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London is a lovely city to get lost in. It’s full of history, iconic sites, and beautifully aesthetic features.
There are so many different streets to wander around, and they’re especially fun to discover on foot.
On foot is how you’ll find those hidden away gems, secret alleys or using this guide of best streets in London.
They’re free to explore and reveal a different side of the city. Whether you’re interested in historic routes, cute streets, or picturesque mews, the English capital has plenty of places to check out.
Secrets of London Walking Tour
This walking tour is perfect for travellers who want to explore the hidden streets and alleyways of London. The expert guide will take you on a journey through time, seeing some of the most interesting sights in London like 7 noses of London and the smallest police station in the world.
Lace-up your walking shoes and grab your camera, here are the most interesting and famous streets in London to add to your itinerary.
Most Famous Streets in London
Let’s start off with some of the names of streets in London that you’ve probably heard of before.
They’re popular for a reason, after all. Here are the roads and streets commonly associated with the city’s culture and history.
The Mall is a beautiful tree-lined route used for royal ceremonial and processional events, like royal weddings and parades.
It leads from Trafalgar Square all the way to Buckingham Palace, passing St James’ Park, St James Palace, and Green Park along the way.
The street stretches for approximately 0.6 miles (1 kilometre) and is often adorned with British flags. The tarmac is a soft red colour which resembles a classic red carpet.
An interesting fact is that The Mall marks the finish line for the London Marathon.
Piccadilly Street branches off from the tourist hub, Piccadilly Circus. It slices through central London and is lined with upmarket shops, restaurants, hotels and several notable historic attractions.
The Royal Academy of Arts is set along Piccadilly Street. This important London gallery has sat at its current location since 1868. If you’re into art history, make sure to visit and see the marble carving, Taddei Tondo, by Michelangelo.
Another gem found along Piccadilly Street is Hatchards bookshop. It was founded in 1797, making it the UK’s oldest bookshop.
Abbey Road is a street in London synonymous with The Beatles. It’s located in North West London, in St John’s Wood.
Back when the fab four were making music, this was the area right outside of their recording studio.
More importantly, this road is where John, Paul, Ringo, and George shot the cover of their iconic Abbey Road album.
You can recreate this famous photo for yourself by walking along the zebra crossing. Just remember to be extra careful as this is a public road that is frequented by cars and other Beatles fans.
Baker Street is famous for being the address of the fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes. This highly successful book series was written by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Holmes’ address on the series is 221B Baker Street. Although you won’t find an actual house if you plug this street number into your GPS, you will find the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
Outside of the museum, there’s a blue plaque that states: “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective, 1881-1904”.
If you’re a fan of the series, you can book a Sherlock Holmes tour and visit locations around London featured in the books and on TV.
The name Shaftesbury Avenue might not ring a bell, but the attractions found along this iconic street make it instantly recognisable.
Located in the West End of London, this avenue is the heart of the city’s theatre district.
Characterised by bright lights, large signs, and buzzing crowds, this place has an energetic vibe almost 24/7.
Some of the most popular entertainment venues found along Shaftesbury Avenue include the Palace Theatre, Sondheim Theatre, and Apollo Theatre.
If you’re going to see a show in the West End, you’ll likely be heading to Shaftesbury Avenue.
Historic London Streets
If you want a free history lesson, all you have to do is walk down some of London’s famous historic streets.
The city’s past is on full display in several areas and a wander down these roads will leave you feeling as if you’ve been transported back in time.
Fleet Street is famous for its ties to London’s printing and publishing past. From the 16th to 20th century, this is where Britain’s top newspaper organisations were based.
In the 1980s, several companies moved their headquarters elsewhere in the city, which disbursed the industry.
However, Fleet Street is still remembered for its literary heritage. The tall grey buildings that housed many powerful companies still stand and represent an important part of England’s past.
It’s also associated with the fictional musical horror film Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. This is the street where his barbershop was located.
Cable Street is a road in London’s East End that was the setting for the 1936 Battle of Cable Street.
This was a historic event where the British Union of Fascists violently clashed with the police and members of the local community.
It is estimated that between 100,000 and 300,000 people were present that day.
A large mural is painted on the side of St George’s Town Hall in Cable Street that depicts scenes from that day.
It’s painted in stunning detail and took four years (1979 to 1983) to complete.
