The heart of London's West End
The Kite Shop
The Kite Store
The Kite Shop is an essential stop as you stroll down London's famous Neal Street. Owned by Andy King and Mark Cottrell since it's birth 25 years ago, The Kite Shop offers an astronomical range of kites suited for beginners to the more experienced with varieties such as the kite buggy and the surfing kite. There is also more than just kites available here. One can find other flying toys, materials, accessories and many other interesting items that have taken the owners' fancy.
The Kite Shop was the first specialist kite store in Europe, and is now the oldest kite shop in the world that has remained in the same ownership. So, with all of this experience behind them, Andy and Mark have acquired quite a collection of interesting goods. Co-owner Andy King took a few moments to explain a little about his prized store. "Most of what we have is wind related and if it's not it's just because we really like it. We do videos, books, materials and more. We get many fashion students and costume makers using our materials because we have a lot of specialist materials." There are also many rockets available, ranging from gun powder fired to air powered rockets. Model hot air balloons are also big sellers.
The Kite Shop is the perfect place for gifts of any occasion. December tends to be the busiest month because of those very thoughtful and creative purchasers looking for that unique and perfect gift for their loved ones.
Over the years there have been many items added to this unique and friendly store. In the works at the moment are some exciting plans for the previously unused downstairs area. "We are about to make our downstairs a showroom for wetsuits and boards (for kite surfing) and all the really specialists items. This is something we have decided to do in the last few years, so we are on the move."
The Kite Shop is awaiting your visit to help find you that perfect gift. Either for someone special, or that someone special is deservedly yourself, you are sure to find what you are searching for. Mark and Andy and their friendly, helpful staff are there to help you.
Opening times: Mon-Fri 10-6 Jan/Feb/March, 10-7 on Thurs the rest of the year, and Sat. 10:30-6. For last-minute Christmas shoppers they have opened their doors every year on the three Sundays before the holiday. Happy Shopping!
The Kite Shop
48 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London WC2
Tel 020 7836 1666
(Article and Pictures by Carey Gordon)
© Covent Garden Community Association, February 2001