360° Views: 10 Famous Streets in London

Oxford Street is lined with pedestrians, cyclists and buses. (Photo via AP)

With the 2012 Games putting a spotlight on London, let’s take a look at 10 Famous Streets in London and what they have to offer. Click on the arrows in the left corner of the interactive photos below to view 360 degree angles.

Oxford Street

If you’re in London and looking to get your shop on, Oxford Street is the place to go! This bustling street stretches over a mile long and is one of the busiest shopping areas in Europe. John Lewis, Topshop, Primark, and Selfridges are among the big British retailers located on Oxford Street.

Piccadilly

Piccadilly Circus is comprable to the Times Square of London, with shopping, theatrical shows, casinos, bars and restaurants … and lots and lots of visitors moving in and out. Alas, it’s not NYC so you’re unlikely to get an elbow in the rib. Piccadilly, the street itself, runs from Hyde Park Corner in the west to Piccadilly Circus in the east. It’s wonderful for strolling and people watching.

King’s Road

King’s Road caters to the posh crowd but of course is welcoming to all. It’s set in Chelsea (yes, as in Chelsea Football Club) and runs through Fulham in West London. You’ll find unique boutique shops, contemporary furnishing, cozy restaurants and even cozier pubs. The Saatchi Gallery is located right on King’s Road; and a brief walk will take you to the Victoria Albert and the Natural History Museum.

Abbey Road

Abbey Road is a busy thoroughfare for London traffic but that doesn’t keep people away from posing at the famous cross-walk which appears on the Beatles album cover of the same name. EMI’s Abbey Road Studios is located at the end of the road where the Beatles, amongst other famous musicians, recorded. This section of Abbey Road is featured on London tour guides. In 2010, the crossing was given Listed Building status meaning it cannot be demolished or altered without special permissions.

Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street was home to swinging London in the 1960s popular with those following the Mod style. Nowadays the street is cheerful and ruled by pedestrians. The shopping area proves unique with a passage through to Kingly Court with three floors of one-off ‘concept’ shops and studios.

Baker Street

Sherlock Holmes aficionados will instantly recognize 221B Baker Street as the fictional home of everybody’s favorite literary consulting detective. The actual address was occupied by the Abbey National Building Society from 1932 to 2005, which famously hired a full-time secretary to answer the piles of fan mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. The address now belongs to the Sherlock Holmes museum, located a few doors down from where house number 221 should be.

Portobello Road

Portobello Road goes straight through the heart of Notting Hill and is home to the Portobello Street Market which attracts locals and visitors alike. The market is open every day supplying fresh produce. Every Saturday the market expands offering second hand clothes and antiques. The market takes up most of the street which is approximately two miles long.

Downing Street

Best known for housing the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Downing Street is located in Whitehall, the center of “Her Majesty’s Government.” Downing Street is within close walking distance of the House of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

Shaftesbury Avenue 

Widely regarded as the heart of London’s West End theatre district, Shaftesbury Avenue is the place to catch London’s hottest plays and musicals. If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat before the show, head over to Chinatown (which begins on Shaftesbury Avenue) for some Dim Sum.

The Strand

The Strand was one of the most important streets in London for seven centuries, located along the River Thames and connecting the City of London and Westminster. It was home to noble palaces and mansions and was the center of Victorian nightlife. Today, The Strand is occupied by office buildings, souvenir shops, and restaurants. However, surviving buildings and establishments include the Vaudeville and Adelphi Theatre, as well as The Twinings teashop, which opened in 1706 and is the oldest business in London operating in its original premises.

What’s your favorite street in London, famous or not?!