Fournier Street is an area of London that seems beautifully lost in time. The street is lined with historic 18th-century Georgian townhouses that were originally built and occupied by the city’s wealthy French Huguenots.
This was a religious group of French Protestants who made their money in London’s silk weaving industry.
The bulk of the homes on Fournier Street were built in the 1720s, long before the city’s more commonly seen 19th-century Victorian homes were constructed.
These mostly three-storied brick buildings still exude an elegant and grand charm. They’re a must-see for architecture and history buffs.
Prettiest Streets in London
As far as the prettiest streets in London go, the city boasts many beautiful backroads that are a delight to explore. Here are a few that particularly stand out.
Located in Kentish Town, Kelly Street is one of the most beautiful streets in London. This quiet residential road contains many multi-coloured houses. They feature curved terraces and decorative ironwork.
The pavement out front is lined with big-lush trees. It’s all-around wonderfully aesthetic and a lovely place for a scenic stroll.
Lancaster Road in Notting Hill reflects this borough’s quirky character. It’s a great spot to capture your Instagram shots.
With houses painted in bright yellow, deep purple, and royal blue, your photos will practically take themselves.
Ladbroke Gardens in Notting Hill is one of the fanciest streets in London. It contains stately pure white and cream coloured homes that contrast wonderfully with the black iron gates out front.
The simple yet elegant aesthetic of the street sets it apart from other roads in London.
Best Mews Streets in London
London’s beautiful mew streets are some of the city’s top photography hotspots. Their historic English detailing mixed with a modern aesthetic gives them a unique charm.
Most of the buildings on these streets are residential and come with a high price tag, but they’re free to admire.
If you want to see how ‘the other half’ lives, check out these gorgeous London mews streets.
Kynance Mews in South Kensington is one of London’s prettiest mews streets. The narrow-cobbled lane ends with a large stone archway draped with flowers that change colour with the season.
In autumn, you can admire striking shades of red, while in spring, the foliage takes on a soft purple colour.
The houses that line the mews are also covered in beautiful overgrown greenery. As you can imagine, the setting is quite romantic.
St Lukes Mews
St Lukes Mews is a street so beautiful it was featured in the film Love Actually. It’s where Mark (Andrew Lincoln) stands in front of Juliet’s (Keira Knightley) door and proclaims his love for her with panel cards.
The cobbled street features an array of pastel colour facades and unique details, like lush green vines, iron railings, window box flower-pots, and the odd bicycle placed decoratively outside. This mews is as charming as they come.
Bathurst Mews is beautiful and historic. Dating back to the 18th century, the road was made to serve as horse stables and servants’ quarters. Today, some of the mews are still used as stables while the others are used to house London’s affluent residents.
The homes along this cobbled street are beautifully presented and offer generous living spaces by London standard. Walking down this quiet mews you’ll see plenty of greenery, large box windows, and a nice random assortment of picnic tables.
Hidden London, England Streets
Secret streets are scattered throughout London. They offer a quiet reprieve from bustling crowds and hidden history that you might not be familiar with.
Downing Street is one of the most popular streets in London, but unfortunately, it’s closed to the public. This is because it’s the official residence of two top UK government officials.
No. 10 Downing Street is where the British Prime Minister lives. Next door, No. 11 is where the
Chancellor of the Exchequer lives. For security reasons, the street is off-limits to visitors.
Downing Street has a historic past. It was constructed in the 1680s by Sir George Downing. Over its 300 plus years, it’s been used as the official residence for high UK officeholders.
Hidden away in Farringdon Within, you’ll find quite a remarkable road. Cloth Fair is a street that contains the oldest residential dwelling in London.
Number 41 – 42 Cloth Fair was built between 1597 and 1614, that’s more than 400 years ago!
This house has another claim to fame, it was one of the few private dwellings to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Records show that it was able to resist the flames due to it being enclosed by high brick walls.
Famous London Streets for Shopping
London is home to some of the world’s best shopping streets. From designer fashion to homewares and foodie treats, you’ll find whatever you’re looking for, and more.
Here are the busiest high streets in London to enjoy some retail therapy.
Bond Street in London’s West End is famed for its wealth of luxurious stores that feature high-end brands.
It’s where you’ll find some of the world’s most prestigious retailers, like Burberry, Chanel, Cartier, Dolce Gabbana, and Tiffany & Co.
Since the end of the 18th century, expensive shops have taken up residence on Bond Street.
