The many famous streets in London are steeped in history, immortalised in song or literature & an essential part of any London itinerary. Each of the famous streets in London UK we describe reveal a different side to this intoxicating city.
They include some of best in London shopping, from the flagship Oxford Street shops to the thriving London street markets of Camden and Brick Lane. Some of them are home to the most famous landmarks in London, steeped in history and an essential part of any London itinerary. Other famous London streets are well-known because they’ve been immortalised in song or literature.
Some of them also make great places to stay in London. We’ve covered over thirty of the best streets in London to visit, and if you get to see all of them, you’ll get to see how incredibly diverse London is.
33 Famous Streets in London to Visit
1. Abbey Road
Abbey Road is home to the world’s most famous zebra crossing. This happens to be just outside Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles were recording their album – titled Abbey Road – in 1969. The album cover was finished within a ten-minute shoot, with police holding up traffic either side.
It has gone on to become one of the most iconic album covers of all time, and many make the pilgrimage to St John’s Wood to make the crossing, shoot their own images or videos, and scratch graffiti on signs and walls nearby.
Nearest Tube: St John’s Wood Map: here
This busy London street owes its fame to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes wasn’t the first fictional detective, but he is arguably the most famous.
Conan Doyle wrote 60 Holmes books, and many films and TV series have been based around the Holmes character. We recommend the BBC Sherlock series, with Benedict Cumberbatch playing Holmes. To put the fame of the character in perspective, a series of Sherlock Holmes TV films was commissioned in the USSR, running through the early 1980s.
Holmes and his lodger-cum-assistant John Watson resided at 221B Baker Street, and the Sherlock Museum occupies the ground floor of the building. A commemorative blue plaque also marks the location on the wall above.
A statue of Holmes can be found around the corner, on Marylebone Road, close to Madame Tussauds waxworks museum.
Nearest Tube: Baker Street Map: here
3. Bond Street
There is actually no ‘Bond Street’ in London. It’s the collective name applied to New Bond Street and Old Bond Street, which run through the heart of Mayfair. We’ll also stick with ‘Bond Street’ for convenience.
Bond Street runs from Oxford Street in the north to Piccadilly in the south. New Bond Street adjoins Oxford Street, and Old Bond Street continues to Piccadilly, ending a few doors down from Burlington House and the Royal Academy, one of the most famous buildings in London.
Bond Street is one of the best streets in London for high end shopping. This is London Boutique Central, with all the prestigious big brands in clothing, jewellery and accessories (Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany, Jimmy Choo and many more) well represented.
It may not be one of the most interesting or beautiful streets in London, but it is one of the most famous fasion streets in London
Also close to: Oxford Street, Piccadilly, Savile Row
Nearest Tube: Bond Street or Green Park Map: here
4. Brick Lane
Brick Lane, one of the most famous streets in East London, is home to one of the best weekend markets London is famous for. On Sundays, the street is packed with great food stalls, and vendors selling everything from apparel to furniture. It’s sometimes referred to as Brick Lane vintage market, though we’ve found that stalls can vary from week to week.
The street has always been associated with immigration. Over the centuries, French Huguenots, Irish, eastern European Jews, and most recently Bangladeshis have made the area their home.
At the Shoreditch (northern) end, two fantastic Brick Lane bagel bakeries keep this wonderful Jewish tradition alive, with queues often through the door day and night.
Brick Lane also has a range of bars, pubs and clubs, with the best gig venue 93 Feet East in the old Truman Brewery.
Brick Lane has also become one of the richest cultural streets and areas in London. There is a wealth of excellent Brick Lane street art, and tours that cover the artworks in great detail. It also has probably the best record store in the UK in Rough Trade East. If you love Camden High Street, you’ll probably adore Brick Lane too.
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street or Aldgate East Map: here
5. Camden High Street
Camden Market is right up there with the most famous markets in London. It’s not a single market as such, rather a series of them spread either side of the northern reaches of Camden High Street.
Camden has long been something of an alternative mecca, with a great live music scene going back to the 1970s and the heyday of punk.
