Oxford Street, long heralded as one of the British capital’s most famous and grandest of all stretches of road, offers a lot for London visitors with all kinds of interests. Situated in the true heart of the city, a major road in the West End, Oxford Street is also Europe’s busiest shopping centre, with over 300 outlets calling the street home.
How best to tackle one of the UK’s most widely known streets? First stay close to the heart of the action in some of the the city’s grandest and most plushest hotels. Look for a hotel in Cumberland Place as a good starting point, as here you’ll only be minutes walking from all of the action. Then head out and check out some of these unmissable Oxford Street opportunities for yourself.
The 100 Club
Away from all the shopping and bag carrying, Oxford Street has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife and leisure time too. Perhaps the most famous of all its many bars and unique in the sense that it’s not a national or international chain, is the 100 Club.
A host to live music since 1942, this Grade II listed pub is one of the last remaining on the street and was made most famous in the early 70’s with the emergence of the London punk scene. Nowadays still functioning as a top live music venue and bar, you’d be hard pressed not to have fun here.
Gaining a resurgence in fame thanks to the TV show of a similar name, Selfridges, Oxford Street, has been in existence since 1909 and still thrives this very day as a huge high-end shopping hub. The second-largest department store in the UK, Selfridges is a shopping mecca with over 540,000 square feet of selling space and accolades as the world’s best department store both in 2010 and 2012.
Founded by American Harry Gordon Selfridge, Selfridge helped develop what was then an unfashionable end of Oxford Street by buying up a series of Georgian buildings and converting into the present day site.
A few minutes walk away from Oxford Street is London’s busy theatre district in the West End. There, on Argyll Street, you’ll find the London Palladium, a 2,286 seat theatre, designed back in 1910.
Modern host to TV performances, musical variety shows and lots of other types of events, the London Palladium has welcomed artists like Marvin Gaye, Sammy Davis Jr and Johnny Cash. Performance-wise the Palladium has played The King and I, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Sound of Music. A great place to head to catch a show.
St George’s Church, Hanover Square
St George’s is a stunning early 18th century church, first laid in stone in 1721 and located just a few minutes walk from Oxford Street in Hanover Square. Thanks to its location, St George’s has been the venue for many high society weddings throughout history and continues to be a prominent landmark in central London for both locals and tourists.
Designed by John James, St George’s best feature is its portico, supported by six Corinthian columns. Behind that there is a tower rising from the roof. A great spot to drop in on and get away from the rushing crowds.
Private Cinema Courthouse
Another of the area’s high-end accommodation options, The Courthouse Hotel, plays host to one of Oxford Street’s lesser known attractions, its own private cinema. One of the biggest private cinemas in London, it seats 94 people and has some of the neatest decor you’ll ever find in a picture house.
From suede walls, to apple green leather seats, The Courthouse’s cinema prices aren’t cheap but they do include a cocktail, which is a perk you’re unlikely to get in any of the mainstream public ones nearby.
However you decide to spend your time in the centre of London, Oxford Street and the surrounding area, has lots to offer. Just make sure you don’t spend all your money dipping in and out of its endless labyrinth of shops and save some for sightseeing too.