Fodor's Expert Review James Smith & Sons Ltd.
This has to be the world's ultimate umbrella shop (it is definitely Europe's oldest), and a must for anyone interested in real Victorian London. The family-owned shop has been in this location on a corner of New Oxford Street since 1857 and sells every kind of umbrella, parasol, cane, and walking stick imaginable (including some containing a small flask or a corkscrew, or that fold out into a seat). The interior is unchanged since the 19th century; you will feel as if you have stepped back in time. Umbrellas range from about £40 for a folding umbrella to more than £400 for a classic blackthorn root-knob solid stick umbrella, and thousands for bespoke items. If the umbrella prices are too steep, there are smaller accessories like an oxhorn shoehorn or salt spoon that make perfect gifts.