Some of the music venues from that time are still going, but most people visiting Camden come to explore one of the best shopping areas in London.
This is where you’ll find some of the best vintage clothes shops in London. You’ll also find many London souvenir stalls, and punk, Goth and steampunk gear galore. As well as the market stalls, the shops on Camden High Street stand out, with giant Doc Martens, angels and elephants adorning the building fronts.
There’s also an enormous range of street food stalls to try out (we love Kim’s Vietnamese Food Hut). Most of the action is to the north of Camden Town Tube station. It’s a shameless London tourist trap, and I love the place.
Nearest Tube: Camden Town or Chalk Farm Map: here
6. Carnaby Street
Carnaby Street is the nearest thing there is to a London fashion district. It’s a pedestrianised street in the north of Soho, close to the Liberty department store and Oxford and Regent Streets.
The heyday of Carnaby Street was in the Swinging Sixties, when many boutiques and fashion outlets opened on the street and close by. The likes of John Stephen, Mary Quant , Lord John and Irvine Sellars all opened shops there by the mid ‘60s.
Carnaby Street was especially popular with mods in the late ‘60s, and the Who, Small Faces and Rolling Stones all frequented the street around this time. Ray Davies of the Kinks lampooned the street and trends in his 1966 song Dedicated Follower of Fashion.
The street still has a wide range of fashion stores, and there’s a good selection of pubs and restaurants in the surrounding streets.
Also close to: Regent Street and Oxford Street
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus Map: here
7. Cheyne Walk
Chelsea’s second most famous street sits discreetly back from the Thames, with the beautiful Albert Bridge close to one end. Cheyne Walk is one of the most expensive streets in London. Properties there go for eye-watering prices, and you’d need an 8-digit bank account balance in pounds to buy one of the magnificent townhouses there.
Cheyne Walk has had a rich and colourful history. England’s King Henry VIII once had a manor house there. Many famous faces have resided there since, including no less than three Rolling Stones, painters JMW Turner and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, authors George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Ian Fleming, poet TS Eliot and footballer George Best have all resided there.
Chelsea Old Church, halfway along, is also well worth a
visit. A fine statue of the English martyr St Thomas More, who sang in the
choir there, sits outside.
Also close to: King’s Road
Nearest Tube: South Kensington or Sloane Square Map: here
8. Downing Street
Downing Street is one of the most famous London streets of all, but very few visitors get to see anything of it. It’s a small side street off Whitehall, yet it’s the focal point of British politics, Number 10 is the official residence of the Prime Minister of the UK.
Number 11, meanwhile, is the official home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The latter sets annual government budgets, and it has been known for the resident of Number 11 to move next door.
Also close to: Whitehall, The Strand
Nearest Tube: Westminster
9. Fleet Street
Fleet Street is one of the great historic streets in London. It continues on from The Strand, occupying the western part of the City of London financial district. Its heyday lasted over 200 years until the 1980s, when the main UK newspapers moved operations elsewhere. Some buildings remain from this era, including the fine Art Deco Daily Express building.
If you’re interested in historic London pubs, then Fleet Street is a great place to start. The Old Bank of England has one of the most opulent pub interiors in the city.
Further along, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was once the watering hole of Charles Dickens. It’s a wonderful labyrinth of darkened dining rooms. The Old Bell Tavern, across the street from there, is another of the best pubs in central London.
Add in St Bride’s Church, whose tiered spire inspired the wedding cake, and some of the most interesting lanes and alleyways in London, and you have enough to detain you at least half a day.
Also close to: The Strand, Ludgate Hill
Nearest Tube: Blackfriars
10. King’s Road
King’s Road – often referred to as ‘the King’s Road’ – started out as a private road for King Charles II. It was around 170 years later, in 1830, that it finally became a public road.
King’s Road became one of the main London fashion streets, with Mary Quant opening her first boutique in the building now occupied by the Santander Bank. It was one of the birthplaces of the miniskirt, and very much part of Swinging London in the mid to late ‘60s.
It had a strong countercultural emphasis right through until the end of the 1970s. The shop at number 430, World’s End, is still owned by one of the great British designers, Vivienne Westwood.
