How to make the most of 15 famous streets in London
Want to visit 15 famous streets in London in 2022? Now, travel is nearly back to normal, and we can start travelling internationally bit by bit. With nearly three-quarters of the nation having their vaccinations, and most European countries are in the green list, we can be sure that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. n this post, we’ll cover 15 famous streets in London you must visit in 2022.
Before you travel to London
Make sure you bring all the essentials with you. These include your camera, your phone camera, and comfortable clothes. London can rain one minute and sunny the next, so I recommend you bring a long-sleeved t-shirt, sweater, a thin and thick coat just in case it pours down with water for 10 minutes. That way, you can take a layer off if it gets sunnier. If it gets hot, then bring a bottle of water with you as you can get dehydrated. Find out more on my London Travel Guide for First Time Visitors on information about travelling to London for the first time.
Whether you have one day in London, 2 days in London, 3 days in London or want to plan a 4 day London itinerary, you should take some time to walk through these famous streets. For locals and tourists, some streets are just normal streets to walk through, but because of its reputation, it has become famous.
Whether you want to see famous landmarks, vintage, antiques, rock punk vibes, or just stroll down quiet neighbourhoods, London has everything. So what is London famous for? The streets are one of them. Read on.
1. Oxford Street
Situated in the heart of the West End, Oxford Street is a famous street in London. Oxford Street is the number one shopping district people go to for high street brands like H&M, Selfridges, The Body Shop, and many more. If you want to go shopping as part of your trip to London, then it’s got many accommodations just around the corner, from Hilton Hyde Park, The Dorchester, InterContinental Hotel, Amba Hotel, down to 3* hotels to Bed and Breakfast.
Once you shopped ‘til you drop, there are 100s of cafes and restaurants ranging from fine dining, mid-range to fast food. The best thing about Oxford Street is that you’ll find food from around the world. Find out more about what to see and do in my West End walk if you’re in Oxford Street.
For Christmas, Oxford Street lights up and illuminates at night, you’ll see the lights sparkle on the vehicles driving past, you won’t fail to see people busy buying Christmas gifts, and of course, you’ll hear Christmas music, and you might get to see Santa. Check out free things to do in London in December for more inspiration during Christmas.
Oxford Street has everything a shopper needs in terms of lifestyle and essentials. If you stay in the middle of Oxford Street, you’ll be in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the tourist spots. It’s also linked to Hyde Park and St. James’ Park, one of 8 royal parks of London, 10 minutes tube ride to Green Park for Buckingham Palace, the 5* hotel district Park Lane, and it’s linked to Regent Street and Tottenham Court Road for more high street brands. It’s also 7 minutes on the Bakerloo tube line and a 20-minute walk to Baker Street, another famous street in London.
Oxford Street can give you a headache if you don’t like crowds. There aren’t that many tourists now, but it can still get busy with locals coming from the North, East, South and West of London.
Be careful of con artists and stealing. Although I’ve never been robbed, Oxford Street is a well known for tourist traps. Check out 5 safety tips in London when visiting places like Oxford Street.
Avoid the musical rickshaws, they’re there to get quick cash for a short ride.
The sweet stores are now scattered around Oxford Street. Be careful as their prices are extortionately expensive and a sign of money laundering.
Check out Oxford Street’s website for more details on what to expect when you get there.
2. Baker Street
As mentioned above, Baker Street is linked to Oxford Circus, and it’s one of the most famous London streets you can visit.
You’ll find the Sherlock Holmes Museum, you can visit Madame Tussauds London and Regent’s Park, one of 8 royal parks in London. Baker Street is not a shopping district, but if you want to visit Little Venice and Camden Town, it’s just 14 minutes on the Circle line, and a 36-minute walk if you cross Regent’s Park. London Zoo, one of London’s top 10 attractions is also located inside Regent’s Park to, so there’s plenty of things to do near here.
If you walk through Chiltern Street, you’ll see the neighbourhood of Marylebone. You’ll see many 19th Century stores selling brands, quirky cafes, pubs and restaurants, fashion boutiques, interior design shops and many more.
Want to get away from London via Baker Street? I suggest going on a day trip to Rye, East Sussex, and winter in Rye is so much better. You can get there via St. Pancras International train station, 2 tube stops away from Baker Street on the Circle Line. From St. Pancras to Rye, it takes approximately an hour, but make sure you book several months in advanced.
If you want to grab a bite to eat, take a walk through Chiltern Street where you’ll see tall orange bricked houses and colourful 19th Century shops that are also Instagram worthy. Chiltern Street leads to Marylebone High Street where you can visit more 19th Century shops and several bars and restaurants.
3. Camden Town
Camden Town is linked to Baker Street and it’s the home of punk, rock, alternatives, and the LGBTQ community. The environment is completely the opposite to Oxford Street. You’ll find crowds of people shopping for spiky boots and leather jackets, colourful punk hairstyles, rock music and many more.
