The 100 best shops in London â leisure and sports shops
The sports, leisure and sex shops included in our best shops list
Vintage-style bikes, New York skateboards, and a Valentine-themed adult toy: ride your way through London’s best sports and leisure stores.
The best sport and leisure shops in London
Peter Street, London, W1F 0AA
Number 29 in the full list
The New York brand has been a skate-dude institution for 17 years, and now Supreme has FINALLY opened a London store, interestingly in Soho rather than the more obviously youth-centric East End. To say it has a cult following is to diminish somewhat the strength of its fanbase – by withholding supply of Supreme stores worldwide the owners have created a massive demand for their stock of limited-edition skateboards, super-special kicks by Nike and Vans, and low-key checked shirts. Read more about Supreme
Recommended by: Geoffrey J Finch.
23 Monmouth Street, London, WC2H 9DD
Number 35 in the full list
Anita Roddick offspring Sam opened Coco de Mer a decade ago, filling a gap in the market that everyone was a little bit embarrassed to say was there. The stylish Covent Garden erotic boutique sells sex – or, rather, a nice brand of product to engender an enthusiasm for it. Naughty knickers, toys, accessories – and a series of unintimidating courses aimed at loosening everyone up in the sack are all on offer with no tawdriness and just the right degree of kink. Read more about Coco de Mer
Arlington Way, London, EC1R 1UY
Number 54 in the full list
If you like your bicycle to look like the kind of steed Miss Marple would ride around during investigations, Bobbin Globe is your man. It specialises in old-fangled-looking bikes, commodious baskets and vintage-style bells and whistles. Read more about Bobbin Globe
105 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3RY
Number 66 in the full list
Established in 1855, purveyor of artists’ materials Cornelissen moved from its Great Queen street home to the current Great Russell Street address in 1987, taking the shop's original oak fittings and cabinets to ensure the new premises had historical charm. It worked and the shop remains renowned for its pigments and paints, the array of coloured-glass bottles, thick pastel crayons lining the walls and jars bursting with brushes. Read more about L Cornelissen & Son
The Old Button Factory, 25 Englefield Road, London, N1 4EU
Number 77 in the full list
The North One team knows its urban clientele well, so rather than gnomes and crysanths expect interiors-mag styling, designer garden furniture and chic accessories. But for all its airs and graces, North One is hugely practical – a family owned and run business, it has enjoyed a string of awards since its opening nine years ago, growing from a small backyard independent to a boutique-style gardener's essential with an array of shrubs and indoor plants. In 2011 the North One team opened West Six, another garden centre in, ah, W6. Read more about North One Garden Centre
3 Newburgh Street, London, W1F 7RE
Number 87 in the full list
Lomography aims to turn back the technology clock and introduce analogue photography to a digital generation. Under the banner ‘The Future is Analogue’ it does so in a fun, whimsical way, releasing old cameras such as the iconic Lomo LC-A 35mm in bold new colours. Also for sale is the fish-eye camera, which give photos a 170-degree curve, and pin-hole cameras. Great for almost anything that makes shooting with analogue a fun and novel experience. Read more about Lomography Gallery Store
Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0NS
Number 88 in the full list
Inside Umit Mesut’s Clapton film emporium, walls are stacked high with Super 8 and Super 16 reels, a mix of old, classic, cult and blockbusters such as original Bond films or ‘Teen Wolf’ and ‘Vamp’, and a small selection of sweets and fags. If you fancy hosting a private screening of an old favourite, Umit will come round with a cine film projector and screen for a reasonable £150 all-in – have it anywhere from your garden to a local hall. He can also transfer films between almost any media. Read more about Umit & Son
Recommended by: Katie Dailey.
57 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6PD
Number 99 in the full list
Your friendly neighbourhood female-oriented sex shop. When Sh! opened in Hoxton in 1992 it offered a truly pioneering retail concept – an erotic emporium for women, run by women – with none of the sleazy atmosphere of traditional London sex shops. It’s just as unique today – a safe space for straight, gay and bi women of all ages (men are welcome as guests) with an in-house collection of sex toys, honest advice, and an ethic that is truly positive and unabashed about female sexuality. And it stocks a Valentine-themed, love-heart-print dildo. Read more about Sh!