There are lots of famous streets in London. Some, like Abbey Road and Oxford Street, you might have heard of. But what about roads like Brick Lane and Columbia Road? Or even Electric Avenue?
The great news is that London is a fantastic city for walking so you can explore the most famous London roads on two feet.
Famous Streets in London
Many of London’s most iconic streets can be found in the centre of town. These include Piccadilly, Carnaby Street, the King’s Road and New Bond Street – the most expensive street in the U.K.
Other streets in London, such as Portobello Road and Columbia Road, are slightly further away but very easy to get to on the London Underground or by bus. Use these apps to organise your journey around London.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I have been or could be if you click on a link in this post compensated via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy for more details.
Abbey Road is undoubtedly one of the most famous streets in London. Home to Abbey Road studios, this is where you’ll find the iconic zebra crossing that the Fab Four strutted across for their album cover. This street in north west London has been immortalised in popular culture.
It’s one of those London street names that everyone has heard of!
Millions of people have since made their way to the pedestrian crossing to dodge the traffic, have their photo taken and to pay their respects to George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon.
The crossing is actually located at the southernmost point of Abbey Road, at the junction with Grove End Road in St. John’s Wood.
The postcode for the Abbey Road recording studios is NW8 9AY but if you’re having trouble finding the road, just look for the crowds of people!
Best tube station: St. John’s Wood
Oxford Street is not only the most famous shopping street in London, it’s also the busiest shopping street in Europe.
Running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus, more than four million people visit this central London street each week. Even more when the Christmas lights are on display.
Oxford Street is home to high-street brands as well as the UK’s iconic department stores Selfridges, John Lewis & Partners and Marks & Spencer. In 2016 the Mayor of London said that Oxford Street would be pedestrianised by 2020 but those plans seem to have been shelved, sadly.
If you want to escape the crowds then step into St Christopher’s Place, home to some lovely places to eat and marginally fewer people. Regent Street runs off Oxford Street and is also one of the city’s best streets to wander along.
Best tube station: Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus or Marble Arch
Located in the City of Westminster is 10 Downing Street, the official address for British prime ministers since 1735 and one of the most famous London streets.
The first residential home was built here in 1581 by Sir Thomas Knyvett, a Member of Parliament who arrested Guy Fawkes after the gunpowder plot. Today it’s the office and London residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain, as well as the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Despite being one of the most famous roads in London however, you can’t actually walk along it; a gate and police guard stand at the entrance.
You can take a photo of the iconic black door from behind the railings (incidentally, the door wasn’t always black, once upon a time it was green!). If you really want a photo of yourself outside No. 10 Downing Street then head to nearby 10 Adam Street on the Strand, which looks remarkably similar.
Best tube station: Westminster
Carnaby Street is one of the most popular streets in London, both for being the birthplace of Swinging London and its impeccable shopping credentials.
The first bricks for Carnaby Street were laid in 1682; the road took its name from Karnaby House, which was the first house built on the street.
Over the centuries, the famous road was home to a ‘Pesthouse’, built for plague victims, a market place, and eventually a shopping street. One of the first menswear shops to open in the Carnaby Street area was Vince, in 1954. The shop attracted rock stars including Jimi Hendrix, the Kinks and the Beatles and started to put Carnaby Street on the map.
The 1960s and 70s were when Carnaby Street really took off – one of music’s most recognisable photos features The Sex Pistols walking down the street in 1976.
Today, Carnaby Street remains important in British culture as well as being a brilliant place to shop, eat and drink. From here, it’s a short walk to Covent Garden.
Best tube station: Oxford Circus
Among London’s famous streets, Columbia Road is definitely one of my favourites. Located in the Bethnal Green, in East London, Columbia Road is most famous for its weekly flower market. On Sundays, the narrow London road is bursting with kaleidoscopic blooms.
The other thing that I love about Columbia Road is that every shop is an independent store. One of my favourites is the art gallery Nelly Duff.
