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Oxford Circus and Oxford Street are known as central London’s main shopping district but there are many more things to do around Oxford Circus.
Whilst not everyone is into ‘retail therapy’, there is something for all tastes (and budgets) near Oxford Circus from free museums and galleries to one of the most beautiful food courts in the whole of the UK (located in an old church).
Combine this with the majesty of Marble Arch or the Palladium theatre and you can see why there are things to do around Oxford Circus and Oxford Street for everyone to enjoy.
From street food bites to vintage underground bar delights, here is our guide to to the best things to do in Oxford Circus and Oxford Street:
Things to do near Oxford Circus Station
1. Oxford Street and Oxford Circus Shopping
Obviously our number 1 thing to do on or around Oxford Street is shopping. Retail and fashion therapy is ‘de rigueur’ when in this part of the city.
London’s best known shopping street, Oxford Street is a 2km stretch (1.3 miles) of high street stores. You can literally shop until you drop (or your credit card gets maxed) with all the various choices of clothes, toys, jewellery and electronics along the route.
If you love to shop in London, you’ll find all your favourite brands around Oxford Street like H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters and Schuh.
There are also several very famous department stores along Oxford Street including Selfridges (their food court is incredible) and John Lewis – a famous UK department store that has been around for decades (check out their decadent rooftop space).
New for 2023, IKEA Oxford Circus will be opening with a £370 million store and investment located in the former TopShop store – so a little bit of Scandanvia in Oxford Circus.
The only downside is that Oxford Street itself can get quite congested with cars, taxis and buses so it isn’t the most peaceful place. There has been talk for years of pedestrianising Oxford Street but this has still to come to fruition.
Also best to keep an eye on your belongings here as pickpockets and bag snatchers have been known to operate along Oxford Street on a regular basis.
Address: Oxford Street, London W1B 3AG
2. Regent Street
Similar to Oxford Street, Regent Street is packed full of shops galore, but is a little more sedate (and possibly more upmarket). P.S. We promise we’ll move onto non-shopping things to do in Oxford Circus very shortly…
Flagship stores in Regent Street include an incredible Apple store, Hamleys toy shop (more on this later) and fashion brands like REISS, Arket, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Hollister and Kate Spade.
In the summer months, Regent Street is regularly closed to traffic on selected Sundays so you can enjoy shopping without the congestion. Oxford Street- take note…
Address: Regent Street, London W1B 3AG
3. Mercato Mayfair Food Hall
Located in an old church, Mercato Mayfair is a stunning street food hall in the heart of London, plus it has surprisingly reasonable food and drink prices given it is located in upmarket Mayfair.
The church (St Mark’s in Mayfair was deconsecrated in the 1970s) and this is our go to street food place near Oxford Street when we are hosting friends from overseas.
Mercato Mayfair Food Hall has around 15 or so street food vendors and bars based over two floors – there is even a craft beer brewery bar where the church altar used to be.
Mercato Mayfair food stalls include Steamy & Co bao and dumplings, Malaysian street food from Spice Lab plus bars including German Kraft Brewery and Jim & Tonic.
Address: Mercato Mayfair, St. Mark’s Church, N Audley Street, London W1K 6ZA
YOU MIGHT LIKE: Best street food markets and food halls in London >
4. Photographer’s Gallery
The first gallery in the UK solely dedicated to photography, the Photographer’s Gallery hosts a diverse range of photographic exhibitions, talks and events as well as an onsite shop and cafe.
Located on Ramillies Street, The Photographer’s Gallery can easily be reached from Oxford Street and is just a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus London Underground station.
The Photographer’s Gallery entry fee is £8 per adult on the door for exhibition (£6.50 if booked in advance). Admission to the Photographer’s Gallery is free every Friday after 5pm – prices correct as at March 2023.
Address: The Photographer’s Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
5. St Christopher’s Place
A cute as shopping parade and alley of awesome shops, restaurants and coffee shops, St Christopher’s Place is quite well hidden when walking along Oxford Street towards Marble Arch.
Just walk on the right hand side of the road and look out for a dark narrow lane bedecked with glitter balls; now that is how you make an entrance.
