World's oldest toy shop is coming to Norwich

Hamleys, Norwich

The world's oldest toy store is coming to Norwich - Credit: Hamleys

The world's oldest toy shop is coming to Norwich, opening in Chantry Place.

Opening in September, the Hamleys store will be on the lower ground floor of the shopping centre and will be 2,750 square feet of toys galore.

Customers will be able to do everything from purchasing a flying drone or giant bubbles to meeting Hamleys' regulars like Ragdoll and Toy Soldier.

The store will carry well-known toy brands for children to choose from, like Hamley Bears, Barbie, Pokemon, and other favourites.

Hamleys has said that there will be 10 jobs created by the opening of the new Norwich store.


Customers can meet Hamleys' regulars like Ragdoll and Toy Soldier - Credit: Hamleys

Now the oldest and largest toy shop in the world, Hamleys has 15 stores across the UK, including stores in Cardiff, Milton Keynes, and Liverpool, as well as smaller shops in airports across the country.

Before now, the Hamleys closest to Norwich was the small store in Stansted Airport, or the Regent Street Store in London. 

Most Read

Hamleys was opened in Holborn in 1760 by William Hamley, and was originally called ‘Noah's Ark’. The store quickly became a London hotspot, and a new branch was opened in 1881 on Regent Street, in the now iconic building. 

The toy store has received two Royal Warrants, one by Queen Mary and the other by Queen Elizabeth.

Sumeet Yadav, chief executive officer at Hamleys owner, Reliance Brands Limited, said: “We are delighted to open at Chantry Place. Every visit to Hamleys is a reward in itself, the toy purchase is a bonus for the child. I am sure children will build lasting memories of fun and joy while adults will relive memories of their childhood.”

Hamleys will open in Chantry Place, Norwich, in September

Hamleys will open in Chantry Place, Norwich, in September - Credit: Hamleys

Paul McCarthy, general manager of Chantry Place, said: "We know that families will love the addition of globally recognised name, Hamleys, at Chantry Place, which will offer something new and exciting when they visit.”

Following its opening as Chantry Place in October 2020, many new stores and restaurants have opened in the shopping centre. This includes Subway, Deichmann, The Real Greek, H&M Kids, Alive UK, as well as additions to Escape Hunt, including outdoor games. 

The Hamleys Norwich store will open in Chantry Place later this month.