Worlds largest and oldest toy store-Hamleys!
Hamley’s, I adore you!
Our experience at the famous toy store and how we left without a toy purchase!
Abel didn’t want to leave the flat Saturday. Not even when I told him we were headed to a toy store and he could pick out anything he wanted. What DID get the kid to ask for his coat was the promise of Ice cream. So off we went…
A colleague told me I must take the children to this famous toy store called Hamley’s. What she didn’t tell me was it is the LARGEST (54K sq feet) and OLDEST (1760) toy store in the world and has is commonly visited by royalty. It holds a royal warrant! The warrant enables the store to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family.
It was also bombed 5 times in WWII. Anyone who knows my family and I are slightly obsessed with history but specifically WWII. More information on his history here:
While this destination was meant soley for the enjoyment of Abel and Norah, Andy and I (pun intended) were like kids in a candy shop!
The shop sits on Regents Street- A retail haven for the high end stores. The building itself is stunning with incredible window displays with moving toys. The store itself is 5 floors. On each floor are multiple display areas where an employee is demonstrating a unique toy. This is helpful as a box description does little the effect that a demonstration does. This was quite enjoyable entertainment!
Here’s the directory which is quite helpful! It also shows you just the quantity therefore the size of the building.
Highlights of the Experience
THOMAS THE TRAIN and KEVIN in almost full size. We had no idea we’d see giant models of both and Abel was over the moon!
PEPPA was also full size! Check the video!
I’m not into legos, that’s not to say I don’t find lego displays fascinating…. I walked up the stairs and saw Kate, William and Harry standing there and was just in awe. You will see them in the video. And then.. the QUEEN and her corgy in legos!
We proceeded to the 5th floor sweet shop which had everything you could imagine! Milkshakes, candy dispensers dispensing anything and everything. It resembled Wonka Land! The most interesting were of course the lollipops of The Queen, David Bowie, Benedict Cumberpatch and other famous brits. Abel wanted a chocolate Thomas Lollipop and he’d behaved so well we obliged. The ice cream stand had closed, but thankfully the one on the ground floor was open.
As the kids explored and played they’d pick up several toys and carry them around but every toy they would put down. Their attention span is very minimal. Now I’m not going to deprive my children of a toy if they wanted one especially since I was bribing Abel with the promise of picking out a toy. But as we left the shop, neither had a toy still in their hand. Which implied to me, they didn’t LOVE anything to the point of taking it home. I had the thought “I want to get them something from the most famous toy shop in the world.” I quickly dismissed the idea because I DID get them something. I got them the experience of being in a historical, famous landmark. I also got them 3 hours of family entertainment and exploration that didn’t cost anything (except for the minimal cost of the lollipop and the ice cream on the way out). Live Simply. Contentment doesn’t come from items as my kids clearly displayed. They were content as ever when we left and covered in ice cream!
So if you find yourself in London on Regents street, do stop at Hamley’s and at least view the window displays or pop in for a quick look.
We’ll be back Hamley’s!