About the Area
A major road located in the City of Westminster borough in London's West End, Oxford Street is the busiest shopping street in the European Union. About 1.5 miles long, the road runs from Marble Arch at Hyde Park in the north through to Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road, continuing on as New Oxford Street until High Holborn Street. Known as Tyburn Road until the 18th century and formerly known as Uxbridge, Worcester and Oxford Road's, it was named after the Tyburn River that now flows underneath the area. It was developed in the 18th century and became known as Oxford Street, rising to prominence as a shopping street in the 19th century. In the latter part of the 20th century, a few violent incidents rocked the street; the area was bombed in 1940 during World War II and many buildings were destroyed while, in 1973, two bombs were detonated by the IRA at the Prudential Assurance Company on Oxford Street which caused injuries to a number of people. Since those days, the street serves as an anchor for London's best shopping streets and is rife with boutiques, restaurants, and flagship stores.
Places of Interest
With more than 300 shops, Oxford Street is visited by more than 200 million people every year and is known as London and Europe's retail Mecca. While the street is not London's most expensive or most fashionable shopping district, it does intersect with Regent Street and Old and New Bond Street, which have more high-end offerings. The start of Oxford Street's dominance began when Debenhams and Selfridges department stores opened in 1909. Both London shopping institutions, Debenhams features designer garments at a fraction of the cost while Selfridges is the United Kingdom's second largest store after Harrods. The street features the flagship stores of Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, H&M, United Colours of Benetton, Topshop, Zara and The Gap. Other popular stores on the street include Urban Outfitters, French Connection, Niketown, Mango, and two Primark locations that are located at the beginning and end of the street. A number of restaurants also dot the expanse of the street, ranging from a classic steakhouse (Angus Steakhouse) to Italian fast food (Vapiano) to the last remaining pub on Oxford Street (The Tottenham).
With its volume of traffic, Oxford Street has many transport options located on the street and close by including 4 Underground stations marking its length. Marble Arch station is located at the street's west end at the northeastern corner of Hyde Park. The Bond Street station is located 4 blocks to the east at St James Street. At the nexus of Regent Street and Oxford Street, the Oxford Circus Station marks the streets eastern side while Tottenham Court Road station marks its near end where its changes into New Oxford Street. With many major bus routes travelling through the area, there is a designated bus lane for the entire length of the street which is only open to buses, taxis, and two wheeled vehicles though anyone can drive in the lane on Sunday.