She co-owned the boutique SEX which was in the same building. This small shop gave birth to the famous punk look, spiky hair and all.
It’s also where one of the two biggest bands in British punk, the Sex Pistols, were brought together by the other co-owner, Malcolm McLaren.
Nowadays it takes quite a leap of the imagination to picture King’s Road as a bastion of alternative culture. The street and surrounding area is completely gentrified. These days you can expect plenty of small boutiques and art galleries, as well as pretty shops with Instagrammable arches of flowers.
King’s Road’s most notable recent contribution to culture is the excellent Saatchi Gallery. This outstanding contemporary art collection is housed in the Duke of York’s Headquarters, near the Sloane Square end of the street.
Also close to: Cheyne Walk
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square or South Kensington
11. Ludgate Hill
Ludgate Hill is the eastward continuation of Fleet Street, at the heart of the City of London. It’s a fairly short thoroughfare, and may not be among the best-known London street names. It’s also walkable in less than five minutes.
It’s on our list for one reason alone: the awe-inspiring view up the hill towards one of the finest buildings in London and one of the most famous landmarks in England , St Paul’s Cathedral. The approach up Ludgate Hill is magnificent, towards the grand west front flanked by twin towers, with the spectacular dome behind.
It’s a great street to walk up, the left / north side offering the better view. Halfway up, a much smaller church by Sir Christopher Wren, St Martin Ludgate, is well worth a look around. Otherwise, try to bag a seat at the front of a double-decker bus for the grandstand view.
Nearest Tube: Blackfriars
12. Old Compton Street
Soho has long been the heart of gay London, and Old Compton Street is the epicentre of Soho.
It’s one of the most popular streets in London, and one of my personal favourites. You’ll often see rainbow flags hanging from the likes of G-A-Y nightclub and the Admiral Duncan pub. The latter has some hilarious drag shows, which are often audible in the street outside.
There are also a host of places to eat on Old Compton Street, with sushi, Italian, fish and chips and Herman Ze German all vying for your custom. Special mention goes to our nomination for the best-smelling shop on the planet. It’s the Algerian Coffee Stores, next door to the Admiral Duncan at number 52.
Also close to: Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus
13. Oxford Street
Oxford Street is the most famous London shopping street of all. In fact if you were to ask people what is one of the most famous streets in London ? Oxford Street would be up the top of most peoples list.
It’s home to many flagship stores of prominent UK high street retailers, so it’s where you’ll find some of the best shopping in London for clothes. Oxford Street shopping is the reason many people come to London, and there’s a huge choice of stores. The likes of John Lewis, Next, Top Shop, Uniqlo, House of Fraser, Adidas and Primark all have major stores there.
Also close to: Regent Street, Old Compton Street (10-minute walk), Carnaby Street
Nearest Tube: Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road
Piccadilly is one of the most famous streets in London to visit. It has Fortnum & Mason, a grand department store dating back to 1707, which is undoubtedly one of the best shops in London, and the Grocer to the Queen, no less.
You can also explore the Piccadilly Circus shopping at one end, and browse some of the finest shopping arcades in London. The Burlington Arcade is full of luxury stores and boutiques. It was opened in 1819, and is still patrolled by watchmen, or beadles, who ensure that appropriate decorum is kept and that visitors do not behave in a raucous and boisterous manner!
Piccadilly is also home to Hatchards, the oldest bookshop in the UK, and the flagship Waterstones store. The latter is the UK’s biggest book retailer.
Burlington House, next to Burlington Arcade, is home to several august national institutions, including the Royal Academy, the Royal Astronomical Society and Royal Geographical Society.
Several of the best luxury hotels in London are on Piccadilly, including the Ritz (a famous UK landmark), the Intercontinental, the Athenaeum and Park Lane Hotel. Some rooms in the Ritz overlook Green Park, which occupies the south side of Piccadilly on its journey to its end at Wellington Arch and Hyde Park Corner.
