Why is Regent Street also known as “The Mile of Style”?
While Regent Street isn’t quite a full mile (it’s about 0.8 miles long), it packs in a lot of style. Home to the flagship stores of famous British and international brands including Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren, it’s one of the most prestigious fashion streets in London.
Mile of Style is a reputation Regent Street has held since it was first developed in the early 19th century with the intention of creating space for “shops appropriated to articles of fashion and taste” according to its original architect John Nash. Just as much 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?
Regent 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. As the street grew in its reputation as a fashion destination and the shops began to expand along it, the buildings were in need of remodeling. Between 1895 and 1927 it was completely 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 Regent Street, is the oldest resident on the street. It’s lived at this address since 1881 but the business itself 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, Regent Street attracts 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 hot bed of stylish activity. Over 20,000 people work along the 1.3km stretch alone. Its 1.5 million square feet of retail space make sure there’s always a reason for Regent Street’s millions of shoppers to keep coming back.
What are the “Summer Streets” events all about?
Every summer, Regent 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 about the street freely, or even have a picnic right in the middle of it, 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. Regent Street’s 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!