The world’s oldest family-run magic shop is hidden below a bustling London street, tucked within an underground shopping arcade. The small shop is basically a magicians’ mecca, and its shelves are stacked with books waiting to reveal their secrets to those who know where to look.
Lewis Davenport founded Davenports Magic Shop 1898, and it has remained in the family ever since. Over the decades, the store bounced around a bit before landing in its current home in the Charing Cross Arcade in 1984.
Visiting Davenports is like stepping into another world, one where you never know what to expect. Step inside the red-carpeted space, and you’ll find tricks of the trade tailored to all levels, from first-time magicians to experienced professionals. The store is stocked with anything you may need—cards, scarves, DVDs, rare out-of-print books, you name it, it’s there.
But the shop is more than just a store. It’s also a meeting place for magicians, a place where everyone is welcome to pop in and hone their craft. Davenports also hosts an array of classes and workshops for visitors of all ages and levels of experience.
Update: In January 202, Davenports Magic Shop closed their Charing Cross location. They are currently operating as an online-only business.
Know Before You Go
When on the Strand, look for a staircase between a Starbucks and Paperchase. Go down and enter the underground arcade, then turn right. The store is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.