The best thing about Camden Town is its markets which are scattered around the area. From vintage and antiques, punk/rock fashion, converses, street food stalls selling food from around the world, igloo pods for you to sit down in. You can walk through Regent’s Canal which takes you to Primrose Hill where you can relax in the wide-open green space. Walk up to the top of the hill and you’ll see a view of Canary Wharf. It’s small and industrial but it’s a great sit down after a full day’s worth of shopping.
Ever thought about going to Wales? There’s so many things to do in Portmeirion in Wales. From Camden Town Station, it takes only 2 tube stops on the Northern Line to Euston Station. It’s a 10 hour journey by train, so you might want to spare an extra day or two there. You can also stopover in Birmingham if you have the time, however, if you want to see pretty villages along the way, rent a car which will take you there in around 4 hours. Take your pick.
4. New Bond Street
New Bond Street is the place to go if you love designer brands like Gucci, Valentino, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton. Not only is New Bond Street famous, but it’s linked to the Royal Academy of Arts, Fortnum & Masons luxurious British confectionary store, Green Park, and a 13 minutes’ walk to Buckingham Palace. Don’t mistake New Bond Street to Bond Street which links to Oxford Circus though. It’s a completely different street name altogether.
If you’ve got money to spend, then shopping in Gucci, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton is not different from shopping in other designer brand stores around the world, but it’s there if you want to spend some cash.
5. Harley Street
The history of Harley Street began during the Georgian era when Edward Harley, the second Earl of Oxford inherited parts of Marylebone. He then built houses which was affordable to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, that throughout the years, most used some of the buildings as their home and practice. It then expanded making it one of the most famous streets for private healthcare, and close links to Paddington, King’s Cross, Euston, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, and Luton. This was what attracted doctors and nurses to the area. Harley Street is walking distances to Regent’s Park, Baker Street, Oxford Circus and Bond Street, but be careful, although they’re next to each other, walking can be tiring as each street are quite big.
Florence Nightingale became a nurse here in Harley Street and Lionel Logue, the speech therapist for King George VI practiced here for some time. If you’re in Baker Street, walk towards Marylebone for Harley Street, and you’ll see some blue plaques commemorating famous people that lived and worked here.
There’s nothing to see in Harley Street other than 17th – 18th Century buildings, which you can see everywhere in London. If you’re a millionaire, then you can afford to fork out healthcare bills on cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and other lifesaving treatments. With more than 3000 doctors and more than 300 clinics, the wealthy won’t run out of doctors and nurses to choose from here.
6. Downing Street
Although you can’t go through Downing Street, it’s where the Prime Minister lives. You cannot see the number 10 door either as it’s further into the street. You’ll be blocked by black and tall iron gates, and you’ll usually find protestors and several policemen guarding the area. There’s not a lot of tourists there anyway, but it’s famous just because the Prime Minister lives there.
Downing Street is in Whitehall linking Trafalgar Square in the West End and South Bank. Once you’ve read my West End walk, make sure you end in Trafalgar Square, walk 13 minutes through Whitehall or an 8-minute bus ride, you’ll see a glimpse of Big Ben’s clock tower, and you’ll already be in Westminster and the South Bank area. Click for 31 things to do in the South Bank London for inspiration. Planning on a day trip to Brighton? London Bridge Station is not far from the South Bank and Westminster Tube Station (only 3 stops away on the Jubilee Line). From London Bridge Station, it takes an hour to get to Brighton. Here is a Brighton Travel Guide for inspiration.
7. Piccadilly Street
The busiest street in London, Piccadilly Street is famous for its link to Piccadilly Circus where people take snapshots of the giant billboards and the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain. Piccadilly Circus is a square where people eat, socialise and a place to have a break from your trip shopping or sightseeing. If you’re ever in Piccadilly Street, check out the Waterstones and Hatchard’s flagship bookstore for the Queen, Fortnum & Mason’s luxurious British confectionary store, Burlington Arcade, and The Royal Academy of Arts. Waterstones is busier than Hatchard’s as it sells more than 20000 books, but if you like intimacy, the Hatchard’s is the place for you.
The best thing about Piccadilly Street is that it links to Shaftesbury Avenue, famous for theatre shows such as Les Misérables, Michael Jackson Thriller, and Harry Potter the Cursed Child. It’s also linked to Regent Street.
8. Regent Street
Like Oxford Street, Regent Street is famous for its high street and branded stores such as Gant, Coach, Zara Homes, Calvin Klein, the Apple Store (the busiest and largest one next to the Covent Garden branch), and Hamleys, a vintage toy store always busy with tourists and locals.
The best thing about Regent Street is that it’s linked to a cobbled alleyway Carnaby Street, another famous street in London. Other than that, it’s a place to go shopping for retail and designer brands.
