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Spend a day shopping in Europe's largest high street!
Oxford Street, London
The route of today's Oxford Street was at one time a Roman highway. Over time it, together with what is now Piccadilly, became a main route in and out of the City. Until the late eighteenth century Oxford Street remained undeveloped, surrounded by fields with the river Tyburn flowing to its south.
From 1196 until 1782 today's Oxford Street, then known as Tyburn Road, enjoyed the notoriety of being the route taken by those transported on their last journey from Newgate Prison for execution at the Tyburn gallows, which lay close to the site of the present day Marble Arch.
However, in 1908 with ever worsening traffic, the Arch was stranded as it is today on a traffic island. It remains, however, if understated, a gateway to the western end of Oxford Street.
With a significant land purchase of some of the surrounding fields by the Earl of Oxford, development in earnest began in the late eighteenth century. The area became a popular entertainment area with tiger baiting, fetes and masquerades being amongst the most popular. Shops began appearing in some number during the remainder of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century.
At the same time as the works at the Marble Arch were being undertaken, construction of one of Oxford Street's main anchor stores was well under way. Started in 1907, the brainchild of Harry Gordon Selfridge, Selfridge’s department store opened for trade in 1909. This store followed in the wake of D H Evans and John Lewis who had already set up shop in this burgeoning shopping location in the 1870s.
Oxford Street today is probably the most popular, busy and one of the most crowded shopping districts in the UK and is increasingly attracting international retailers such as Nike Town, Mango and Zara.
Oxford Street has one of the highest concentrations of large shops in the world. More than 300 shops sell thousands of lines of goods from inexpensive gifts to haute couture. The most famous shops include Debenhams, Evans, John Lewis, Selfridges, and flagship branches of BHS, Marks & Spencer and the Burton/Top Shop group. They are primarily located on the north side of the west of Oxford Street.
The HMV record and multimedia store at 363 Oxford Street is the oldest record shop in the entire world! Crime rates are very low in relation to the millions of people who use Oxford Street.
A team of 60 Metropolitan Police officers works in co-operation with the security staff of Oxford Street businesses to protect the public and prevent crime.
CCTV cameras and a town radio link are operational, improving safety and security further.
Oxford Street offers shoppers a bigger choice of department stores and specialist shops than any other High Street or shopping centre in the UK.
Shoppers and visitors can eat and drink at a choice of 50 places on Oxford Street and at many more close by. Around 200 million people visit Oxford Street each year. It is London's most popular tourist attraction with approaching 9 million overseas visitors a year - around two thirds of all foreign tourists who come to the capital.
Oxford Street's shops and restaurants spend hundreds of millions of pounds each year on continuous expansion, improvement of premises and customer comfort.
The wider pavements, additional pedestrian crossings and new seating, lighting and signage are part of a £10 million City Council improvement programme.
The budget for keeping the street clean and collecting refuse - which includes emptying 300 litter bins six times a day - equals the total for a small town.
Oxford Street is served by 39 bus routes and has 30 bus stops, up to 250 buses and 750 taxis per hour, including one of London's largest car parks with 1,000 spaces (Park Lane).
Over 100 million passengers a year use the four underground stations. Oxford Circus is the busiest station in London, with more than 53 million passengers a year passing through, when shopping in Oxford Street.
For more information visit: www.oxfordstreet.co.uk
Georgian House Hotel is ideally situated in a very central location, so visiting sights all over London is quick and easy. Why not book Georgian House Hotel when you plan your trip to Oxford Street? You can book online or email to make a reservation on firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438