Sunday, 1 February 2009

Oxford Street and Regent Street

Between them Oxford Street and Regent Street form the backbone of London's shopping district.

Originally designed in 1811 by John Nash and completed in 1825 Regent Street is named after the Prince Regent (later George IV). It was designed to link Carlton House (home of the Prince Regent with Regent's Park).

The original Nash buildings have long since been demolished and replaced with the buildings seen to day, and All Soul's Church at the top of Regent Street by Broadcasting House is the only Nash building to remain.

All the buildings on Regent Street are owned by the Crown Estate, and all are listed buildings.

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Regent Street looking South to Piccadilly Circus

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Regent Street looking North to Oxford Circus

Just off Regent Street on the East side is Carnaby Street. Originally Carnaby Street was famous in the 1960's for fashion boutiques (such as Mary Quant) and the fact that many of the famous names of the time could be seen there. There was a brief time in the late 80s and early 90s when a lot of the shops were 'tourist' type venues selling souvenirs and cheap fashion, as the area traded on its former fame. Recently the small type boutiques that made it famous have made a comeback.

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Carnaby Street

Heading north from the East end of Carnaby Street takes you to Great Malborough Street. Here you will find the faux-Tudor glamour of Liberty (actually built in the 1920s) famous for its Arts and Craft styles, in particular its fabric prints.

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Liberty on Great Marlborough Street

Just past Liberty you find yourself on Oxford Circus. From here you can head North towards Regent's Park, East along Oxford Street to Centre Point and Tottenham Court Road or West along Oxford Street to Marble Arch.

Oxford Street is one of the major shopping thoroughfares in London. There are several major department stores as well as many smaller shops. Oxford Street is always extremely congested both with traffic (both buses and taxis) and pedestrians. Major department stores include John Lewis, Debenhams, House of Fraser and Selfridges.

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Oxford Circus

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Oxford Street (East to Centre Point)

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Oxford Street (West to Marble Arch)

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Selfridge and Co.

Oxford Street is abutted by other shopping districts; Regent Street (as already mentioned) and also New Bond Street. Visitors to London are confused by the fact there is no such road as Bond Street. The nearest that you get is the underground station on Oxford Street, which confusingly doesn't even stand on New Bond Street!

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Bond Street Underground (in West One Shopping Centre)

Walking South down New Bond Street (and then Old Bond Street) will take you back to Piccadilly. The shopping here is a whole different level, and you will find many famous names such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci, DKNY and more.

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New Bond Street (looking North)

As Old Bond Street turns to New Bond Street (well, almost) you will come across this life size statue 'Allies' by Lawrence Holofcener. My photo is taken at night as during the day it is quite often joined by tourists or similar!

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Roosevelt and Churchill

One of the many beautiful buildings on Old Bond Street is Number 24 which houses Atkinsons Carillion, 23 bells played by hand on occasions of celebration (such as the turning on of the Christmas lights).

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24 Old Bond Street

Also on Old Bond Street is Tiffany and Co. This is the London branch of the New York store, famously citied by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's - where nothing bad could ever happen.

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Tiffany & Co

Just leading from Old Bond Street to Albermarle Street is the Royal Arcade. Smaller than most of the other Aracdes in the area it is still a beautiful example of the Victorian fashion for Arcades.

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Royal Arcade

Now almost back at Piccadilly, other areas of interest near here are Green Park and St James'.

2 comments:

herrad said...

Thanks for this post about Oxford Street and Regent Street got a tiny bit weepy reading your post and looking at the pictures.
Was lovely and very emotional as I realised again that I will never be able to go there again.Was happy finding this tonight.
Love
Herrad

Natalie Smith said...

These stores are near some of the best hotels in Mayfair. Thanks for the useful post.