There are an incredible number of thrift stores in London. If you’re planning a trip to the capital city, and you’re hoping to find some second hand treasures- you will not be disappointed.
Londoners come from all walks of life, and you can find weird and wonderful donations in thrift shops in London. If you head to wealthier areas like Chelsea or Notting Hill, you are more likely to find designer pieces. But if you head to more residential areas, you are likely to find some real bargains. The possibilities are endless!
Luckily, the tube connects London extremely well. So even if you’re staying in central London, and you want to head to a different neighbourhood to shop- you can just jump on the tube and be there in no time.
In this post I’ll dive into the best thrift stores in London, as a self-confessed thrift shop (or charity shop, as we call them in the UK), addict. And I’ll even tell you about my best finds and where I found them!
Let’s get into it!
What are the best areas to go thrift shopping in London?
First of all, let’s talk about areas of London with lots of (really good) thrifty shops. You can go thrifting in London in almost every area of the city. However, you are unlikely to find lots of thrift stores in London tourist spots like Oxford Street, Covent Garden or Leicester Square (although there are still a couple here and there!)
You will need to head slightly out from central London to find the best thrift stores in London. Areas which are less popular with tourists and are more residential tend to have more thrift stores.
However, if you want to stay close to central London, there are still plenty of areas in zone 1 that you can go thrifting. Here are some tube stops that you’ll want to take note of if you want to go thrift shopping in zone 1.
Located on the district line, Sloane Square is the station to get off at if you would like to go thrift shopping in Chelsea. Chelsea is home to some of the mega-wealthy in London, and the charity shops in this area reflect the residents. Head to Chelsea if you are searching for second hand designer clothes and premium thrift shopping.
My favourite charity shop in Chelsea? The British Red Cross shop on Old Church Street (69-71 Old Church St, London SW3 5DB). It has designer pieces, it has vintage, it has a separate homeware shop attached. It’s an all round delight!
You might want to check out my guide to the best charity shops in Chelsea to get a better idea of the individual shops in the area, the labels you might find in these shops, and the prices you might pay.
Notting Hill Gate
Located on the central line, district line, and circle line- this stop is super easy to get to. Stop off here if you’d like to head to Notting Hill and Portobello Road. Both areas have some brilliant thrift shops, vintage stores, and of course, Portobello Market!
My favourite thrift store in Notting Hill? It’s got to be Oxfam, just a short walk from the Notting Hill Gate tube station. I’ve spotted Chloe heels for £65 here, and a beautiful vintage silk beaded wedding dress for just £10!
You can check out this guide to the best charity shops in West London and take a look at the shops you’ll find in these areas, alongside the brands and prices you might expect to find there.
Located right next to Victoria, Pimlico is a brilliant area to go thrift shopping in London. The area has lots of shops located closely together which makes it the perfect place to hit a few shops in quick succession. A great one for when your other half or your friends aren’t into thrifting!
The thrift shops in Pimlico are pretty high end (Pimlico is very close to Belgravia- a very posh London neighbourhood). One of the best thrift stores in the area, in my opinion, is the Royal Trinity Hospice. It’s just around the corner from Victoria station, and has the best selection of designer clothes in the area.
I know I said earlier that Oxford Street isn’t a great place to go for charity shopping, but there is one exception. Nestled just behind Oxford Street is the Princes Street Salvation Army charity shop.
It’s located very close to British Vogue HQ, and so rumour has it that it is home to many high end cast offs. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area! 9 Princes St, Mayfair, London W1B 2LQ.
London thrift store chains
When thinking about the best thrift stores in London. It’s important to know your stuff when it comes to the different chains in London. There’s a few of them, and some may look like regular stores from the outside. Here are just some of the charity shop chains that you’ll want to keep an eye out for if you are looking for thrift stores in London…
Traid has 11 stores in London, and they are much loved by locals and visitors alike. You can usually find an eclectic mixture of vintage and modern clothing at these thrift stores- all very reasonably priced.
The rails at Traid are usually stuffed with donations, and the clothing here generally tends to have a younger vibe. Traid stores are located in areas with large student and young professional populations like Clapham, Hammersmith, Camden and Brixton.
Octavia have several stores across London, and are famed for their elaborate, gorgeous window displays. Prices vary depending on location, but anyone could find a real treasure at Octavia due to their high quality stock and fantastic presentation.
