A major road from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus is known as the ‘jugular vein of consumerism’ as it is Europe’s busiest shopping street.
Whether you are looking for cheap places to shop in London or ultra-luxury, you will find it all on Oxford Street.
People all over the world as well as in the UK, simply cannot plan a trip to London without visiting this street. There is everything from Primark to Fendi and everything in between on Oxford Street.
For those in the know, if you are in London for retail therapy, combine your visit to Oxford Street with trips to Bond Street, Sloane Street, Kings Road, Mount Street, and Brompton Road for the ultimate shopping experience in London.
You have everything from shoe shops, lingerie, Clothes shops, jewellery, handbags, cosmetics, basically, everything you can think of you will find in stand-alone stores of the department stores on the street.
A Little History Of Oxford Street
Oxford Street history was first published in the 53rd Parish Series or the Survey of London volume in April 2020. The Street has a 126-year-old history as it is claimed as the first detailed monograph on the thoroughfare of British consumerism. The famous London shopping street sees half a million visitors daily, and now Oxford Street has more than 300 shops.
It is known as A40, a major road running between the Fishguard and London. Traffic is regulated with restrictions to taxis and buses. Oxford Street was first known as Tyburn Road in the Middle Ages. It was notoriously known for the public hangings of the prisoners at the Tyburn Gallows.
This street followed the route of the Roman Road through Trinobantia that linked Calleva Atrebatum with Camulodunum (now known as Colchester).
It became a major route via London to go in and out of the city. Between the years 12th century and the year 1782, it came to be known as the Tyburn Road, with River Tyburn crossing from North to South. Uxbridge Road is still the street that runs between Uxbridge and Shepherd’s Bush.
In 1803, convicts were pressed into clearing the path so that people could access the South Head signal station. This thoroughfare road was upgraded in 1811 for wheeled vehicles. In the year 1875, the area of South Head Road between Paddington and Hyde Park was named ‘Oxford Street.’
However, the neighborhood’s culmination came ushering in 1810, which formed the crossroads between Regent Street and Regent Circus (presently Oxford Circus). Small shops appeared in the area, like shoemakers, booksellers, goldsmiths, etc. John Lewis was the first to open his shop selling haberdashery and ribbons on this street.
DH Evans, among London’s well-known department stores, followed after Lewis’s shop. Sadly DH Evans, Debenhams, and many others have disappeared from the high streets. The Four Line Central Stations opening in 1900 encouraged customers to travel here.
This also made Bourne and Hollingsworth’s brothers-in-law move their store to Oxford Street. 1909 saw the opening of the first democratic department store by Harry Gordon Selfridge, where you could walk around as you pleased. Selfridges is still standing today.
Notable Shops On Oxford Street
- Selfridges – 400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB
- Marks And Spencers – 173 Oxford St, London W1D 2J
- John Lewis – 300 Oxford St, London W1C 1DX
- H&M – 261-271 Regent St., London W1B 2ES
- Primark – 14-28 Oxford St, London W1D 1AU
- Matalan – 149-151 Oxford St, London W1D 2JF
- Zara – 453 Oxford St, London W1C 2QB
- Swarovski – Park House, 487 Oxford St, London W1K 6AF
- The Body Shop – 374 Oxford St, London W1C 1JR
- Disney Store – 350-352 Oxford St, London W1C 1JH
- Uniqlo – 311 Oxford St, London W1C 2HP
- Office – 190 Oxford St, London W1D 1NR
- TK Maxx – 203-207 Oxford St, London W1D 2LE
- Sports Direct – 150/154 Oxford St, London W1D 1ND
- Whittard of Chelsea Oxford Street – 53 Oxford St, London W1D 2DY
Map of Shops on Oxford Street
Things To Do Near Oxford Street
There is plenty to do nearby, we have covered a lot of this in the post on things to do in Soho and Mayfair. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes and food courts nearby such as Mafair Mercato and Kingly Court. Below are things to do on Oxford Street that are simply not to be missed.
As you are close to Marylebone, don’t miss the opportunity to check out the cute cat cafes nearby.
- Shopping On Oxford Street: It is always packed with locals and tourists as it is one of the famous retail centers. You can watch out for brands like Nike, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Adidas, etc. Bigger department stores are located between Oxford Circus and Marble Arch.
- The Photographer’s Gallery: It hosts world-class exhibitions where you can soak yourself in some cultural scenes. ‘Shot in Soho’ is showcased here right now.
- The Cartoon Museum: You can explore cartoon collections, exhibitions, learnings, etc., at the museum. It highlights the cultural and British societal values through cartoons.
- Swingers Crazy Golf West End: A perfect venue for hosting events, as it is bustling with cocktails, DJ music, street eateries, and an indoor mini golf course. A range of foods and golf packages are available for all budgets.
- Wallace Museum: You can watch out for a great collection of sculptures, paintings, ceramics, arms, armor, etc. It occupies the Hertford House in Manchester Square.
Oxford Street has an ever-changing business environment, so steps are being taken to future-proof its surrounding districts, as stated by Nickie Aiken, Council Leader in London.
How To Get To Oxford Street
Getting to Oxford Street couldn’t be easier as you have several stations along the street. You have Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Bond Street, Marble Arch as well as Piccadilly Circus nearby.
We would not recommend driving as parking can be a pain, but if you must, Selfridges has a car park. There is also another car park behind John Lewis.