Although only one and a half miles long, Oxford Street remains Europe’s most active shoppers’ street. In the Westminster area of London, Oxford Street is conveniently located to many of the city’s most popular places, including Westminster Abbey and Westminster Palace, Hyde Park, and Regent’s Park. Approximately six hundred shops have an Oxford Street address, including several of London’s most beloved department stores. With all this luxury on sale, it’s no wonder that some of the world’s finest luxury hotels in London are also located here. The Marble Arch London, one of London’s top luxury hotels, is a short walk to so much of what the city has to offer!

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History of Oxford Street

Oxford Street is considered one of London’s “high streets.” A high street is similar to what Americans think of when “Park Avenue” or “Fifth Avenue” streets are mentioned. Oxford Street’s fine restaurants and luxury shops spans an historic area that also offers some of the world’s best shopping. Some historical information and landmarks in the area include:

The Grosvenor Estate

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Formerly located between Davies Street and Park Lane, the estate was the private home of one of the most influential families through the centuries. As Oxford Street evolved, Grosvenor Estate was one of the last private residences in the area. As the prices of Oxford Street real estate soared in the nineteenth century, developers built hundreds of Georgian style homes in the 1830s decade that abutted the high street. Most of these structures were eventually demolished.

In the years of 1865 to 1890, Oxford Street was rebuilt to present uniform building construction. Its uniform appearance was short-lived and, during the 1890s, commercial store fronts and buildings were individually redesigned to reflect owners’ tastes.

Selfridges

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The flagship store on Oxford Street was originally built to compete with Harrods. Although Selfridges is a must-see, quintessentially British department store, most people would say that Harrods is more upscale. However, Selfridges’ fans are robust in their applause for the store’s exclusive designs and collections.

Oxford Street stores such as Selfridges stay open until six p.m. on week nights and most stay open late on Thursday evenings, usually until eight or nine p.m.

Oxford Street Shopping

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Universally popular stores, such as Disney Store, Forever 21, French Connection, Gap, Urban Outfitters, United Colors of Benetton, and Virgin Media all have stores on Oxford Street. Financial services firms, such as foreign exchange offices and banks such as HSBC and Santander are also conveniently located here. Chances are good that most tourists will need to convert local currency to British pounds or exchange travelers cheques during a day of shopping on Oxford Street.

Choose from a wide array of restaurants, cafes and bars on Oxford Street, too, including Selfridges and Marks and Spencer’s food courts.

Getting There

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Oxford Street is easily accessible by foot, bike, bus, or tube. Call +44 (0)20 7222 1234 for twenty-four hour information about Underground updates in London. The Central Line is now available again at Bond Street. Starting 30 June, Jubilee Line trains won’t stop at Bond Street until December 2014. Travelers are advised to use the Central Line during this time. Change at Baker Street or Waterloo (for Bakerloo Line to Oxford Circus; then take Central Line) to get to Bond Street during this period.

Travelers and shoppers in search of luxury in London know the importance of hotel location. The Marble Arch area and the Marble Arch London, a Montcalm Luxury Hotel, offer convenience, access, and every comfort away from home.