Another of west-central London’s thoroughfares and another grand shopping street. The street’s curve between Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus was a compromise when it was first built when ownerships of land came into question. John Nash’s vision of broad thoroughfares and public areas he so loved from French cities were more complicated to achieve in London. It is one of the first planned developments in London and was approved by parliament because it was to be paid by local investors who would then rent out the ground floor as commercial properties. Today many of the grand houses still hold flagship stores from one of the largest retail companies in the world. The street has been redeveloped many times since it was first established in the early 19th century. Currently Beaux Arts dominates the street, the large city blocks being designed to be different but harmonised and all facades finished in Portland stone.
If the architecture itself doesn’t make you marvel, during the winter months its Christmas lights will light up the darkened London winter days. Every year there is a new theme and it is always fun to make the trip to central London in November and see what the new theme is.
The extra bits: Regent’s Park is located further to the north and is one of the royal parks in London, where you can also find London Zoo. It’s another of John Nash visions for the city.
Let me know in the comments if you have a favourite R street in London or in your own hometown/favourite city.
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