20 Best Gifts from London for Families on a Budget

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Plan to bring home the best gifts from London for souvenirs for yourself or treats to share with your family and friends.

An arrangement of toys, postcards, and foods from london that are perfect for gifts.

Traveling with two daughters, you can imagine that shopping was a pretty important part of our family vacation in London.

Even when we’re not buying anything, my girls and I had so much fun popping in and out of the shops to look at all the pretty things.

When it came time to buy our own souvenirs and bring home some small gifts for the girls’ friends at school, it took a little bit of creative thinking.

Why These are the Best Gifts

If you read other articles on shopping in London, you’re going to find a long list of luxury brand names and expensive shops.

As a family of four on a budget, those kinds of lists are anything but helpful.

My list below is filled with adorable, thoughtful, and delicious gifts to bring home from London that fit an average family budget.

These practical gifts are the best because:

  1. Easy to Pack: You’ll have plenty of space in your luggage.
  2. Budget-Friendly: Tiny splurges mixed with affordable items make the biggest impact.
  3. Useful: For the person who doesn’t need a snow globe from someplace they haven’t even been, these gifts can actually be enjoyed with daily use.

Classic English Tea Set

British tea and a London mug with a tea diffuser.

Can you even go to London and not come home with tea? I think that’s pretty much against the law.

This little bundle was my own souvenir from our trip:

  1. A Container of Covent Garden Blend Tea from Whittard: I picked it up at the absolutely lovely Whittard shop in Covent Garden.
  2. A Cute London Mug: I found this at the airport just as we left!
  3. A Tea Party Tea Infuser: This adorable tea infuser for loose-leaf tea also came from the Whittard shop.
  4. A Sweet Treat: Whether you pick up a souvenir can of biscuits (cookies) to go with the tea or a specialty package of chocolates, add something sweet to the bundle. I couldn’t resist that Giant Whippy Dippy Bar from Marks & Spencer but I regret that we never made it to Fortnum & Mason or I’d have brought home an entire suitcase of biscuit tins.

I already own several fancy china tea cups and preferred the cute London mug from this trip. But for a truly special gift, you can find single tea cup and saucer sets at shops all around London to pear with the tea.

Classic Cap

A man wearing a freshly bought cap from a local hat shop.

After years of begging my husband to buy one of those cute caps, he finally decided our trip to London was the perfect time.

If you know your gentleman’s size, you could bring this home as a gift but I know my husband really enjoyed picking it out himself.

He wore the cap for the rest of the trip and it kept him nice and cozy on the windy, drizzly days.

This was easily the most expensive gift we purchased on the trip but it was handmade in London and I know he’ll use it for years and years to come.

Luxury Hot Cocoa

2 canisters of hot cocoa with a fancy mug and a Harrods shopping bag.

My older daughter sampled tea during our afternoon tea in London and wasn’t such a fan.

However, she had just as much fun in the Whittard shop as I did. They have teeny-tiny sample cups for you to taste the different teas but they were also sampling the most incredibly rich hot cocoa mixes. One taste and she was in love.

  1. Luxury Hot Cocoa Mixes: We bought these from a wide variety of flavors at Whittard. The coconut one is my personal favorite.
  2. London Mug from Harrods: This bone china mug features the adorable Harrods bears with the signature bright read phone booths. It is the cutest partner to those hot cocoa containers.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

A british copy of the beloved book.

Die-hard Harry Potter fans would love a copy of the classic first book in the series with the traditional British title.

You’ll find Harry Potter all around London but we spotted this lovely copy in the Harrods book shop.

London Underground Hoodie

A black hoodie with the underground logo on it has 3 postcards laid on top.

The surest way to thrill the special teen in your life is to come home with a London hoodie.

We found this at one of the Buckingham Palace Road souvenir shops and the “Mind the Gap” saying on the front and the Underground map print in the hoodie lining sealed the deal.

After spending a week learning how to ride the Underground, she absolutely loves this hoodie.

She paired it with a few cute postcards for such a fun souvenir gift.

Paddington Bear

A young girl poses with a Paddington bear toy next to a Paddington bear statue.

You’ll spot Paddington Bear all around London, he’s just the cutest stuffed toy to bring to the special kid in your life.

Hamley’s has an entire wall of them in various price ranges and designs all the way from a large bear with real rubber boots to a small bear with simple fabric accents.

I loved the wall of Paddington books next to the bears. If we didn’t already own several copies, that would have been a lovely addition to the gift.

British Candies & Specialty Foods

An assortment of candies from London are arranged for display.

My girls were eager to share their experience with their friends at home so I suggested they stock up on some English candies and snacks for a fun taste test with their buddies.

This is the easiest gift to grab at the last minute. Just stop in at any convenience store and chose some candies and snacks you can’t get back at home.

We especially had fun looking at the variety of Cadbury candy bars and sampling the Percy Pig treats from Marks & Spencer.

Gifts for Kids

Two stuffed bears, a set of toy cars, a London shopping bag, and a pull toy.

For the youngest of kids, in addition to the Paddington Bear, you could also try to find:

  1. Beefeater Stuffed Bears: We found this cute guy in one of the Buckingham Palace Road shops.
  2. Model London Bus and Black Taxi: The little toy cars were spotted at Hamley’s.
  3. A Guard Pull Toy: I plan to use that little wooden pull toy as a Christmas tree decoration but it would also make a sweet gift for a little kid. I found it in the Tower of London gift shop.

The Stores We Shopped

You can read my entire article about the best places to shop in London here, but to find the items I mentioned above you will need to visit:

  1. Whittard in Covent Garden
  2. Marks & Spencer Food
  3. Harrods: The gift level on the very bottom floor
  4. Hamley’s Toy Shop
  5. Buckingham Palace Road Souvenirs: The best “tacky” souvenir shops we found in all of London are on Buckingham Palace Road near the palace itself.
  6. Tower of London Gift Shop: The historic attraction gift shops have an incredible selection.
  7. The Airport: Don’t forget there will be a massive amount of duty free shopping available at the airport when you leave. There’s even a Harrod’s! We found my daughter’s mug here.
The photo collage shows a flat lay of all the souvenirs and goodies a family brought home from london.

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