West End

London’s ‘West End’ is actually part of the City of Westminster, it encompasses the major shopping streets of Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and the sixties favourite Carnaby Street.

The West End is also home to London’s ‘Theatreland’ – an area close to Piccadilly Circus that is home to some thirty theatres.

Bond Street


Bond Street runs for about half a mile North-South from Oxford Street through Mayfair to Piccadilly, it is actually named New Bond Street at its Northern End and Old Bond Street to the  South.

It has been one of London’s more prestigious shopping streets since the 18th Century and these days is home to up-market boutiques, jewellers such as Tiffany and Cartier and Sotheby’s, the auction house.

Carnaby Street


Carnaby Street, is only a couple of hundred yards long, running North South and parallel to the northern stretch of Regent Street. It’s accessed at the north from Great Marlborough Street, beside the Liberty Store and runs south to Beak Street. 

Incidentally, the “O’Neill’s” bar at the junction of Great Marlborough Street used to be known as ‘The Dog and Trumpet’ – after the famous “His Master’s Voice” record label logo.


Carnaby Street remains a popular street for fashion boutiques, with many popular brands having flagship stores in the area.

Oxford Street

Oxford Street runs East-West through central London, the main shopping street is defined as running between Centre Point and Marble Arch – a distance of some one and a half miles, and is home to around 300 shops and stores including Selfridges


It is served by four London Underground stations on the Central Line – Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Bond Street and Marble Arch. Other lines, including the Northern Line, Jubilee Line and Victora Line intersect with the Central Line along Oxford Street.

Oxford Street is actually part of the A41, which follows the route of an old Roman road and, if you follow the road west it does indeed lead to Oxford.

Oxford Street is well known for its annual Christmas light display, these are usually lit in mid-November by a celebrity, and they stay lit each evening through until 12th Night.

Regent Street


Regent Street runs for about a mile north-south, it crosses Oxford Street at Oxford Circus. From Oxford Circus north it runs for a couple of hundred yards to Langham Place, home of the BBC’s Broadcasting House.

South of Oxford Circus the main body of the road runs due south for most of its length before turning in a graceful quadrant into Piccadilly Circus. It’s home to a number of prestigious flagship stores including Apple, Ferrari and the famous toy store Hamleys. Regent Street is also home to extravagent Christmas light displays each year.

The architecture of Regent Street belies its early 19th Century designs, much of the street was designed by John Nash, although his original buildings have been replaced with more modern, but classically styled buildings.  

The Regent after whom the street is names was the Prince Regent who in 1820 became George IV – his extravagant and flamboyant style gave its name to the regency style popularised by the dandy Beau Brummel and culminating in the faux oriental design of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, on the south coast of England.