Regent Street

Regent Street

The West End

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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The West End attractions

1. Royal Academy of Arts

0.18 MILES

Britain’s oldest society devoted to fine arts was founded in 1768 and moved here to Burlington House a century later. For its 250th birthday in 2018, the…

2. Burlington Arcade

0.18 MILES

Flanking Burlington House, which is home to the Royal Academy of Arts, is this delightful arcade, built in 1819. Today it is a shopping precinct for the…

3. Faraday Museum

0.18 MILES

Housed for the most part in the basement of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, this low-key and neon-lit museum is a tranquil escape from the bustle…

4. Royal Arcade

0.18 MILES

Running perpendicular to Burlington Arcade between Old Bond and Albermarle Sts is this more recent arcade dating from 1880.

5. St James’s Piccadilly

0.19 MILES

The only church (1684) Christopher Wren built from scratch and one of a handful established on a new site (most of the other London churches are…

6. Eros Statue

0.21 MILES

At the centre of Piccadilly Circus stands the famous statue (Alfred Gilbert, 1893) called Eros but actually modelled on Anteros, his twin brother. To add…

7. St George's Hanover Square

0.21 MILES

Built in 1724 as one of 50 churches projected by Queen Anne's Act of 1710, St George's has hosted more than a few society weddings over the years; among…

8. Piccadilly Circus

0.22 MILES

Architect John Nash had originally designed Regent St and Piccadilly in the 1820s to be the two most elegant streets in London but, restrained by city…