But you’ll find a whole host of fun shops selling arts and crafts, plants, handmade stationary and more. When you visit, make sure you stop at Lily Vanilli for cakes and other sweet treats.
Best tube station: Bethnal Green
Another famous road in East London is Brick Lane, known for the Brick Lane Market that’s held every Sunday as well as its curry houses. Visit during the week and you’ll find shops and restaurants open but it’s on Sunday that Brick Lane – and the surrounding streets – really come to life.
Located in the heart of Shoreditch, this market has grown over the years to incorporate five different markets, known as the Truman Markets. Outside the vintage and jewellery shops, people set up stalls selling everything from furniture and knick knacks to musical instruments, costume jewellery, electrical equipment and pretty much anything else that you could think of.
The Backyard Market, in a covered warehouse space, sells arts and crafts and the Sunday Upmarket is a food hall with street food vendors selling food from around the world. There’s also the Vintage Market, the Tea Rooms and the Boiler House Food Hall.
This part of town is also well known for its street art. These are some of the other London markets you should visit.
Best tube station: Aldgate East
Located in every Instagrammer’s favourite neighbourhood, Notting Hill, is Portobello Road.
You might recognise this curved street from the 1999 film Notting Hill starring Hugh Grant or, more recently, Paddington, when the Browns take their new friend to see Mr Gruber, who owns an antique shop on Portobello Road.
The colourful London street is lined with antique shops and cafes. On Saturdays it hosts the Portobello Road Market, the world’s largest antique market selling everything from furniture and artwork to trinkets and clothes.
While you’re here, stop by the Electric Cinema, one of the oldest working cinemas in London. The accompanying Electric Diner is a great place to get a bite to eat.
Best tube station: Notting Hill Gate
Made famous by the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, Baker Street is a busy London road in Marylebone.
There’s a Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street where, according to the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous detective lived. You can’t buy tickets in advance and there is always a long queue so be prepared to wait.
Baker Street is also a song by Gerry Rafferty that was released in 1978 and was a worldwide hit.
Best tube station: Baker Street
The King’s Road is another popular London street, thanks to its fashionable past. This London road once belonged to the King, when Charles II built it to link St James’s Palace to Fulham but the reason its best known is for being home to the punks and New Romantics in the 1970s.
This is where Vivienne Westwood Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren opened Let It Rock in 1971. A year later they changed the name to Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die. Other shops soon followed including BIBA and Mary Quant (famous for the mini skirt).
Today, King’s Road is much more gentrified but it’s still a great London road to wander along. It’s a popular spot for shopping, there’s a good weekly food market in the Duke of York Square and the Saatchi Gallery is also located here.
Best tube station: Sloane Square station
Named after the piccadill, a large broad collar that was fashionable in the late 16th century, is Piccadilly. The road has been a main thoroughfare since Medieval times and today stretches from Piccadilly Circus in the east to Hyde Park Corner in the west.
On Piccadilly Circus, a London landmark in its own right, you’ll see the famous Eros statue. Except that it’s not really a statue of Eros, but Anteros, his twin brother. Piccadilly Circus features enormous billboards and is surrounded by shops, restaurants and theatres.
Nearby is Leicester Square and Green Park as well as The Wolseley, one of my favourite restaurants in London.
It’s worth stopping by Fortnum and Mason for some unique gifts while you are exploring Piccadilly. Established in 1707 it is a beautiful store, famous for its tea, hampers and other delicious food. It’s also a lovely place to have afternoon tea.
Best tube station: Piccadilly
The Mall is a London road in Central London that runs between Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. The surface of the Mall is coloured red, to give the impression of a giant red carpet leading up to the palace.
The road is used for ceremonial occasions, such as during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. It’s also used during state visits, when the monarch and the visiting head of state are escorted up the Mall in a carriage.
This is also where the annual London Marathon finishes. The Mall is closed to traffic on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and on ceremonial occasions.
Best tube station: Charing Cross
Possibly the most famous shopping street in London after Oxford Street is Savile Row. This upmarket road in the heart of the city is famous for its bespoke men’s tailoring outfitters.