It continues to be a popular playground for London’s upper-class residents to socialise and shop. It offers a beautiful mix of history, luxury, and elegance.
Oxford Street is one of those street names in London that you’ve probably heard of before. It’s one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets and contains more than 300 restaurants and retailers. The options will leave you spoilt for choice.
Shop iconic UK department stores, like Selfridges, John Lewis, and Marks & Spencer. Browse the dazzling selection on offer at Pandora and Swarovski. Or have a coffee at Costa or Pret and people watch.
If you’re visiting London during Christmas time, Oxford Street is big on the holiday spirit. Thousands of bright lights are strung high overhead and flocks of festive shoppers fill the street.
Regent Street was named after King George IV, who was known as the Prince Regent at the time of its naming.
It stretches for 0.8 miles (1.3 km) through the heart of London’s West End. You’ll find stores that attract all ages.
Popular retailers like Anthropologie, Zara, Superdry, and Liberty offer an abundance of options for adults.
The kiddie paradise Hamleys Toy Store is also located on Regent Street. It’s the largest and oldest toy retailer in the world and a real treat for children.
Coolest Streets in London
If you’re looking to discover the hippest areas of the city, make sure to take note of these London street names. They offer a fun modern vibe, eclectic attractions, and sightseeing opportunities galore.
Brick Lane is a lively East End street and the centre of London’s thriving Bangladesh community.
It’s an edgy area of the city famous for its vibrant street art scene, curry eateries, independent shops, and youthful, creative vibe.
It’s where you’ll find the Old Truman Brewery. This former beer factory has turned into a creative hub for independent retailers, eateries, and pop-up shops.
It’s also the location of the city’s most popular bagel shop, Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery. This casual eatery is open 24/7.
They specialise in hand-made Jewish bagels stuffed with all sorts of tasty options, like salt beef, smoked salmon, and cream cheese.
If you’re into markets, Brick Lane hosts one of the city’s most popular ones – you can read more about that down below.
Carnaby Street in Soho is notable for being the birthplace of London’s Swinging Sixties. It’s where UK Mods, Skinheads, and Punks thrived during the decade.
British fashion icons John Stephen, Mary Quant, Irvine Sellars, and Lord John all owned and operated their popular shops from this pedestrian shopping street.
Today, it’s lined with chic boutiques and fashion outlets where you can browse the latest London trends.
Greek Street is a foodie hotspot in Soho. It’s known for its wide selection of restaurants and cafes. You’ll find all sorts of different cuisines, like Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese.
There are also several popular nightclubs and cocktail bars on Greek Street. It’s right around the corner from London’s West End, making it a great place to grab a meal or drink before or after seeing a show.
Old London Streets
London is one of the most intriguing European cities for history buffs. Old streets filled with remnants of the past aren’t hard to find. Here are a few routes that date back to many centuries ago.
Strand is a major road in central London. Its name was first recorded as “Strondway” in 1002, which comes from the Old English word “strond” that means the edge of a river. It’s fitting, as Strand is located next to the River Thames.
From the 12th to 17th century, the street was associated with London’s upper class. Many affluent residents built their mansions between the Strand and the river.
One of the lavish houses that still remains is Somerset House, which is a massive Neoclassical riverside palace.
This old London street is also historically significant as it was the first road in the city to have a numbered address, which was No. 1 the Strand. This was the residence of the Secretary of State.
Many centuries ago, Lombard Street was a main road used by the Romans of Londinium (Roman London).
Today, it’s more well known for its connections to the city’s banking and merchant past.
It acquired its current name from the bankers of Lombardy, Italy who came to reside in the city in the 13th century.
Many British banks set up their head offices on the street from this time period all the way up until the 1980s.
Even though the banking institutions of London have since become scattered around the city, there are plaques placed in several areas of Lombard Street that show where these banks once stood.
Famous London Market Streets
The market scene in London is huge. Tourists and locals flock to these retailers to soak in the neighbourhood vibe and browse an eclectic range of products.
Here are the streets where you’ll find some of the most popular markets in the city.
Portobello Road Market
Set in the charming borough of Notting Hill, Portobello Road is where you’ll find one of London’s most popular markets.
From Monday to Thursday, stalls selling clothing, fashion items, bric-a-brac, and foodie treats set up shop.