Famous London Streets nearby: Savile Row, Bond Street, Jermyn Street, The Mall, Shaftesbury Avenue, Old Compton Street, The Mall
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park
15. Portobello Road
Portobello Road is a long narrow street running through the heart of Notting Hill in West London. It starts out as a quiet residential street before morphing into one of the busiest of all London markets.
Parts of Portobello Road Market run throughout the week, but Saturday is the one day to visit if you want to see all the stalls. This is when most visitors come to see the Market, with the result that they outnumber locals for large parts of it.
You can buy anything from antiques to bric-a-brac to clothes to furniture to street food there. The busiest areas we saw were the southern end, around the antique shops and stalls, up to the Westway bridge. North of there the crowds thinned out considerably.
Portobello Road is one of the best-known movie locations in London. Most famously, much of Notting Hill was shot there and nearby, and The Travel Bookshop, with its poster of Julia Roberts in the window, still draws the crowds. Alice’s Antiques shop has doubled as Gruber’s Antiques for Paddington 2. It’s one our favourite shops to visit in London with fantastic displays inside and out on the street.
Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove
16. Regent Street
Regent Street – which intersects with Oxford Street – is another main shopping street in London. It’s a grander affair than Oxford Street, with many of its buildings dating from the time it was built, in the early 19th century.
The street was named after the Prince Regent, later King George IV. It runs from the University of Westminster down to Piccadilly Circus. It has some of the best places to shop in London.
Our top tip is Hamley’s Toy Store, a paradise for kids, with brilliant staff who put on a great show to draw the crowds in. I saw two of them dancing in greatcoats on one of the hottest days of the summer – good on them! If it’s your thing, there are plenty more Regent Street shopping options, with the likes of Zara, Superdry, Burberry and Anthropologie all having a big presence there.
It’s also one of the best streets in London to visit at Christmas time.
Also close to: Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Piccadilly
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
17. Savile Row
Savile Row is one of the most exclusive shopping streets in London. This Mayfair street is home to some of the finest tailors and gentlemen’s outfitters in the UK. They include the likes of Gieves & Hawkes, Ozwald Boateng and Huntsman & Sons.
Savile Row is another London street with a place in music history. The rooftop of number 3 was where the Beatles last played live.
Also close to: Bond Street, Piccadilly
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park
18. Shaftesbury Avenue
Shaftesbury Avenue isn’t just in the London West End, it is the London West End, and one of the most famous streets in Soho. It runs from High Holborn in the north to Piccadilly Circus, in the south.
The street signs all signify you’re in Theatreland, and you pass several along the way. The Palace, Queen’s, Gielgud and Apollo theatres are all along the Avenue. It passes Covent Garden and Chinatown on one side and Soho on the other so is right at the heart of London nightlife.
Also close to: Old Compton Street, Piccadilly
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus
19. The Mall
The Mall is the main royal ceremonial and processional route in London and one of the most famous historical streets in London .It leads from Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch, to the Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s London residence.
Unusually for London streets the road surface is coloured red. The purpose of this is to create the effect of a long red carpet all the way to the Palace. The Mall passes glorious St James’s Park on one side and St James’s Palace and Green Park on the other.
The Mall is one of the few main streets in London without any London traffic. The Mall isn’t part of the main London road network. Instead it is separately maintained by the Royal Parks. No buses ply this route – you make your own way or take a black cab on weekdays.
Also close to: Whitehall, Downing Street, The Strand, Piccadilly
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross or Green Park
20. The Strand
The Strand is one of the grandest central London streets, linking Trafalgar Square with Fleet Street and the City of London. It’s on the edge of Theatreland, boasting fine theatres such as the Adelphi and Vaudeville.
The Strand also has some of the best luxury London hotels, including the Savoy, a famous London landmark. One of the oldest restaurants in London, Simpson’s on the Strand, can be found a few doors along the street. The fantastic centuries-old Twinings tea shop is further to the east, near the Royal Courts of Justice.
One of the finest buildings in London, Somerset House, stands between The Strand and the river Thames. Two churches stand on islands in the middle of the street – St Mary-le-Strand and St Clement Danes. The latter has strong links with the Royal Air Force. However it’s better known for being mentioned in the famous “Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clement’s” nursery rhyme.
