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What to do in Oxford Circus: A Comprehensive Area Guide



Drawing in hundreds of millions of visitors each year, Oxford Circus, prominently known for its position between Regent Street and Oxford Street, entices thousands of shoppers with its expansive variety of shops and boutiques, legendary department stores and restaurants. As you can imagine, this world-class location is a shopaholic’s dream but the appeal doesn’t stop there. There are many enticing attributes to staying in this area and something to do for everyone.


This guide will explore the multitude of things you can do in Oxford Circus and why this is an ideal location to frequent. Keep reading to find out more.


Overview of Oxford Circus 

To someone who is not familiar with this area or tube station, you would be inclined to think Oxford Circus is a showcase of trained animal acts, acrobatics and clown escapades in the city of Oxford. Whilst this would also be enticing, the name of this international destination instead marks one of the busiest and most important junctions in London.


As you may know, there are many other junctions that share the same name, such as Finsbury Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Westferry Circus. You may be wondering why they all share the same name. Well, the etymology of the word ‘circus’ is borrowed from Latin and refers to a circle or ring. And, because many of these junctions are intersections of multiple roads, they all individually form a circular shape — hence the word ‘circus’.


At one point, there was also confusion surrounding the name of the junction. Upon opening, it was originally called Regent Circus North, however towards the end of the nineteenth century, people began to refer to it as Oxford Circus and used both names interchangeably. However after the opening of the first Oxford Circus tube station in 1900, the name Regent Circus disappeared forever.

So who was behind this design? An architect popularly known as John Nash. In 1819, John Nash — best known for his design of Regent Street, Buckingham Palace and Brighton Pavilion — had grand designs to construct several circuses. This was because he wanted to use the additional land space in London for vehicles to pass one another as well as create a concave layout to attract shopkeepers. He contrived the geometry of Oxford Circus so that Regent Street and Oxford Street could ‘intersect nearly at right angles’.


Currently, Oxford Circus is a road junction that connects Oxford Street and Regent Street in the West End of London. It is also the entrance of Oxford Circus Tube Station. Known as central London’s main shopping district and one of the busiest shopping streets in Europe, Oxford Circus faithfully still mimics John Nash’s designs today.


What to do in Oxford Circus

From flagship stores to specialty shops, Oxford Circus caters even to the most discerning shopper. If you are in need of extensive retail therapy, we would definitely recommend checking out Oxford Street. Spanning over 1.5 miles and providing over 300 stores, Oxford Street is an unrivalled shopping paradise, ranked as one of the world’s best shopping districts.


From fashion to beauty, to tech and homeware, Oxford Street is home to some of the best high-street brands and iconic names, such as Dyson, Nike, H&M, UNIQLO, Urban Outfitters and many more. Furthermore, one of the biggest home staples brands will be joining the area in the Autumn of 2024. Investing over £370 million, the Scandinavian chain Ikea will now open in late summer and will be located in the former Topshop flagship store.


If you are seeking four floors of affordable fashion, then head to Primark’s flagship store to see their extensive range and unbeatable prices. Looking for a luxury shopping experience? You definitely need to visit Selfridges — the biggest department store on Oxford Street. Often regarded as one of the world’s best department stores, Selfridges is home to a collection of affordable and premium brands as well as culinary hotspots. Want to take a break from shopping? Check out The Cinema at Selfridges, a luxury three-screen cinema which showcases the latest blockbuster and independent films.


Selfridges prides itself on being more than just a department store; it’s a public space that champions public art. Every six months, new work is displayed in The Art Block (found in the Accessories Hall on G) — a permanent exhibition space that showcases a curation of modern, contemporary artwork. You will also most likely be a part of the 130,000 people who pass and look at Selfridges’ bespoke window displays, which are often changed throughout the year, each featuring its own creative campaign.


But Oxford Street isn’t just all about fashion. You can find a variety of specialty stores as well such as the Microsoft Store, Beyond Retro, Flying Tiger, the Disney Store and Muji.


What to see in Oxford Circus 

If you’re interested in some sightseeing during your visit to Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, located to the West, is a famous London landmark worth exploring. Designed by John Nash in 1827, it serves as a grandiose gateway to Buckingham Palace. For any art admirers, there is The Photographer’s Gallery just minutes away from Oxford Circus Station. From experts to novices to the photo-curious, The gallery contains a compelling roster of international photographers and impactful photography for you to see. And, for any theatre enthusiasts, a visit to Oxford Circus wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the magic of the West End. The district boasts a variety of award-winning theatre shows and are easily accessible via walking or the tube.


What to eat in Oxford Circus 

With the extensive array of places to shop on Oxford Street, you do not need to worry about finding a place to eat. Whether you are visiting from abroad, a local retail therapy addict or simply in need of a new guilty pleasure, there are plenty of eateries in and around Oxford Circus, all within minutes of the tube station.


Looking for an easy lunch to grab and go? Benugo Café, one of the original café-deli pioneers, is located on both the first and second floor of John Lewis Oxford Street and serves iconic sandwiches such as The New Yorker, seasonal salads and a variety of freshly-baked cakes. If you are looking for more of a sit-down lunch, a personal favourite is The Avocado Show — offering sustainable avocados, stunning and delicious plates, this is an avo-lovers dream. And, if you really are in need of a bustling hub of culinary delights, then perhaps a stroll to Kingly Court on Carnaby Street will entice you. This three-storey alfresco dining destination in the heart of London’s West End hosts twenty-one of the best international concept restaurants, bars and cafés. You will definitely be spoilt for choice. Check out some of the food and drinks on offer here.


If you are looking for a fine dining experience, some noteworthy restaurants to visit include Burger & Lobster, Dishoom and Faros. For any vegetarian or vegan foodies, Tendril on Princes Street and Plants by Deliciously Ella on Weighhouse Street provide chic, gastronomical delights with an assortment of plant-based ingredients.


Where to stay in Oxford Circus 

Recognised as one of the busiest and most important junctions in London, Oxford Circus remains a prominent and renowned location in the City of Westminster. This industrialised and populated haven may not be an environmentalist’s favourite spot, however it is definitely a people-watcher’s paradise. With easy access to several tube stations found either along or near Oxford Street — including Bond Street, Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road, and Green Park — Oxford Circus is perfect for tourists or anyone looking to frequent the shopping district.


If you are looking to be near the area of “where Regent Street meets Oxford Street”, you may be interested in our Luxury Central Townhouse, featured at London Luxury Listings. This three-bedroom and two-bathroom apartment, situated just two minutes from Oxford Circus Station, offers a perfect blend of style and comfort, as well as an unbeatable location. With an open concept layout, a master suite and secondary bedroom that both include ensuite bathrooms, and a twin room that is ideal for children, this stylish apartment is one of the finest residences in Oxford Circus. Furthermore, you’ll be less than two minutes away from Europe’s busiest central hotspot.


If you would like to find out more information about this property, or to discover more things to do near Oxford Circus, don’t hesitate to contact us at info@luxurylondonlistings.com.


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