Trinity Hospice have 31 shops in London and even have an eBay and Amazon store too! Like Octavia, Trinity Hospice stores always have an array of clothing on sale to suit most customers and styles. Their prices are super competitive- even in high end areas such as Chelsea.
Cancer Research has a huge number of charity shops across the UK (over 600, in fact!), and many high streets in London have a Cancer Research store in operation. This chain is perhaps one of the most affordable charity shop chains in London- even their Portobello Road store is affordable compared to the other charity shops in the area.
Head to Cancer Research to find a bargain!
Boutique By Shelter
Shelter is a homeless charity and they have around 100 charity shop stores in the UK. As well as their standard charity shops, they also have specialist stores called ‘Boutique By Shelter.’
Boutique By Shelter stores make it feel like you are shopping in a high end boutique rather than a charity shop. Head to these stores if you are looking for a unique, organised and tidy thrift shopping experience.
Mary’s Living and Giving For Save The Children
Mary’s Living and Giving shops were set up by Mary Portas. These charity shops are boutique second hand stores that are often found in the wealthier neighbourhoods of London. Expect to find designer pieces, high quality clothing and more in these stores.
The best thrift stores in London
1. British Red Cross, Chelsea
The British Red Cross in Chelsea is so good that I’m mentioning it twice within this post. Not only is there an extensive clothing and accessories store, but there is also a delightful Red Cross homeware store next door which houses all kinds of vintage knick knacks.
Here you’ll find designer pieces (Louboutin heels aplenty), and high end clothing and accessories. This store is probably the crème de la crème of thrift shopping in London.
2. Oxfam, Notting Hill
Another gem, Oxfam in Notting Hill is a must visit- especially as it’s so close to the station. The store is small but perfect for a quick browse if you’re heading towards Portobello Road.
You’ll find lots of designer accessories here (hello Chloe shoes for £65 and Miu Miu sunglasses for £40), but you’ll also find well priced high end high street brands such as Maje and Sandro. Mixed among the clothing there’s also bric a brac, books, and affordable high street clothing too.
3. Mind, Carnaby
Mind in Carnaby is the perfect place to get your charity shop fix if you’re in central London. Especially if you’re visiting the city with friends or family members so aren’t as keen on thrift shops as you are.
The store is small but brightly lit, with rails of gorgeous clothing. This store certainly specialises in higher end pieces- whether it’s designer or high quality materials. You’ll be sure to find something special at this shop, and the prices aren’t overinflated either considering the location.
4. Boutique By Shelter, Coal Drops Yard
Coal Drops Yard (next to Kings Cross Station), is worth a visit in itself. There’s lots of boutique stores, places to eat, outdoor seating and an all round lovely vibe. One store worth dropping into is Boutique By Shelter.
Not only are the staff absolutely lovely, the clothing is gorgeous too. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek behind the scenes at this shop, and it’s fantastic.
Here you’ll find designer pieces, mixed with gorgeous one off vintage items (a 60s silver number anyone?!). Not only that, but this store hosts regular events and brand partnerships with brands such as All Saints. If there’s one store you visit from this list, make it this one!
5. Cancer Research, Portobello
This store deserves a spot on the list because despite its boujie location, the items in store are incredibly affordable. Cancer Research is a great chain of thrift shops to look out for, because they tend to be well priced with an excellent selection of stock.
When I’ve visited this store I’ve found YSL heels for £160, a Louis Vuitton jacket for £70, and Anya Hindmarch shoes for £40. The accessories collection is usually very on point with this store.
It’s in an area with high footfall, so if you’re a regular visitor to Notting Hill (or even if you’re a local!) it’s a great idea to pop by often if you can.
6. Royal Trinity Hospice, North End Road Fulham
For the serious bargain hunters, head to the North End Road branch of Royal Trinity Hospice. All clothing is £5 or less, which makes it a seriously affordable thrift store by London standards.
Here you’ll find both mens and womens fashion, as well as homeware, shoes and accessories. There’s also often sales or ‘multi buy’ offers, so you can really make a saving.
The North End Road branch is their clearance store, but when I’ve visited there has been plenty of choice- with shoes from Office and Kurt Geiger, and high street pieces from Gap, River Island, H&M and French Connection.
8. Boutique By Shelter, Hampstead Heath
Another Boutique By Shelter gem, this branch is located near the iconic Hampstead Heath (a great place to go for a walk if you’re in the area).