Carnaby Street is famous because of its history. Skinheads and punks hung around here, and the Swinging Sixties also originated her. For some who don’t know the Swinging Sixties, they were youths that promoted culture, art, music, hedonism, and fashion, and where pop and culture originated. Now Carnaby Street consists of cobblestoned alleyways containing many small independent stores like fashion boutiques, designers and quirky cafes and restaurants, and can get really busy you’d have to squeeze past people to get through.
During Christmas, you’ll see Carnaby Street light up its street working with different companies to design different decorations every year. In 2019, Carnaby Street worked with Project Zero, an ocean conservation charity where they used recycled materials to promote saving the planet. In 2020, designs included promoting solidarity and unity during the time of COVID. Find out more about the Carnaby Street Christmas Lights.
10. Shaftesbury Avenue
As mentioned above in the Piccadilly Street section, Shaftesbury Avenue is also a famous street because not only it’s the street for long running theatre shows like Les Misérables and Harry Potter the Cursed Child, but it’s only an 11-minute walk to the British Museum and it’s also linked to Soho where you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife. It’s also linked to China Town and Leicester Square, but make sure you check out the large red TKT booth and Piccadilly Circus ticket stalls for a 50% off last minute to a week’s worth theatre tickets.
11. Brick Lane
Have you wondered why it’s called Brick Lane? Well, in the 16th Century, Brick Lane was full of clay, and it was a good opportunity to build properties using bricks. After the Great Fire of London, there was great demand for bricks, and they used to transport bricks to Whitechapel Lane, what Brick Lane was called before “Brick Lane”.
Brick Lane’s history is an interesting one. Situated in East London, Brick Lane is famous for its curry houses and its Bengali community. From selling bright coloured Asian saris to the smell of strong spicy curry, to the colourful street art painted on 18th Century bricked buildings.
If you’re into street markets, Brick Lane offers fresh fruits and vegetables, street food vendors ranging between £6 – £7 per street food and small fashion boutiques. If you want to grab a bargain, head over to Brick Lane.
12. Abbey Road
Abbey Road is just another neighbourhood with apartments and houses. Situated outside of Central London, the only reason why it’s famous is because of the zebra crossing the Beatles used to promote their album. You’ll often see scrawls of writing on the Abbey Road’s recording studio walls and people taking photos in front, but other than that, it’s a normal street. You can’t miss Abbey Road if you’re a Beatles fan.
13. King’s Road
King’s Road is situated in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and it’s another place to socialise, shop, eat and drink. The best part is that because it’s in Chelsea, there are many quirky and high-end streets connecting to it, and it’s only an 11 minute tube ride to the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum on the District and Circle line.
You’ll find designer and high street brands like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, and all the shops feel luxurious. The shop assistants wear their black suits and sleeked back hair styles as well as lines of 19th Century store fronts with upscale shop floors. Chelsea is also a great area to snap Instagram worthy photos. Click for things to do in Chelsea London for inspiration.
14. Portobello Road
Portobello Road has got to be the best famous street in London. The nearest tube station is Notting Hill Gate. Notting Hill Gate is a 5-minute walk to Kensington Gardens and 14-minute tube ride to Hyde Park. Hyde Park is also 20 minutes if you walk from Notting Hill Gate station.
If you love antiques, vintage, retro, street food, and a fan of Notting Hill the movie, then Portobello Road is the place to be. Why not take snapshots of Instagram roads and shops such as Lancaster Road, St. Luke’s Mews, Alice’s, and many more? Click for things to see in Portobello Road Market and the Notting Hill area.
15. Savile Row
Famous for its bespoke stores selling high end suits like Gieves & Hawkes and Huntsman, Charlie Chaplin, Napoleon III and Lord Horatio Nelson were some clients who bought and fitted their suits here.
The best thing about Savile Row is that all their stores are surrounded by 18th Century Georgian houses and since the 1700s, Savile Row has kept its reputation. Other than that, it’s just an ordinary street people walk through by.
It’s clear to see that all the famous streets mentioned are famous because of its history and reputation and it’s clear that most of these streets consists of retail shopping for designer and high street brands like Oxford Street, King’s Road and Regent Street.
Piccadilly Circus and King’s Road are great places to socialise and eat inside or outside, not to mention colourful 19th Century stores and a major hotspot for Instagram influencers. There’s so much for everyone that you won’t get bored in London.
Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Camden Town offer tourists and locals market stalls full of vintage, street food from around the world, antiques, and second-hand goods. You’d often feel you’d have to squeeze your way past everyone else as it can get crowded.
In conclusion, whatever it is you want to do and wherever you want to eat and socialise, London caters for everyone no matter your budget. If you want to find out more about famous streets in London, feel free to contact me on Facebook. For now, take care and be safe.