Tailors first started working in the area in the late 18th century and, in 1846, Henry Poole created a new entrance to his tailoring premises on Savile Row. He became Savile Row’s foremost tailor and is credited as the creator of the dinner jacket.
Today, the road is filled with world famous tailors from traditional outfitters such as H. Huntsman & Sons (the inspiration for the movie Kingsman) to more modern tailors including Ozwald Boateng.
Even if you’re not in the market for a bespoke suit, it’s a lovely London street to walk along.
Best tube station: Piccadilly Station
Positioned just off Oxford Street is one of London’s most upmarket shopping streets, Bond Street.
The road is, in fact, two streets, Old Bond Street and New Bond Street. Home to luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior and Hermès, New Bond Street is the third most expensive street in the world for retailers to rent store space, and the most expensive street in Britain.
Look out for Fenwick, a high-end department store that opened at 63 New Bond Street in 1891. Near the Chanel store is the Allies statue, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt having a chat on a bench.
Best tube station: Bond Street
Jermyn Street has long had a reputation for being the place to come for menswear; this is where gentlemen would go shopping visiting their member’s clubs. Make sure to take a look at the statue of Beau Brummell (arbiter of men’s fashion during the 19th century) at nearby Piccadilly Arcade with an inscription that reads “To be elegant one should not be noticed”.
Today Jermyn Street is still home to old-world high-end shops, including man independent designers. Come here for tweed suits, beautifully crafted shoes, made-to-measure shirts, silk gowns and much more. Fortunately the buildings along Jermyn Street are very good looking making it just as good for window-shopping.
Best tube station: Leicester Square
Named after Whitehall Palace, Whitehall was a road that led to the main royal residence. The palace was destroyed by a fire in 1698 and only the banqueting hall survived.
Today this famous London street is lined with buildings belonging to the British Government including the Ministry of Defence, Horse Guards, the Cabinet Office and the old War Office building. The road is also lined with memorial statues, monuments and the Cenotaph, the UK’s primary war memorial.
Best tube station: Embankment
Once upon a time Strand ran close to the River Thames, which is where its name comes from. Strand is an old English word meaning ‘bank’ or ‘shore’. Note that this famous road’s name is very much ‘Strand’ and not ‘The Strand’ (although Charles Dickens also got it wrong!).
Today the street runs from Trafalgar Square at its southwestern end to Temple Bar where it becomes Fleet Street.
There are lots of fascinating stories relating to this famous street. For example, it was the first road in London to have a numbered address; during the reign of Charles II, the official residence of the Secretary of State was given the address of No. 1, The Strand. From 1773 – 1829l there was a menagerie on the north side of Strand that kept tigers, hyenas, jaguars and even an elephant that performed on stage at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden.
Today, Strand is home to The Savoy, one of London’s oldest and most famous hotel (and where Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was a regular visitor). The Savoy is also home to Simpson’s, one of the most historic restaurants in London. Somerset House is also located on the Strand.
Best tube station: Charing Cross
Shaftesbury Avenue is the most famous street in London for its theatres. Located in the West End, in the heart of the theatre district, this road is home to the Lyric Theatre, the Apollo Theatre, the Palace Theatre, the Gielgud theatre, the Sondheim theatre (formerly known as the Queen’s theatre) and Shaftesbury theatre. The road runs from Piccadilly Circus to New Oxford Street.
Best tube station: Tottenham Court Road
Hotels near Shaftesbury Avenue
Old Compton Street
Located in the heart of Soho, Old Compton Street is one of London’s main LGBTQIA+ community hubs and is where a lot of the annual Pride celebrations take place. Old Compton Street is lined with gay bars, restaurants, cafes and shop.
Best tube station: Tottenham Court Road or Piccadilly Circus
Hotels near Old Compton Street
Until Instagram came along the tree-lined Bywater Street was relatively unknown. Now, however, the colourful terraced houses that line the road feature regularly on the ‘gram’. Located in the upmarket neighbourhood of Chelsea, less than a minute from the King’s Road, the candy-hued facades and bay windows make for a beautiful (and social media-friendly) backdrop.
