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Burlington Arcade

Shopping, Womenswear Mayfair
4 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
© Britta Jaschinski Burlington Arcade

Built in 1819 by Lord Cavendish, to provide ‘industrious females’ with employment, and to stop people throwing oyster shells into the garden of Burlington House, Burlington Arcade is the grandest in London. With its ‘whale mouth’ entrance and soft globe lights, you can dive from the flurry of Piccadilly into a far more genteel shopping experience.

Decorum is guarded by the ever-present Beadles who to this day prevent shoppers from whistling, running, and ‘making merry loudly’; you’ve been warned. Step into Ladurée’s golden grotto for one of their rainbow hued macaroons before idling past the arcade’s sparkling row of jewellers. The strands of pearls hanging in Milleperle caught our eye, as did the antique jewellery in Matthew Foster.

Luxury goods abound in the form of watches from David Duggan, pens from Pen Friend and custom made gloves from Sermoneta Gloves. Make sure you step into the quintessentially English fragrance house, Penhaligon’s, for old fashion scents like Bluebell, Violetta, and the rather bracing Extract of Limes.

Burlington Arcade also houses a proper shoe-shine boy working with waxes and creams for just £3.50. Suits you guv’nor!


Venue name: Burlington Arcade
Address: 51 Piccadilly
Cross street: Between Old Bond Street and Royal Academy of Art
Opening hours: Open 8am-6.30pm Mon-Wed, Fri; 8am-7pm Thur; 9am-6.30pm Sat; 11am-5pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park tube
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Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

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This posh little undercover Arcade joins Bond Street and Green Park Station.

More interestingly, it boasts the smallest and oldest private police force around, known as the Beadles.

The arcade opened in the 1800s; at the time glazed roof arcades were something very new and it inspired the much bigger shopping arcades we see today.

Burlington Arcade is 196 yards long with about 40 small two-storey retail units that house premium brands such as Lalique and Ladurée.

(If you're after a vintage Rolex, come here).

It's beautiful all the time but there's something very special about walking down this arcade during Christmas time.

Most people couldn't afford to buy anything here but it's the best place to do some very posh window shopping.


One of, if not, the oldest shopping malls/arcades in the world where the security staff (Beadles) still where the original top hat and tails uniform they did in 1819 when the arcade opened. The shops are of the same high end quality you will find on Bond Street, which runs parallel to the arcade. Many of the shops sell jewellery, just as many of the shops did when the arcade opened. Certainly it is not a cheap place to shop, and certainly many things down their could be said to be above market rate, but it is a lovely place to just walk and if you fancy it have your shoes polished.

Wonderful for window shopping but the last place to buy. The prices are way above market value.

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