This small but perfect store has clothing, accessories and homeware of impeccable quality (there’s a reason- lots of celebrities live in Hampstead Heath!). On my visits to this store I’ve found Mulberry, vintage Calvin Klein, multiple garments in high quality materials, as well as high end high street brands.
It’s not the cheapest store you’ll come across, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for excellent quality second hand shopping.
9. Mary’s Living and Giving, Kew
This Mary’s Living and Giving store is right near Kew tube station, so if you’re heading on a visit to Kew Gardens, you must stop off here. The store is generously sized, and as with all Mary’s Living and Giving stores, you can’t fault the décor and the layout. The store frontage is truly beautiful, like all shops in this chain. Shopping is a true experience here.
So what can you find? As well as good quality high street pieces you can also find the odd designer piece. A friend once found a Reformation dress here for next to nothing!
10. Mind, Camden
As you might expect in a charity shop in Camden, this branch of Mind is full with excellent clothing and some rather interesting curiosities. There’s even a dedicated section to ‘cool, weird and funky’ items, as well as a specialist vintage rail. Upon visiting I found a Mulberry dress for £60, and a gorgeous vintage silk Jaeger blouse for £12.50.
Not only is the selection great, but the shop is also known as the ‘cheapest charity shop in Camden Town.’ It’s well worth a visit if you were already visiting Camden. There are lots of thrift stores in Camden (go figure), so we’ve even written a full guide to the best charity shops in Camden.
11. The Charity Shop, Homerton
📍 221 Well St, London E9 6RG
The Charity Shop deserved a space on this page as it’s a true jumble-sale style shop with stock piled in every nook and cranny. You won’t find much about this store online (it doesn’t even have it’s own website!). So you’ll have to go in store to see for yourself.
The store has a bit of everything- from clothing to crockery to knick knacks. Definitely go here to find something unexpected. Lydia Bolton created a fantastic Instagram reel highlighting what the store is really like inside, which you can check out here.
12. Mind, Chiswick
You might be noticing a theme here, we love Mind thrift shops here at Thrifty Londoner! Mind Chiswick is a small but tightly packed store and is actually my local charity shop. That means that every couple of weeks, I pop in here to see what’s new. I’ve picked up some gorgeous pieces over the years and so it definitely deserved a space on this list (even though I’m practically giving away my secrets!)
Chiswick in general has a wealth of great charity shops, but Mind is by far my favourite. Past finds include a Seraphine dress for £8, gorgeous vintage silk blouses for £5, beautiful leather shoes, knitwear, and jeans for affordable prices.
Almost every time I’ve gone into this store I’ve come out with something- so if you’re in west London, this is a great store to hit.
13. Oxfam Books, Bloomsbury
I couldn’t not include a specialist book shop on this list of thrift stores in London. Oxfam Books have stores all over London (they’re actually the UK’s largest second hand book seller), but the Bloomsbury branch is their flagship- and with good reason. It is located in the heart of literary London.
The shop is moments away from the British Museum, and offers a wide range of specialist items. From art, to rare and collectable books, academic, fiction, CDs and vinyl. And if you love second hand books? You’ll love our guide to the best charity shops in London for second hand books.
14. Mary’s Living And Giving, Richmond
If you’ve ever watched Ted Lasso, the bright green shop in the background of the shots near Ted’s flat in Richmond is the inimitable Mary’s Living and Giving. It’s a delight both inside and out.
Inside the shop you’ll find designer pieces in every corner of the room. It’s a small store, but with a big personality. You’ll find pre-loved designer from brands such as Day, Vivienne Westwood and Russell and Bromley. I also found vintage YSL and Gucci bags. It’s expensive, but the stock is stunning and very well presented.
15. Traid, Camden
Any branch of Traid in London is a lot of fun, but the one I love the most? Traid Camden. Most Traid stores have an absolute ton of stock (sometimes the rails are so tightly packed you can’t flick through them properly!). Traid Camden is no exception.
The vintage clothing at Traid Camden is insane. There is rails and rails and rails of it- and it’s mostly reasonably priced too. Vintage dresses start from £15, but you’ll also find vintage sportswear, dancewear, and items that even verge on fancy dress! If you’re in Camden, it’s another must-visit.
16. Retromania (Fara), Victoria
Retromania is actually a vintage emporium store created by the charity, Fara. All retro and vintage donations to the Fara charity shops are collated and sold here at the bespoke store in Victoria.
