Regent Street

Street in The West End

Image by Will Jones Lonely Planet

The handsome border dividing the trainer-clad clubbers of Soho from the Gucci-heeled hedge-fund managers of Mayfair, Regent St was designed by John Nash as a ceremonial route linking Carlton House, the Prince Regent’s long-demolished town residence, with the ‘wilds’ of Regent’s Park. Nash had to downsize his plan and build the thoroughfare on a curve, but Regent St is today a well-subscribed shopping street lined with some lovely listed buildings.

Its anchor tenant is undoubtedly Hamleys, London’s premier toy and game store. Regent St is also famous for its Christmas light displays, which get glowing with great pomp earlier and earlier (or so it seems) each year (usually around mid-November). The street is closed to traffic each Sunday in July for the so-called Summer Streets celebration.