy store in the world. In 1760 his dream came true, and the first incarnation of Hamleys, (then known as Noah’s Ark) was opened, filled with every kind of toy you can imagine. By the time Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, Hamleys was already a London landmark. Families made regular expeditions to William’s ‘Joy Emporium’.
The London Flagship Store, a mammoth seven storeys high, didn’t open until 1881 but when it did, people came from all around the world to shop. While the store has faced hard times and short-term closures, particularly through the Depression and War years (Hamleys was bombed 5 times during WWII), in 1938, the Queen gave Walter Lines, the new owner of Hamleys, the Royal Warrant as a seal of approval verifying the quality of the business and their stock. A second Royal Warrant was awarded to Walter Lines in 1955 as a ‘Toys and Sports Merchant’.
But forget the accolades. Hamleys people are rewarded everyday. Their biggest pat on the back comes when they see the happy children who run through the doors on their search for their new favourite toy.
The number one reason to LOVE the biggest toy store in London? Super staff playing with hands-on gadgets. It happens on EVERY level and the kids are encouraged to have a go and try these toys out. There’s flying toys, beeping toys, exciting!magic tricks, make-up tutorials, racing cars, yapping flipping-over dogs… Who needs a sales pitch? Just let the kids have a go of a toy, and the kids will do the talking, convincing mums and dads everywhere that THIS toy is the one they have to have.
Yes, I succumbed. We bought the pink yapping dog. Jack fell in love with it. So we paid the (premium) price so we could bring him home to Australia- via the world. (Jack’s still in love with Pink Puppy to this day – not the yapping or walking, he never liked that – but the pink-turning-grey dog is a much-loved member of his precious soft-toy collection that sits on his bed.)
The Number Two reason? Nostalgia for long-lost childhoods, and the magic this place generates. Who cares that most toys in here are priced above the norm? If you want cheap, go online. If you want to recreate the magic of childhood, visit Hamleys with your kids in tow. (Set a spend limit before you enter though.)
Every floor has a theme of sorts, and interspersed among the toys are also live demos of cool stationery and fun stands where they’ll make you things like a personalised necklace or cover you in glitter tattoos and body art. There’s also a Lolly Store on one floor. There is a floor full of dolls and a floor full of action figures and even a floor with all stuffed animals!
While you can find lots of this stuff online these days, there is nothing kids like better than a wander through a Toy Store. If you can bear the noise, the pleadings, and are good at ducking your way out of the line of sight of a wayward toy, make a special stop. It’s called making memories. This is one you’ll be glad you have.
Here’s some of the things you’ll find at Hamleys, the biggest toy store in London!
- Paddington Bears (our pick of a toy from childhood. Oh, the nostalgia!)
- Stuffed toys of every shape, and form
- Die-cast metal toys -cars, buses, aircraft – including Corgi branded ones.
- Sylvanian Family toys
- Barbie toys
- Harry Potter’s Wands, Broom sticks, Capes and Maps
- Cars that can race up the walls and cars that flip, turn, screech, ram… the list goes on.
- Stuffed animals
- Movie merchandise
- Preschool toys and board games
- Educational and interactive toys
- Helicopters, Airplanes and other amazing flying objects
- Arts and Crafts, drawing painting, kits and projects, Double Magic Pens
- Magic tricks, magic supplies, magic kits, crystal balls
- Dolls of all kinds – fancy dolls, classics and collectibles, puppets, doll houses
- Legos, building systems, trucks, tractors and cranes
- Ride on toys, scooters
- Bubble makers, balloons, balls
- Play houses
- Sports games, throwing games, catching games
- Jewellery and nail decoration kits, Make up kits
- Build a Bear workshop
- Lolly Shop with a Jelly Belly flavour buffet
PLUS lots of toys for under £2 too- the saving grace!
If you want to avoid a big spend, why not gift each child £10 and set off on a cheap Treasure Hunt? You’ll be amazed at what you can find. Take each purchase home in a Hamley’s bag and they’ll be chuffed with their lot.
Meet the Royal Family
Who needs Buckingham Palace when you can have a life-size LEGO model? My kids met the Queen!
There’s also a model of a Tube train. Ned jumped straight in to take the controls and was soon calling stops to the passengers.
Thanks for Playing!
The sign by the door as you exit. No, Hamleys. Thank YOU for the fun adventure. We’ll be back.
The Inside Scoop on the Biggest Toy Store in London
Keep up with all the events in the London store by liking their Facebook Page here.
Crowd warning. The biggest toy store in London on Regent Street in one of the busiest shopping districts on the planet? Of course it will be crowded. Getting in might be ok. Getting out might be a different story. Be prepared to queue to pay for your goods and let the kids such on a lolly pop while you wait. When you leave, recover from all that shopping stress by walking straight up Regent’s Street (in the direction of Oxford Circus station) to the re-imagined Marylebone Green playground in Regents Park. (Yes, you can thank me later.)
- 10am to 9pm Monday to Friday
- 9.30am to 9pm Saturday
- 12pm to 6pm Sunday
- Free entry but good luck getting out without some kind of investment! Hee hee!
Contact the Biggest Toy Store in London “Hamleys”
Have an adventure by TUBE
- Oxford Circus – the closest tube station
- Piccadilly Circus
- Tottenham Court Road
Have an adventure by CAR
Car Parking is available at the following car parks:
- Brewer Street (W1F 0LA)
- Grosvenor Hill (W1K 3QQ)
- Sanderson House (W1T 3NG)
This store is located in the London congestion charge zone, more information is available here.
Location and Map
- Address: 188-196 Regent Street, London, England
Eat and Drink
Take the ‘secret’ stairs to the top floor for lunch or a cafe break. There’s also milkshakes!
Our Top Tips for London Regent Street Fun!
- Subscribe to these London for Kids magazines – Little London, Smallish magazine for fashion and style for kids, London Mums Magazine for events, Junior magazine and Angels and Urchins for London Mums
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)
10 TOADSTOOLS AND MORE!
Family Travel Ideas with Roam the Gnome
We love to share the SUPER FUN kid-friendly stuff we find around the world, so you can go there too!