Famous streets in London

A large part of The City’s street plan dates back to medieval times. Christopher Wren tried to redesign it after the Great Fire of London but they stuck with the original layout. Some of the oldest quarters were then wiped out in the Blitz and modernisation, but there are still plenty of streets with Victorian and Georgian architecture.

Top 10 streets and squares Ten famous streets and squaresTrafalgar Square
Piccadilly Circus
Parliament Square
Downing Street
Whitehall
Regent Street
Leicester Square
Oxford Street
Piccadilly
The Mall

Recommendations Craig recommends… Tourists will want to visit Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden.

Abbey Road

Abbey Road’s zebra crossing outside the studio is where The Beatles took the photo for their album cover. Tourists do exactly the same thing today.

Baker Street

The most famous resident of Baker Street was the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who lived at No.221b. It’s now a Sherlock Holmes museum.

Bedford Square

One of Bloomsbury’s many public squares. It’s situated next to the British Museum and contains some very fine examples of Georgian architecture.

Belgrave Square

A grand 19th-century square in Belgravia, situated close to the back-end of Buckingham Palace. A lot of the houses are foreign embassies.

Berkeley Square

A once grand square in Mayfair, but a lot of the buildings have been modernised. It’s famous for the song A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

Bloomsbury Square

One of London’s oldest squares dating all the way back to the reign of Charles II. It was originally gardens for the Earl of Southampton’s mansion.

Bond Street

One of London’s most exclusive shopping streets, full of expensive jewellers and auction houses. It stretches through the centre of Mayfair.

Carnaby Street

It’s hey-day was during the Swinging Sixties when the younger generation came to the boutiques to buy clothes. These days it’s much more touristy.

Chancery Lane

One of London’s most historic streets, dating back to the late 14th-century and the reign of Edward III. It’s now home to the Public Records Office.

Cheapside

This has been a busy shopping street since medieval times. It’s largely full of shops and offices, but St. Mary-le-Bow church is worth a visit.

Downing Street

The public can’t get past the black iron gate at the entrance, and have to peer over the shoulder of a big burly policeman to see where the Prime Minister lives.

Fleet Street

Once famous as the home of newspapers, Fleet Street is worth a visit for its three churches: St. Dunstan’s, St. Bride’s and Temple Church.

Gerrard Street

Gerrard Street is the main street that runs through the centre of Chinatown. It has a huge Chinese pagoda at the end and lots of Oriental restaurants.

Grosvenor Square

Known as Little America because the American Embassy once stood at the end, this rather plain square has statues of American generals and presidents.

Harley Street

This quickly became a centre for medical professionals and practically every house contains either a doctor’s clinic, dentist or dermatologist.

Horse Guards

The parade ground is used for ceremonies. It’s where State Visits are greeted and marching soldiers are inspected during Trooping the Colour.

Jermyn Street

Because it was close to the gentlemen’s clubs on Pall Mall it soon became popular with hatters, shoe fitters and shirt makers – shops it still has today.

Kensington High Street

A normal shopping street full of chain stores like Habitat, Boots and Marks & Spencers. The art deco department store Barkers is worth a visit.

King’s Road

King’s Road once rivalled Carnaby Street for its fashion shops and boutiques. These days it’s just a high street full of everyday shops and chain stores.

Leicester Square

Leicester Square is at the centre of London’s nightlife and is full of pubs and clubs. It’s also where they hold all the big film premieres in the big cinemas.

The Mall

A processional route from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace, containing the royal residences of St. James’s Palace and Clarence House.

Neal’s Yard

A colourful courtyard hidden in the streets around Covent Garden. It’s home to health and beauty shops, organic food shops and restaurants.

Old Compton Street

Old Compton Street is associated with the gay community and is full of pubs, clubs and restaurants. It also has a popular West End theatre.

Oxford Street

One of London’s busiest shopping streets is permanently packed with people. If you come during Christmas then you’ll hardly be able to move!

Pall Mall

A prestigious street between Trafalgar Square and St. James’s Palace. It’s full of art dealers and gentleman’s clubs like the Athenaeum.

Park Lane

Due to it’s position on the Monopoly board people think it’s better than it actually is, but it’s just a busy dual carriageway, albeit with some 5-star hotels.

Parliament Square

A meeting place for marches and protests outside Parliament. On the other sides you can find Westminster Abbey and the Supreme Court.

Piccadilly

An impressive street with fine architecture, home to the Ritz Hotel, Royal Academy and two of London’s biggest bookshops: Waterstones and Hatchards.

Piccadilly Circus

One of London’s best sights in the heart of the West End. Tourists take photos of the Eros fountain and the Times Square-like advertising signs.

Portobello Road

It’s just a normal street market most of the time, but come on Saturday and it transforms into one of the capital’s most popular antiques markets.

Regent Street

The curving facade of Regent Street is home to Hamleys and the Apple Store, plus designers like Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld and Tommy Hilfiger.

Russell Square

The largest garden square in Bloomsbury is close to the British Museum. Some of its earliest houses still survive from the 19th-century.

St. James’s Square

Situated off Pall Mall and close to St. James’s Palace, this was a prestigious square in the 18th-century and was home to several Prime Ministers.

Savile Row

Its name has become synonymous with finely tailored suits, but it was also where The Beatles played their final live performance on a roof.

Shaftesbury Avenue

Shaftesbury Ave runs through the heart of the West End and has many of its best theatres including Queen’s Theatre, Palace Theatre and Lyric Theatre.

Sloane Square

This pretty square in Chelsea is best known for the Royal Court Theatre and the big department store Peter Jones. It leads onto the King’s Road.

Strand

Another of London’s big shopping streets, the Strand runs from Trafalgar Square past Covent Garden and Somerset House to the Royal Courts of Justice.

Tottenham Court Road

It’s not the prettiest street in town, but it does contain a decent concentration of computer and electronic shops if you’re looking to buy something.

Threadneedle Street

Home to the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, this road is in the heart of the Square Mile and is full of banks and financial institutions.

Trafalgar Square

London’s most famous square is home to the National Gallery. Nelson’s Column stands in the centre, surrounded by fountains and four huge lions.

Victoria Embankment

Have a romantic walk along the river under the leafy trees, and enjoy some views of the Southbank and the London Eye across the water.

Whitehall

This road is the centre of government. It’s home to Banqueting House, Downing Street and the Cenotaph. Tourists like to take photos at Horse Guards.
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