Fans of John le Care will know that the author used 9 Bywater Street as the home for the main character, M16 intelligence officer George Smily. The exterior of the house appeared in the 2011 movie version starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman.
Best tube station: Sloane Square
St Luke’s Mews
Despite appearing on the big screen in Love, Actually (one of the best family movies set in London!), few visitors know about St Luke’s Mews.
Located in Notting Hill, this charming cobblestone mews is lined with pastel-coloured houses with wrought-iron railings, wooden window shutters and plenty of greenery. It’s one of the most beautiful streets in London and the perfect spot for a photo opportunity!
Best tube station: Westbourne Park
Westbourne Park Road
Another street in London’s Notting Hill that’s pretty as a picture is Westbourne Park Road. The pretty pastel facades have been spotted on many a social media feed but you need to get there early if you’re hoping for a clear shot as it’s often filled with parked cars.
Film fans might recognised the blue door that appeared in the film Notting Hill (of the flat William shares with Spike). This is number 280 Westbourne Park Road.
Best tube station: Ladbroke Grove
Hotels near Westbourne Park Road
Exhibition Road in South Kensington is home to some of London’s greatest museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, Imperial College, the Royal Geographical Society and the Goethe Institute.
Originally developed following the Great Exhibition of 1851, the road was revamped and widened to create a “shared space” were pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles without barriers, bollards and kerbs. The result is a free-flowing space that, speaking from personal experience, only occasionally results in an angry cabbie tooting his horn telling you to get out of the way!
Don’t miss these places to eat nearby.
Best tube station: South Kensington
Oxford Street might be marginally more well-known but Brompton Road is a definite contender for the second most famous shopping street in London. Running through the centre of upscale Knightsbridge, the 1km-long Brompton Road is lined with hundreds of shops, the most well-known being Harrods and Harvey Nicholas (both great places to visit with teens by the way!).
Best tube station: Knightsbridge, South Kensington or Hyde Park Corner
You might not know the name Gerrard Street but you’ll certainly recognise it, this is the main thoroughfare of London’s Chinatown.
The street was originally built between 1677 and 1685 and was named after military leader Charles Gerrard, the 1st Earl of Macclesfield who owned the land and used it as a training ground. Following the Great Fire of London, Gerrard gave permission for houses to built on the land followed by a market hall and a slaughterhouse.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that London’s Chinese community arrived in the area but by the late 1960s Chinatown was established as the centre of the city’s Chinese community.
Today Gerrard Street is flanked by two tall Chinese gates at either end and lined with Chinese supermarkets, restaurant and bakeries. You’ll also find some great ice cream shops nearby!
Best tube station: Leicester Square
Broadway Market, in East London, is today very much the place to be but it wasn’t always the case. This now famous road was once part of the ‘Porter’s Path, a tradesman’s route between Hackney and Shoreditch. It used to a popular street market but fell on tough times during the 70s and 80s and was later nearly demolished to create a route to and from the Blackwall Tunnel.
Fortunately, the street was saved thanks to the local community pulling together and by 2004 the road became home to a brilliant weekend market that takes over the street every Saturday. Visit at any other time during the week and you’ll see that the roads is lined with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Best tube station: Bethnal Green
At the beginning of the 18th century in London when clean water was hard to come by, Londoners would travel to Hampstead where water from the surrounding hills was collected and bottled and then sold. Hampstead’s mineral water business was run from a pub known as the Thatched House, which sat on Flask Walk. It was demolished in 1874 and replaced by the Flask Tavern, which still stands there today.
Today Flask Walk is a charming pedestrian street strung up with fairy lights. It’s home to a number of small independent shops selling antiques, pottery, flowers and plants, and ice cream.
Best tube station: Hampstead
Camden High Street
Camden high street is a popular shopping area in North London. It’s one of London’s most eclectic famous streets, filled with colourful, multi-dimensional shop fronts selling everything from Doc Martins to body piercings.