Add in a few specialist shops, part of King’s College London and a ‘ghost’ Tube station and you have one of the most intriguing streets in all of London.
Also close to: Shaftesbury Avenue, Whitehall, Downing Street, The Mall
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross, Covent Garden or Temple
Whitehall is the street running between Downing Street and Trafalgar Square and of the most famous streets in Central London. It’s one of the main streets in London, right at the nexus of British history and politics. It’s home to several government ministries, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Cabinet Office.
The sublime Banqueting House, the only surviving part of the original Palace of Whitehall, stands stately on the east side, just across the road from the entrance to Horse Guards Parade.
This is one of the most popular tourist spots in London, where crowds gather for photos of the mounted guards. The famous Changing of the Life Guard ceremony also takes place in the parade ground through the archway.
Also close to: Downing Street, The Mall, The Strand
Nearest Tube: Westminster or Charing Cross
22. Denmark Street
Tiny Denmark Street, in a far-flung corner of the West End off Charing Cross Road, is known as the Tin Pan Alley of England. It was the home of music publishers and the UK music press in the 1950s and ‘60s, and later home to several recording studios.
It played a massive role in London music history – the Rolling Stones and Kinks recorded there, David Bowie got his first backing band together there, the Sex Pistols rehearsed there – and this heritage has been afforded some, albeit limited, protection.
The street is now best-known as one of the best places in London to buy musical instruments, with several long-established stores there and some clubs and bars.
Much of the surrounding area was wiped away by the Crossrail development but Denmark Street is still, just about, hanging in there. Long may it do so.
Nearest Tube – Tottenham Court Road
23. Greek Street
Greek Street is one of the busiest and best streets in Soho, running from Shaftesbury Avenue to Soho Square and meeting with Old Compton Street on the way. It’s crammed with history, culture and places to eat.
At the southern end, Maison Bertaux is one of the best French patisseries and cafes in London. The Coach & Horses pub on the corner with Romilly Street was once a hotbed of political gossip, but times have changed and it has recently been granted a nudist licence.
Further up the street, the Pillars of Hercules pub was a well-known literary haunt, patronised by the likes of Clive James, Martin Amis and Ian McEwan . It has recently reopened as Bar Hercules. Two doors down, Jazz After Dark was the venue for many performances by a certain Amy Winehouse early in her career.
Nearest Tube – Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road
24. Cable Street
Cable Street in London’s East End runs from Tower Hill in the City of London to Stepney via Shadwell, and runs parallel with the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) its entire length.
A lot of London East End history is packed into this street, including the famous 1936 Battle of Cable Street, which is commemorated on a mural on the side of St George’s Town Hall. This was a huge street battle with local left-wing, anarchist and Jewish groups confronting – and stopping – a march by Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.
Also look out for two fine London landmarks just off Cable Street – the gorgeous 19th century Wilton’s Music Hall on Grace’s Alley, and the splendid St George in the East church, one of six churches in London built by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Nearest DLR – Shadwell
25. The Bishops Avenue
The Bishops Avenue – in Hampstead Garden Suburb, linking East Finchley with Hampstead Heath – is one of the most bizarre streets in London. It’s nicknamed Billionaires’ Row, and a few years ago was estimated to be the second most expensive street to buy property in the UK. You’re often looking at £60 million and upwards for one of the mansions here.
What’s bizarre is that many of these properties – acquired by exceedingly wealthy owners from overseas – lie empty and derelict. Indeed, some have been for decades. Continue to the top of the hill for a pint at the 18th century Spaniard’s Inn, or a walk on Hampstead Heath.
Nearest Tube – East Finchley
26. Threadneedle Street
One of the most famous streets in the City of London, Threadneedle Street owes its fame to the Bank of England, which is located at its western end. It has been at the same site since 1734, and is home to the fascinating Bank of England Museum.
Threadneedle Street may well owe its name to the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, who have had their headquarters there since the 14th century.