Not only will you find gorgeous vintage pieces, but you’ll also find one off designer gems here. Prices are reasonable, and you’ll find clothing from 60s, 70s and 80s.
And if you’re in the market for a vintage wedding dress? There’s a whole rack of those too! It’s a true must-visit for anyone in the area.
17. Octavia Foundation, Kentish Town
The thing that makes the Kentish Town branch of Octavia Foundation so cool? It’s in an iconic historical building that used to house ladieswear shop, Blustons. The store has been carefully restored, with beautiful paneled walls, cornicing, retro floor tiling and even original doors.
Upon visiting this store I’ve found swathes of vintage and beautiful occasion wear. Prices are very reasonable, and alongside the vintage on the rails you’ll find brands like Josef, Hobbs and Topshop Premium. There’s also vintage sportswear, books, games and glassware.
18. Shop From Crisis, Finsbury Park
The Finsbury Park branch of Shop From Crisis is not only a charity shop but a coffee bar too. This large shop has a ton of items, and is regularly featured in the press due to it’s iconic status in the community, and the beautiful storefront displays.
This store also hosts regular events, and has a thriving Instagram page, so you can really get a feel for the store before you visit.
19. Fara Home, Whitton
Ok so this one is a bit off the beaten track. So far in fact, that it’s not even on a tube line! But if you’re looking for second hand homewares, and you love to thrift for glassware, bric a brac and artwork- Fara home could be a great shout.
You can reach Whitton by South Western Railway (start your journey from Waterloo or Clapham Junction), and there’s a whole host of affordable charity shops in the area in quick succession.
20. Salvation Army, Mayfair
As mentioned earlier in this article, Salvation Army in Mayfair is probably one of the best kept secrets off of Oxford Street. If you’re travelling to Oxford Street anyway, it’s a great idea to stop off at this iconic thrift shop.
The store has two floors, housing clothing, accessories and shoes. There’s definitely a good choice of designer pieces here, but you can also pick up affordable high street pieces that are barely worn.
This store is THE place to go for designer items, and it’s rumored that this store is where Vogue House fashionistas will go to drop off their last season pieces. If you’re in the market for high quality designer pieces, then this store is a must-visit.
Thrifty Londoner Top Tips
What you happen to find in a charity shop is often luck of the draw, so if you are visiting London, it’s a good idea to pop into a store whenever you come across them when you are out and about in different neighbourhoods.
That said, different neighbourhoods will have different types of clothing and bric a brac for sale depending on the residents.
- Head to Chelsea, Kensington or Hampstead for designer clothing. But remember, you are likely to pay a higher price for the clothes that you find here.
- East London or Camden is your best bet for unique and edgy clothing. You are likely to find fun second hand clothing and perhaps some vintage in these locations.
- Head to neighbourhoods which are further away from central London for the lowest prices. Often, the further you go out from central London, the cheaper the prices will be. Try neighbourhoods in zone 3 to get the best of both worlds.
Does the UK have thrift stores?
So, first things first. Yes! The UK does have thrift stores. You can find thrift stores on almost every high street in the UK, many high streets will have several thrift stores in vacant shops. And in London? You’ll find thrift stores in every neighbourhood (even central London!)
The profits gained from thrift shops in the UK usually go to charity (hence why they are often called ‘charity shops’). They are mostly run by volunteers and rely on donations from the public.
There are some exceptions, with some dedicated second hand shops which might be more inclined to sell designer or vintage clothing at higher prices. They are usually run for profit.
You can find really everything from clothing to second hand furniture in London in the thrift shops, but in this article we are going to mostly focus on ‘charity shops.’
What do they call thrift stores in England?
In England we call thrift stores ‘charity shops’ or ‘second hand shops.’ As well as independent charity shops, there are lots of different chains of ‘charity shops’ in the UK- each dedicated to a specific charity. For example, Red Cross, Cancer Research, Barnardos and Age UK.
Where is the best place to thrift in London?
You’re never far from thrift stores in London. No matter where you are, you can enter ‘thrift stores near me’ into Google and you’ll be able to find a crazy number of stores that will pop up on Google Maps.
There are several chains of thrift stores that you’ll want to be aware of when you go thrift shopping in London. Each chain has a different feel to it, and depending on the location, the prices and type of clothing you might find will often vary hugely. Some of the best chains of thrift stores to shop at include Cancer Research, Traid, Oxfam, Fara and Royal Trinity Hospice.