Once at St Christopher’s Place, you’ll arrive in a colourful piazza with various eating establishments. Explore further and you find an array of alfresco terraces and epic eateries – you’ll be really be spoilt for choice here (and best of all, it is really quiet compared to the hustle and hubris of Oxford Street).
St Christopher’s Place restaurants include Homeslice Pizza, Bone Daddies Ramen, Busaba tasty Thai food and delicious doughnuts from Crosstown – in total, there are around 30 restaurants dotted around St Christopher’s Place.
Add into the mix around 25 fashion and retail stores (like Aldo, Phase Eight, The Body Shop plus lots of independent and artisan shops) and you can see why St Christopher’s Place is the perfect companion to Oxford Street shopping.
Address: St Christopher’s Place, 23 Barrett Street, London W1U 1BF
6. Edgware Road
A lively enclave primarily known for its Middle Eastern restaurants and hookah cafes, Edgware Road is a shopping street (sometimes referred to as ‘Little Beirut) which links the Paddington area with Oxford Street and Marble Arch.
Known for its Arabian eateries and specialist stores, you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of where to eat – just follow your nose or look for the busier spots.
After visiting Edgware Road, you can always continue your walk to Paddington Basin – read our Paddington area guide >
7. Marble Arch
London’s iconic gateway Marble Arch was originally erected in the 1820s as a planned exclusive entrance gate to Buckingham Palace – it was subsequently moved to its current site in the 1850s.
Although now Marble Arch has become more of a traffic island due to the number of roads in and around Oxford Street and Mayfair, it is an stunning site to behold (and it is free to visit the exterior).
Interestingly, inside, Marble Arch also contains historic sleeping quarters and holding cells that the police used to use when patrolling Hyde Park and Speaker’s Corner in particular (not open to the public).
Address: Marble Arch, Oxford Street, London W2 2UH
8. Kingly Court
Kingly Court is a modern and charming restaurant and bar complex just off Carnaby Street in Soho.
Based over several floors, Kingly Court has lots of choices including a themed vintage bar Cahoots (more on this later), The Good Egg, Dishoom, Shoryu and many other good food and drink options
It is always a nice atmosphere at Kingly Court as a lot of the restaurants have outdoor terraces in the courtyard meaning it is always abuzz with conversation and nice food smells.
With around 20 restaurants to choose from at Kingly Court, you’ll never go hungry here. Most also do takeaway too so you could always take your food to Soho Square Gardens if the terrace is full.
Address: Kingly Street, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW
9. Carnaby Street
One of London’s most popular and well known fashion streets (especially in the swinging sixties), Carnaby to this day continues to be a hive of activity.
Carnaby Street is famous for its riot of rainbow colours, particularly during festivals and special events when banners are hung across the top of the buildings and pop-up events take place.
There are over 100 shops and 60 bars and restaurants in and around the main Carnaby Street – from Birkenstock to Barbour, Dickies to Diesel and Redwing to Rayban, you’ll find plenty of fashion here.
Can’t get no ‘Satisfaction’ in Soho? You could always visit the recently opened Rolling Stones shop, complete with ‘Big Red Lips’ in the window in Carnaby Street.
Address: Carnaby Street, London W1F 9PE
10. Soho Square Gardens
A gorgeous green space in the heart of Soho (plus a nice respite from Oxford Street), Soho Square Gardens is a popular place for picnics, sunbathing and a good meeting point in central London.
When enjoying Soho Square Gardens (table tennis tables are also available), you might notice the little black and white Tudor style hut in the middle.
There are loads of urban rumours that this is a secret passageway to an underground bunker but the truth is that is actually a storage area for the gardeners tools – not so blooming cool.
Address: Soho Square, Soho, London W1D, UK
11. Cahoots London
Soho’s very own time-warp and a short walk from Oxford Street, Cahoots is an underground bar harking back to the blitz spirit of the 1940s; a veritable vintage feast of cocktails and food ‘rations’. For us, this is one of the most fun things to do near Oxford Circus and Oxford Street.
Lovingly decorated and themed like a war-time tube station and train carriages, walking down the steps from modern day Kingly Court to the Cahoots basement bar for the first time is genuinely like stepping back in time.
