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Oxford Streets, for visitors, represents a mecca of retail opportunities abundant in depth and diversity matched by few other places on the planet. It’s like Fifth Avenue at Christmas, every day. And when it’s busy, by God, you’d better get a move on. The central Oxford Circus forms a junction between another West End retail titan, Regent Street, and its underground station is one of the busiest in the world.
To Londoners, Oxford Street represents a polarising love-hate relationship. We love that Selfridges (our most beloved department store) is on it and, if you’re a girl, that its presence is significantly boosted by the presence of two must-do retail destinations, the Topshop flagship and Primark. Really, we tell all visitors with two X chromosomes this: Topshop. Primark. That’s pretty much half of the day gone right there.
The street is also home to a multitude of additional stores; the usual high street favourites are there (HMV, Waterstones, and literally every high street clothing store) albeit on a massive scale. There are numerous additional department stores like Debenhams and John Lewis strewn around and there are a few good dining options – however, the fact that Fitzrovia and Goodge Street’s restaurants and cafes abound to the North, and Soho’s teem to the south of the main street, you don’t really have an excuse to be stuffing your maw with a disintegrating wrap from Pret.
Your best strategy is to identify the stores you really want to see and base everything around that, including meals. The western end of Oxford Street (towards Marble Arch) is a little more pricey with Bond Street in the vicinity, whereas Soho and Fitzrovia’s cool bars and eateries are on the eastern side of the street (towards Tottenham Court Road). Do not attempt to shop your way from one end to the other.
Location: Central London
Opening Times: Most shops close at about 18:00 - 20:00.
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus will take you smack in the middle of the street. Marble Arch, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road will drop you off at various points in the street.
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