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Hamleys Toy Store in London

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A kid’s paradise on earth, Hamleys is a must-see for families (and those young at heart!) roaming around London!

Make your way to Regent Street and explore one of the world’s largest toy stores: a true treasure trove!


Contents:
👉 Hamleys at a glance
👉 Exploring Hamleys (toys, events, workshops…)
👉 Access

💡 The Captain’s Tips 💡

Want to know more about the history of London? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the capital. The tip you leave is entirely up to you!

Looking for a hotel in London? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in London? Tips & Recommendations.

Hamleys at a glance

A Brief History of Hamleys

18th Century

Founded by William Hamley, a humble man from Cornwall, Hamleys opened in 1760 on High Holborn, initially named Noah’s Ark. It wasn’t long before the store adopted the name of its legendary founder.


19th Century

The phenomenal success of the first store led to the opening of a second location on Regent Street in 1881. Hamleys became known for stocking the most popular toys of the era, including model trains and puppets.


20th Century

In the late 1930s, Queen Mary, consort of King George V, awarded Hamleys a Royal Warrant, designating it an official supplier to the royal family. This prestigious honor is shared by only a few establishments, such as the renowned Fortnum & Mason (which Captain Ulysses highly recommends visiting).

In the 1950s, Queen Elizabeth granted Hamleys another Royal Warrant.

In 1981, Hamleys relocated to its current address at 188-196 Regent Street.


Today

Despite changing hands multiple times over the past few decades, Hamleys remains one of London’s most iconic stores, continuing to delight visitors young and old alike.

Hamleys - Toy Store

Hamleys by the Numbers

Here’s what you need to know about Hamleys:

  • Over 260 years of history
  • 5 million visitors each year
  • 7 floors
  • 54,000 square feet / 5 000 m2
  • Over 50,000 toy lines, featuring iconic brands like Lego, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Sylvanian Families, and Monopoly
  • Though the Regent Street store is the crown jewel, Hamleys boasts dozens of other locations throughout the UK and around the globe.

Exploring Hamleys in London

7 floors of stuffed animals, toys, and wonders galore

Hamleys boasts 7 floors jam-packed with toys of all kinds, making it a true treasure trove!

Expect to find everything from stuffed animals, baby toys, and bath toys to board games, books, Star Wars figures, Lord of the Rings collectibles, and Harry Potter memorabilia. There’s something to delight every shopper, whether young or young at heart.

Harry Potter fans will love visiting Ollivander’s shop inside Hamleys. For those truly dedicated, you can even buy a Quidditch broom… for a price: £200!

A word of caution, though: prices can be steep! Some visitors have noted that Hamleys tends to mark up prices compared to what you might find online… Just so you know!

Activities

The day kicks off with the traditional “opening ceremony” of the grand store. Every day, a lucky child is invited to participate. To volunteer, just be at the entrance at opening time.

Toy Store - Hamleys

Throughout the day, Hamley Bear, the store’s mascot, is on hand to greet visitors with huge hugs and endless high fives.

On weekends, Hamleys pulls out all the stops with a weekly parade across all 7 floors. Expect music, dancing, and an array of costumed characters!

And that’s not all: puppet shows, dance sessions, dragon meet-and-greets, origami classes, tea parties, and demonstrations… Hamleys goes above and beyond to captivate visitors of all ages.

Build-a-Bear Workshop

Looking to give your kids an unforgettable, unique gift? Want to bring back a truly special souvenir from your London adventure?

At the “Build-a-Bear” workshop, visitors can create their own personalized stuffed animal. Choose your plush, fill it with stuffing, add a little heart, and customize it with various accessories. Prices range from £40 to £60, depending on the options you select.

Visiting Hamleys at Christmas

In December, Hamleys transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with festive decorations and a merry band of elves ready to welcome visitors. Enjoy a host of activities and demonstrations, capturing the Christmas spirit in all its glory!

Visitor Tips

Getting to Hamleys

Head to Regent Street in the West End district, just a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Leicester Square.

The nearest transport options are:

  • Tube: Oxford Circus (Central, Bakerloo, and Victoria lines) | Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines) | Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines)
  • Bus: Oxford Circus stop (lines 12, 88, 94, and 453)

Hamleys Opening Hours

Hamleys is open:

  • Monday to Saturday: 10 AM – 9 PM
  • Sunday: 12 PM – 6 PM

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!

👉 Find the perfect place to stay in London!


👉 Looking for recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ top tips for London!

🛏️ Accommodation: Hotels.com + Captain Ulysses’ detailed article: “Where to Stay in London?”

🎟️ Activities: GetYourGuide | Civitatis | Tiqets.

🎫 Citypasses: London Explorer Pass | London Pass

🚐 Transfers : Airport transfers

🚌 Local Transportation: Hop-on hop-off buses (with audio guide)

✈️ Getting to London: by plane: Skyscanner | by train : Eurostar


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