As wealthy Londoners began to move out of the City in the eighteenth century in favour of the newly developed West End, so Oxford Street – the old Roman road to Oxford – gradually became London’s main shopping thoroughfare. Today, despite successive recessions and sky-high rents, Oxford Street remains Europe’s busiest street, simply because this two-mile hotchpotch of shops is home to (often several) flagship branches of Britain’s major retailers. The street’s only real landmark store is Selfridges opened in 1909 with a facade featuring the Queen of Time riding the ship of commerce and supporting an Art Deco clock.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

London features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
8 things you didn't know you could do in London

8 things you didn't know you could do in London

You've stood at the railings of Buckingham Palace, squinting to see if you can glimpse an elderly woman through the windows. You've taken a selfie with a Beefea…

12 Sep 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
Alternative London: off the tourist trail

Alternative London: off the tourist trail

In 2015, some 31.5 million people visited London. That was a record year, yet early indications are that 2016 beat even those figures. The capital has the three…

20 Feb 2017 • Neil McQuillian insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook