Oxford St

2.Oxford Street Today
3.Christmas lights
3.1Celebrities who turned on the Christmas lights
4.Tube stations
6.External links
Oxford Street, from the top deck of a bus
Oxford Street, from the top deck of a bus

Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in London, England in the City of Westminster, and one of the world's most famous streets for shopping. With over 300 shops, it is the world's largest shopping street. [1]

It runs for approximately a mile and a half from Marble Arch at the north east corner of Hyde Park, through Oxford Circus to St Giles' Circus, at the intersection with Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road. Eastwards, the road then becomes New Oxford Street until it runs into High Holborn. To the west, Oxford Street becomes Bayswater Road (at Marble Arch). Oxford Street intersects with other famous London roads including Park Lane, New Bond Street and Regent Street.


Oxford Street in 1875, looking west from the junction with Duke Street. The buildings on the right are on the future site of Selfridges Oxford Street in 1875, looking west from the junction with Duke Street. The buildings on the right are on the future site of Selfridges

The street follows the route of a Roman road which linked Hampshire with Colchester and became one of the major routes in and out of the city.

Between the 12th century and 1782 it was variably known as Tyburn Road (after the River Tyburn that ran just to the south of it, and now flows underneath it), Uxbridge Road, Worcester Road and Oxford Road [2]. It became notorious as the route taken by prisoners on their final journey from Newgate Prison to the gallows at Tyburn near Marble Arch.

In the late 18th century, many of the surrounding fields were purchased by the Earl of Oxford, and the area was developed. It soon became popular with entertainers including tiger-baiters and masquerades. During the 19th century, the area became known for its shops and this has continued.

Oxford Street is a square on the British Monopoly board. It is part of the green set together with Regent Street and Bond Street.

Oxford Street Today

Oxford Street is considered one of the world's best known shopping streets, home to major department stores and hundreds of smaller shops. It is the major shopping street in central London, though not the most expensive or fashionable. It is part of a larger shopping district with Regent Street, Bond Street and many smaller nearby streets. The other principal shopping area in central London is Knightsbridge, famous for Harrods department store.

For many British chain stores, their Oxford Street branch is regarded as their 'flagship' store and used for celebrity launches and promotions.

Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street
Selfridges, a luxury department store that has been on this site for more than a century.
Marks and Spencer, the 170,000 square feet flagship Marble Arch store on the junction of Oxford Street and Orchard Street.
HMV, although it moved from its original location in 2000 after 80 years. HMV has three stores on the street including a concession within Selfridges and its flagship at 150 Oxford Street, which is Europe's largest music shop at 50,000 square feet.
Borders, a large bookshop.
John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser.
Virgin Megastore, at the intersection of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, a very large entertainment retailer.
The Disney Store flagship location.
Centred around Oxford Circus are major fashion shops including Topshop London, which bills itself as "the world's biggest fashion store"(being the biggest single shop, not including department stores).
From 2007 Oxford Street will also have the flagship Primark in the building that formerly housed C&A and latterly Allders.
Adidas, A world leading sports brand has a store on Oxford Street opposite Selfridges. Adidas are the current sponsors of the London based champions; Chelsea FC

Christmas lights

Each Christmas the street is decorated with an array of festive lights. The heavily publicized 'turning-on' ceremony is in mid-to-late November, when a celebrity flicks the switch to illuminate the decorations. The lights remain until January 6.

The annual addition of the lights began in 1959, five years after its neighbour Regent Street had begun the tradition. In 1967, as the recession hit London, the lights were stopped and only returned in 1978 when Oxford Street organised a laser display.


Celebrities who turned on the Christmas lights
2005 - Westlife
2004 - Steve Redgrave, Emma Watson
2003 - Enrique Iglesias
2002 - Blue
2001 - S Club 7
2000 - Charlotte Church
1999 - Ronan Keating
1998 - Zoë Ball
1997 - Peter Andre
1996 - Spice Girls
1995 - Coronation Street Cast
1994 - Lenny Henry
1993 - Richard Branson
1992 - Linford Christie
1991 - Westminster Children's Hospital
1990 - Cliff Richard
1989 - Gorden Kaye
1988 - Terry Wogan
1987 - Lenny Henry
1986 - Leslie Grantham, Anita Dobson (Den and Angie Watts from Eastenders)
1985 - Bob Geldof
1984 - Esther Rantzen
1983 - Pat Phoenix
1982 - Daley Thompson
1981 - Esther Rantzen

Tube stations

Tube stations along Oxford Street starting at Marble Arch (western-most):

Marble Arch
Bond Street
Oxford Circus
Tottenham Court Road

See also: List of upscale shopping districts



"London through a lens No 41 - Groovy Christmas Lights, 1967" Time Out London, November 23, 2005.

External links

Commons logo Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Oxford Street
Oxford Street's official website
Virtual Oxford Street
Oxford Street landscape architecture
Michael Pead :: Photos of Oxford Street
Bars in Oxford Street and Soho

source: www.wikipedia.org