Regent Street London
Discover the elegance and prestige of London’s premier shopping destination, Regent Street.
Regent Street Shopping
Today, the 1.8km stretch is still one of the most significant retail destinations in the capital, employing over 20,000 Londoners and attracting 7.5 million tourists every year. Many British and international brands have their UK flagship stores on Regent Street, meaning that there is not only an excellent variety of shops but a vast range available within them, as well as in-store events, limited edition collections, and exciting shopper experiences. While most shop fronts are flaunting their fashion credentials, you’ll also find homewares, technology, beauty, the largest toy shop in the world, and a hotel along the busy thoroughfare.
Regent Street is also referenced in notable British culture, including Charles Dickins’ novel Nicholas Nickelby, where the character Lord Frederick Verisopht lives in an apartment on the street and as a property square on the UK version of Monopoly.Read More
If you’re looking for a break from all the shopping, a few small offshoots from Regent Street provide some quiet space to relax. Head to Swallow Street or Heddon Street for various restaurants, cafes and bars in a pedestrianised area designed to act as ‘food quarters’.
Throughout December, Christmas shoppers can get into the festive spirit underneath the Christmas lights, a tradition which first started in 1882. Other significant events throughout the year include the Summer Streets festival, where the road becomes traffic-free every Sunday in July to host an exciting day of shopper entertainment, and Fashion and Design Month every September, which hosts talks and seminars to tie in with London Fashion Week and London Design Festival.
Why is Regent Street also known as The Mile of Style?
While the street isn’t quite a full mile (about 0.8 miles long), it packs in many styles. Home to the flagship stores of famous British and international brands, including Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren, it’s one of London’s most prestigious fashion streets.
Mile of Style is a reputation held since it was first developed in the early 19th century to create space for “shops appropriated to articles of fashion and taste”, according to its original architect John Nash. Just as famed for its grand buildings and the glamorously dressed shoppers that frequent it, it’s more than just the shops that lend it this nickname.
When was Regent Street built?
The street was designed by one of London’s most famous architects, John Nash, and completed in 1825. However, All Souls Church at the north end is the only remaining building designed by Nash. The buildings needed remodelling as the street grew in its reputation as a fashion destination, and the shops began to expand along it. Between 1895 and 1927, it was rebuilt to become the street we know today with its Beaux Arts facades. Its iconic appearance will be preserved for generations thanks to being part of a conservation area to protect its historical and architectural importance.
What’s the oldest store on Regent Street?
Hamleys, the seven-storey toy emporium located at number 188-196, is the oldest resident on the street. It’s lived at this address since 1881, but the business goes even further back, starting life down the road in Holborn in 1760, making it the oldest toy shop in the world.
Far from crumbling into obscurity in the 21st century, this historic institution stands proudly on the east side of the street with giant red flags and a ceremony every morning with Hamley, the bear, where one lucky child gets to ring the opening bell of the store.
How many people visit Regent Street each year?
One of the busiest shopping streets in London, attracting more than 7.5 million visitors every year. From tourists indulging in a holiday shopping spree to business meetings in one of the street’s fine eating establishments or locals heading to their favourite flagship, it’s a hotbed of stylish activity. Over 20,000 people work along the 1.3km stretch alone. Its 1.5 million square feet of retail space ensure there’s always a reason for the millions of shoppers to return.
What are the “Summer Streets” events all about?
Every summer, the street closes to traffic on four select Sundays and gets into the festival spirit. Between the Oxford Circus and Piccadilly stretch of the street, visitors can enjoy a rare opportunity to roam freely or even have a picnic right in the middle while the stores put on special offers and activities. The Summer Streets event has been running since 2013 and, in the past, has seen yoga lessons, a tennis court, a giant ball pit, live music and even a bee hive takeover the space usually occupied by queueing traffic. The many food outlets also serve up delicious dishes on the day from their pop-up food trucks. It’s one of the city’s most hotly anticipated shopping events!