London is filled with hundreds of famous and historical location that are known worldwide like Buckingham Palace, The House of Parliament and The London. But did you know that London has some of the most famous streets in the world? or why these are considered famous streets in London?
A lot of these streets in London, you’ve probably heard of but never knew their historical and political significance or even where their names came from. In this guide of streets in London, I’ll tell you about 21 of the most famous streets in London and what makes them so important from politics, music, history and even fashion.
These famous streets of London show you the history of London both past to present day.
These are also streets you have to explore when you are visiting London, no matter what time of the year you are in London. These famous London streets should be at the top of your things to do in London bucket list.
For more from my London travel guide series check out my best things to do in London, where to stay in London, bottomless brunch Shoreditch, Neals Yard Covent Garden, best brunch in London, things to do in Brick Lane, 5 day London itinerary and day in London.
Table of Contents
- 1 Famous streets in London
- 1.1 Baker Street
- 1.2 Downing Street
- 1.3 Bond Street
- 1.4 Harley Street
- 1.5 Piccadilly Street
- 1.6 Oxford Street London Shopping Street
- 1.7 Regent Street
- 1.8 Carnaby Street
- 1.9 Old Compton Street
- 1.10 Piccadilly Street
- 1.11 Shaftesbury Avenue
- 1.12 Kings Road
- 1.13 Portobello Street
- 1.14 Abbey Road
- 1.15 The Strand
- 1.16 Brick Lane
- 1.17 Columbia Road
- 1.18 Threadneedle Street
- 1.19 Jermyn Street
- 1.20 Savile Row
- 1.21 The Mall
- 1.22 Whitehall
- 2 London Streets Fun Facts:
Famous streets in London
Baker Street is named after the builder William Baker, that designed the street in the 18th century. Baker Street was made famous by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional TV series “Sherlock Holmes”. Sherlock lived at 221B Baker Street in the TV show.
The address never existed but you can visit a museum, a Café and a hotel named after the hero. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, visit Baker’s Street when you’re in London. The street was once mostly residential but is now more of a commercial district.
Downing Street is known in London for its political significance. This is the street that houses the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The road has also housed the equivalent of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor for over 300 years. They are believed to be living at No. 10 and 11 respectively.
Downing Street is fast becoming a top London tourist attraction. The street is within walking distance to the House of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.
This street was built-in the 1720s and became a sensation in the 18th century for socialisation. This is the place to go if you are planning on shopping as its line with every high street shops imaginable along with the luxury department store Selfridges.
I used to work in Selfridges as a weekend sales assistant when I was at University. I learnt a lot about the store, and I think they do the most creative window displays amongst the luxury department stores in London. Yes, impressive window displays are a thang!
Bond Street is one of the main shopping streets in London.
Bond Street is one of the most expensive real estates’ areas in Europe, and it is greatly sought after.
In the city, Harley Street is known as the cosmetic street in London, due to the street being lined with many medical practitioners and cosmetics practises.
It’s the place where you can go to for a simple face peel to a whole new face. The street is named after Thomas Harley who was the Lord Mayor in London in 1767. Since then the number of medical personnel on the street has grown tremendously. It is rumoured that they are drawn to this street because of its spacious houses and proximity some of the wealthiest neighbourhood in London.
So, if you need a little beauty treatment while visiting London, then Harley Street is your go to.
This is one of the busiest streets in London, as its home to Piccadilly Circus which is basically the Time Square of London. The street gets a lot of foot traffic every day, with selfie queens, black taxis, bus moving through the street continuously.
The street is home to the Royal Academy of Arts, the Burlington Arcade, the Ritz Hotel and Piccadilly Circus.
Piccadilly Circus is the main feature of this street, and they use the statue of Eros at the centre of Piccadilly Circus both as a meeting point and backdrop for holiday photos by tourist.
Oxford Street London Shopping Street
This is one of the busiest streets in London because it’s London’s largest shopping street. The street is about a mile long and is home to every designer and high street shops you can imagine. The street sees approximately half a million tourists daily!
Oxford Street and Regent Street are considered the most famous streets in London for shopping.
This street has been referred to in several Charles Dickens’ novels, and the London College of Fashion also has a campus on Oxford.
Regent Street is named after George the Prince Regent. When you visit London, you’ll somehow find yourself on Regent Street, whether by choice or being dragged kicking and screaming by a fashion addict to pursue all the luxury and high street shops that line the curvaceous Regent Street.
Regent Street also hosts a lot of events including the street festival and London Pride Parade.
This is the street that begun as a fashion street in the swinging 60s when John Stephen opened the first ever ladies fashion boutique called Trecamp.
And has been leading the fashion pack in London ever since with its quirky brands, beauty bars, pubs, restaurants and even yoga studios.
Carnaby Street is not to be missed on your first visit to London.
You can check out my guide on things to do in Soho, which is filled with fun shops around Carnaby Street.
Old Compton Street
Old Compton Street is a road that runs East-West through Soho in the West End of London. Old Compton Street was home for French Protestant refugees who were given asylum in England in 1681.
Today the street is lined with bars and restaurants and is a central focal point for London’s LGBTQ community.
During Pride Weekend in London, the street is closed and becomes a pedestrian-only zone. It’s also a great area to just hang out and grab drinks at the bars there are fabulous.
This is one of the busiest streets in London, as its home to Piccadilly Circus which is basically the Time Square of London. The street gets a lot of foot traffic every day, with selfie queens, black taxis, bus moving through the road continuously.
The street is home to the Royal Academy of Arts, the Burlington Arcade, the Ritz Hotel and Piccadilly Circus.
Piccadilly Circus is the main feature of this street, and the statue of Eros at the centre of Piccadilly Circus is used both as a meeting point and backdrop for holiday photos by tourist.
This is a street named after Anthony Ashley Cooper the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. This one is famous because it is home to all the hottest theatres in London. If you want to see any play or musical, then this is the place to go. There’s always a something showing West End.
This street runs through Chelsea and Fulham in West London. Its name comes as a result of what it was used for in the past, as a private road used by King Charles II.
Kings Road is one for the royal lovers and people watchers. You can spend a day on Kings Road seeing how the other half in London live, and you would not be disappointed. This street is rumoured to be the most expensive street in London.
Kings Road is also great if you like luxury boutique stores as it offers a more upscale shopping experienced in comparison to Oxford and Bond Street.
This street is home to the famous Portobello Street Market, and it attracts tourist from all over the world. This road passes through the heart of Notting Hill. Every weekend you can purchase second-hand antiques and clothes from the stalls that line the street.
The street is about 2 miles long, and the market takes up most of the street. This street is not just home to the market but also artisan coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. Portobello Street Market is a top tourist attraction in London.
This street owes its fame to the Beatles. The four-man band had inadvertently popularised the street when they took a picture for their Abbey Road album walking the zebra crossing on the street in an attempt to save cost.
Since then fans of the band have flocked to Abbey Road to recreate the iconic photo on the zebra crossing.
The zebra crossing has since been given a special listing by the government because of the cultural and historical significance. This is an example of how music can significantly impact a place and people.
The name of the street is from the old English word ‘strond’ which has been known to mean the edge of a river. This was a significant street centuries ago and dates back to Roman times.
The Strand is situated along the Thames River and was once the hub of Victorian nightlife. The Strand is now mainly occupied by office buildings and restaurants.
It is however still home to the Twinnings Teashop which had opened in 1906 and is the oldest business still operating in its original place in London.
Many philosophers and poets have lived on the Strand some of which include Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and many more.
It’s also home to one of the most beautiful and one of my favourite places in London the Somerset House.
This street got its name from the brick and tile manufacture which started in the 15th century. This street has been known to have the coolest vintage shops, street food and best curry houses in London. Brick Lane is also where you’ll find some of London coolest street art.
Brick Lane is home to Dark Sugars one of the best chocolate shops in London! If you want to know more about Brick Lane – check out my post on things to do in Brick Lane.
One of the most famous things about Columbia Road is the Sunday only Columbia Road flower market. Where people with the enviable green fingers and love of flowers and plants congregate to buy as many flowers as a Londoner can carry on a bike or the under to transform their flats into a little forest in the city.
At Columbia Road flower market you’ll find second, third and sometimes even fourth generation flower sellers.
Flowers have been sold at Columbia Road flower market for hundred years. The market and its surrounding areas are littered with artisan coffee shops, bakery and a small thrift market.
It is also home to a pub which is called the Birdcage because once upon a time birds were sold on Columbia Street too. Visiting Columbia Road is one of the many things to do in London.
This street is famous in London because it is the site of the Bank of England which is sometimes referred to as the old lady of Threadneedle Street. It was also home to the London Stock exchange until it was relocated to Paternoster Square.
If you’re an architecture lover, definitely check out Threadneedle Street as you can get great shots of London as a city especially at golden hour (you can also spot buildings like The Gherkin) from Threadneedle Street.
When Charles II authorised Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans to develop the area in 1664. He would have never thought that Jermyn Street would still hold a worldwide reputation as the home of London’s finest menswear and tailoring. The tailors on Jermyn Street showcase the best of British artistry and craftsmanship.
This street also houses the oldest cheese shop Paxton & Whitfield which has been in business since 1797 and the Sladmore Gallery.
Most of the buildings here are owned by the Crown Estate.
Since the 18th century, the tailors on Savile Row have been keeping the men of London looking sharp and datable ;). On Savile Row, you can buy your traditional bespoke men tailored suites.
The Mall is the street leading from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. The yearly marathon finishes in The Mall. The road is closed to traffic on weekends and public holidays. The Queen also travels on this road during special events like weddings.
The Mall is most beautiful during golden hour are early in the morning to avoid crowds of tourist during the day.
This is a road in the city of Westminster in London running pass Downing Street. Its name was derived from the Palace of Whitehall. The street is known for the antique monuments and memorial statues including the primary war memorial The Cenotaph, the Royal Tank Regiment memorial, the Gurkha memorial among many others.
If you are in London and would like to thoroughly see the city, I recommend visiting some of these London streets as they show the culture and history of the city.
You might need to do a walking tour guide to learn even more about some of these streets and their history. Check out these cool walking tours in London that cover some of these streets.
As previously stated, most of these streets owe their fame to political and cultural events. Others however are just known for the buildings they house, either way, these famous streets in London are worth visiting.
London Streets Fun Facts:
What is the main street in London?
Oxford Street is the main road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough that also holds a city status.
How many streets are there in London?
There are over 60,000 streets or roads within the 6-mile radius – with all of their one-way and restricted turn intricacies.
What streets in London is famous for shopping?
I considered both Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street the most famous streets for shopping in London. These are street you can’t miss if you are into fashion whether designer luxury brands or high street shops.
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