Nearest Tube – Bank
27. Harley Street
Whatever type of ailment afflicts you, there’s probably a specialist on Harley Street London to treat it. The street runs between Marylebone Road and the Regent’s Park to the north and Cavendish Square to the south.
There has been a significant number of private medical practices there since the 18th century, and it’s believed that it developed in this way because of its good transport links (close to several main London stations) and suitable housing. Over 3,000 people are now employed in the health industry in Harley Street.
Nearest Tube – Oxford Circus
28. Lombard Street
For centuries, Lombard Street the epicentre of the London banking world. Its name is derived from the Lombards – northern Italians – who came to London after Edward I expelled the Jewish population in the late 13th century.
Insurers Lloyd’s of London started out there in 1691 as Lloyd’s Coffee House, and three of the UK’s five high street banks have had their headquarters there.
Lombard Street is one of the more unusual streets in London, as it starts out as a main thoroughfare, petering out into a narrow lane at the church of St Mary Woolnoth. The narrow part of the street is the most intriguing, with several old signs hanging outside buldings. These include a cat with a fiddle and a golden grasshopper, the latter the Gresham family crest originating in the 16th century. A rare glimpse of the City of London before the 1666 Great Fire.
Nearest Tube – Bank
29. Leadenhall Street
This City of London street is lined with several major London landmarks. The most recent of these, the Leadenhall Building, is better known as the Cheese Grater, soaring 225 metres (738 feet) high. As you walk from west to east, starting at the Cheese Grater, you’ll soon notice the ‘Inside Out Building’ of Lloyds of London, which was completed in 1986, and a few metres along on the left you’ll see 30 St Mary Axe, better known as the Gherkin.
Further along on the left, the lovely early 17th century St Katharine Cree church is one of the few City of London churches to escape the Great Fire and the Blitz unscathed.
Nearest Tube – Liverpool Street or Aldgate
30. Frith Street, Soho
Frith Street is another of the most popular streets in Soho,and is packed with history and life. The likes of painter John Constable and Mozart have called it home, and nowadays it hosts several Italian restaurants and bars, including the classic vintage Bar Italia café, which has been open since 1949.
John Logie Baird first demonstrated television in the same building – number 22 – in 1926. The famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Bar is just across the street.
Nearest Tube – Tottenham Court Road
31. Electric Avenue, Brixton
Home to my favourite London street name, Electric Avenue in Brixton, south London was the first market street in the world to have electric lighting, back in the late 19th century. It’s just around the corner from Brixton Underground station (last stop on the Victoria line), and the perfect place to introduce yourself top Brixton Market.
I’ve always loved it for the Caribbean food – among the best you’ll find in the UK – but you’ll also find African and Asian places aplenty. Readers of a certain vintage will remember Eddy Grant’s 1982 hit named after the street.
Nearest Tube – Brixton
32. Neals Yard, Covent Garden
Neal’s Yard is a narrow side street in Covent Garden , just a couple of minutes’ walk from Seven Dials. It has been one of the most Instagrammable streets in London since …well, the inception of Instagram, with photographers seeking out its brightly painted house facades and window frames.
It links Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street, and is currently occupied by a mixture of cafes, bakeries and beauty stores. It’s also the original home of world-famous Neal’s Tard Remedies. Easily one of the prettiest streets in London.
Nearest Tube – Covent Garden
Jermyn Street, which runs parallel to Piccadilly one block south, is where gentlemen shop for accessories and apparel after being fitted out for their suits on nearby Savile Row. It’s one of the best shopping places in London, and several luxury brands have stores on Jermyn Street, selling shirts, shoes, shaving brushes, hats and more.
There’s a statue of Beau Brummell on the street, a nod to the sartorial elegance for which it’s known. The street has been in existence since 1664, during which time the likes of Sir Isaac Newton, the Duke of Marlborough and Louis Napoleon have resided there.
Nearest Tube – Green Park or Piccadilly Circus
David Angel is a British writer and photographer who has been travelling and photographing Europe for over 25 years. His work is regularly featured in worldwide media including the BBC, the Guardian, the Times and the Sunday Times.