At the northern end of Camden High Street is Camden Market a lively market that’s open 7 days as week. Come here to pick up second-hand records, vintage clothing, independent fashion or simply to wander around. It’s a really fun place for teens to explore too.
There’s also a great food market here with street food from around the world.
Best tube station: Camden
Hotels near Camden High Street
If you love Paddington Bear (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?!) then you’ll recognise Chalcot Crescent immediately. One of the prettiest streets in London, this crescent-shaped road of rainbow-coloured houses is where the Brown family lives!
You’ll find Chalcot Crescent in Primrose Hill, North London.
Best tube station: Chalk Farm
Located in the the upmarket neighbourhood of Chelsea is Cheyne Walk, famous for having the most English Heritage blue plaques of any street in London.
The English Heritage Society installs blue plaques on buildings to honour notable people that have lived or worked there. Cheyne Walk is home to 10 blue plaques dedicated to former residents including campaigner for women’s rights Syliva Pankhurst, the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker and Rolling Stone Mick Jagger.
Best tube station: Victoria or Sloan Square followed by the 19, 319 or 170 bus (use the Citymapper app to plan your journey)
Fleet Street is one of the oldest streets in London having been established as an important thoroughfare during Roman times. Much later, in 1702, England’s first daily newspaper, the Daily Currant, started life on the banks of the River Fleet. By the 20th century most national newspapers in Britain had their offices along this famous road. It remained the centre for the country’s newspaper trade until Rupert Murdoch moved The Times and The Sun newspapers to East London.
Best tube station: Chancery Lane and Temple
Denmark Street was constructed in 1687 and named after Prince George of Denmark who had married Queen Anne four years previously. Amazingly, eight of the original buildings on Denmark Street still survive today; these are numbers 4 – 7, 9 and 10. Number 6 Denmark Street was briefly the home of the Sex Pistols during the 1970s.
Wander along Denmark Street today and you’ll spot mostly guitar shops but during the 1960s this road was a hub for the music industry. In addition to music publishers and recording studios, the music papers NME and Melody Maker were also based here. It was nicknamed Tin Pan Alley after an area in New York that was home to music publishers and songwriters. Denmark Street now has a blue plaque marking its importance.
Best tube station: Tottenham Court Road
One of the most famous roads in the City of London is Threadneedle Street, thanks to the location of Bank of England. Also known as the ‘Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’ (or simply ‘The Old Lady’), the bank has stood here since 1734.
Best tube station: Moorgate and Bank
Hotels near Threadneedle Street
Harley Street is today synonymous the world over for being the centre for private healthcare and top medical specialists but its medical history stretches back for hundreds of years.
Doctors began to arrive in the area (that had been developed by Edward Harley and his wealthy heiress wife) from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s. One of these was Florence Nightingale, who worked at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen on this street.
Today people come from around the world to receive treatment from clinics along Harley Street including cosmetic work and dental work.
Best tube station: Baker Street and Regent’s Park Station
Electric Avenue, Brixton
One of the most famous streets in south London also has the coolest name. Electric Avenue in Brixton was the first market street in the world to be lit by electricity in the late 1800s.
The name became famous, however, when Eddy Grant’s single by the same name came out in 1982. Contrary to popular belief, however, the song was less about the street itself and more to do wit the 1981 race riots that took place in 1981.
Today Electric Avenue is a pedestrianised street that runs between Brixton Road and Atlantic Road.
Best tube station: Brixton
Covent Garden’s tiniest street is also the neighbourhood’s most colourful. This busy shopping hub is filled with multi-coloured buildings and shops but it wasn’t always the case. Up until the mid-1970s, the courtyard was a dingy, dirty place more popular with vermin than tourists. It was saved from demolition by entrepreneur Nicholas Saunders who started a whole food shop, which turned into a thriving village-style community.
Today the shops in Neal’s Yard focus on sustainable and ethical practices which is why you’ll find companies including Neal’s Yard Remedies and the cafe 26 Grains.
Best tube station: Covent Garden and Leicester Square