Friday and Saturday are when the market really kicks into full swing. In addition to the stalls listed above, antique vendors also open for business.
The market claims to be the largest antique market in the world, with approximately 1,000 dealers selling all sorts of antiques and collectables.
Even if you’re not interested in buying anything, wandering the stalls makes for quite the amusing spectacle.
Columbia Road Flower Market
The Columbia Road Flower Market is a Sunday market in the East End that offers a wide range of flowers and plants.
It’s easily the most visually appealing market in the city. You’ll find everything from beautiful bouquets to house plants and herb pots.
The area surrounding the market is lined with local boutiques, bakeries, and pubs, which further adds to the market’s lovely atmosphere.
Brick Lane Market
Every Sunday, Brick Lane is the setting for one of the city’s most diverse markets. Vendors sell a fantastic mix of vintage clothes, handicraft items, artsy souvenirs, and street food of all kinds.
This is the kind of place that you’ll want to arrive hungry to. You’ll find an abundant array of international cuisines.
Everything is sold at a very reasonable price and the market has a fun multicultural ambience.
While you’re in the area, consider taking a street art tour of the East End. If you’re the creative type, the large colourful murals and graffiti will leave you feeling inspired.
Best Streets in Chelsea, London
Chelsea is a charming area of South West London with a posh reputation and lovely aesthetic. To soak in the true vibe of the area, make sure to visit these streets.
King’s Road strings through Chelsea for just under 2 miles (3.2 km). The street derives its name from King Charles II, who used the road as his private passage during the 17th century to travel to Kew. It continued to be used as a private road for royals until 1830.
During the 1960s and 1970s, King’s Road was considered the epicentre of British mod culture.
Today, it’s best known for its shopping, dining, and nightlife options.
If you’re into contemporary art, make sure to visit the Saatchi Gallery. It’s free to visit and features all sorts of creative exhibitions.
Cheyne Walk is a beautiful historic road in Chelsea that runs next to the River Thames. It’s separated from the water by the Chelsea Embankment, which was constructed in 1874 as a road and walkway.
The street is full of beautiful 18th-century homes, many of which seem to attract artists and performers.
Some of the areas past famous residents include Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and JMW Turner.
Bywater Street is a charming cul-de-sac outlined with colourful houses. They all have similar designs and architectural styles, but individually stand out due to their candy-coloured facades.
Soft shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow make this road in London a lovely backdrop for a photoshoot or selfie.
Old Cobbled Streets of London
London’s beautiful-cobbled streets provide unexpected beauty among the modern buildings and attractions.
Here are a few that are especially enchanting and highly photogenic.
Shad Thames is an old-cobbled street that’s associated with London’s nautical history. It resides next to the Thames River.
Back in the day, it was the location of the city’s largest warehouse, which stored common commodities, like tea, spices, and coffee.
It’s a unique street where wooden bridges hang over-head and old warehouse complexes outline the cobbled walkway.
Little Green Street
Little Green Street dates back to the 18th century. The narrow-cobbled passage is rather small, with only eight houses on one side and two on the other.
It’s one of the few entirely Georgian streets in London; all of the homes were built in the 1780s.
A little music history: the street was the inspiration for The Kinks 1966 song “Dead End Street”. They even used the street when filming their music video for the song.
Cutest Streets in London
If you’re looking for cute roads in London to feature on your IG feed or take a nice selfie in front of, here are the perfect places to check out.
As far as aesthetic streets in London go, Elizabeth Street in Belgravia is as cute as they come. The charm of this street stems from its photogenic shops.
Peggy Porschen is a beautiful bakery with a pastel pink facade that’s often adorned in floral arrangements.
Jo Loves is a perfume store with a window display full of flowers. Pepa & Co is a children’s shop that has also jumped on the bandwagon of colourful window displays.
Umbrella Street isn’t your typical London city street. It’s a small colourful ally in Camden Market covered by a canopy of open umbrellas.
Vibrant shades of pink, red, and yellow contrast wonderfully with the old brick walls in the market. Can you picture a cuter scene for a selfie?
Famous Street Names in London: Final Thoughts
The streets in London allow you to explore the true character and charm of the city. Walking through them, you can truly soak in the culture of the capital and discover its many different aspects.
From historic roads and old cobbled streets to markets hotspots and Insta-worthy alleys, London has so many wonderful areas.
Now you know the best street names to visit and the reason they’re important.