We tried the Cahoots Cocktail cuppas and cakes afternoon tea, held every Sunday (£28 per person as at March 2023) which we’d thoroughly recommend.
Read our guide to Cahoots Bar in Kingly Court here >
Address: Cahoots Bar, 13 Kingly Court, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW
12. Liberty London
The best looking department store in London (housed in a Tudor style black and white building), Liberty London is a luxury shopping experience (and a listed building too).
Libertys of London was founded in the 1870s but moved to its current timbered building in the 1920s (incredibly, the store timbers were taken from two old ships, HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable).
Liberty is famous for its fabrics plus has one of the best Christmas shops in London. So if you want a bold and beautiful dress or a Corgi tree or London bus Christmas decoration (for real), Liberty of London is for you!
13. Market Halls Oxford Circus
Undergoing a recent renovation and the only food court to be found along Oxford Street in central London, Market Halls Oxford Circus has 8 food stalls and 2 bars.
Highlights include the roti from Gopal’s Corner plus marvellous Mexican tacos from DF Tacos.
Market Halls Oxford Circus is quite the swish affair inside too. Head to the seating area at the back of Market Halls Oxford Circus to enjoy your street food with views of historic Cavendish Square Gardens (or get your food to takeaway to enjoy it outside in the gardens).
Address: Market Halls Oxford Circus, 9 Holles Street, Oxford Street, W1G 0BD
14. London Palladium Theatre
For those visiting London from overseas, you may not be familiar with the London Palladium but it is one of the most iconic and longest running theatres in the West End.
So many famous shows, TV recordings and Royal Variety performances have been put on at the London Palladium. It is also the closest theatre to Oxford Circus Tube station.
Opening on Boxing Day 1910, the London Palladium has been packing them in ever since, with 2,300 seats available for every performance. Over the years, everyone from Frank Sinatra to Harry Houndini has performed here.
Every year, the London Palladium puts on a star-studded Christmas pantomime; likely the most famous Christmas pantomime in London (even Sir Ian McKellan has taken part in recent years). Find out more about Christmas events in London >
Tickets for London Palladium shows are available online or via the ‘Txts’ booth in Leicester Square.
Address: London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, London W1F 7TF
15. Cavendish Square Gardens
Oxford Street is one of the busiest roads in central London – but you can escape the hustle and bustle or incessant noise of cars and buses by walking one block away to the charming Cavendish Square Gardens (they are just a 5 minute walk away from Oxford Circus station).
Cavendish Square Gardens is a public park with lots of green lawns, park benches and trees to shelter under. It is a perfect picnic spot if you want to grab some food from nearby convenience stores (or even Market Halls Oxford Circus) and eat your takeaway food alfresco style.
Address: Cavendish Square, London W1G 0AN
16. Marugame Udon
Looking for oodles of udon noodles or tasty tempura? You’ve found the right place – Marugame is a Japanese udon noodle chain that is rapidly expanding its presence in London with branches in Liverpool Street, High Street Kensington, Waterloo, The O2 and Canary Wharf.
The reason for its popularity? Based on our own experiences, we think it is pretty cheap ((usually around £3 to £7 for a bowl of udon noodles with various fillings), your food is ready in seconds plus you can help yourself to various sauces and toppings. Oh so Oishi (‘delicious’ in Japanese).
There are two branches of Marugame within walkign distance from Oxford Circus Underground station. As you enter the restaurant, the staff generally all shout a greeting to you in Japanese. You then you tell the chef what you want and they prepare it in front of you in seconds.
The whole process is seamless and the Marugame bowl food is always so good – the broth has good flavour and their tempura comes in a lot of varieties – everything from chicken to prawn, asparagus to mixed vegetables.
Also, when ordering a beer (usually Asahi) at Marugame Udon, the beer machine fills your glass from the bottom up meaning there is no wastage or spillage – genius!
Marugame Udon St. Christopher’s Place, 14 – 15 Barrett Street, London W1U 1LX
Marugame Udon Oxford Circus, 1-4 Argyll Street, London W1F 7TA
Like Japanese food? Read our guide to the best okonomiyaki restaurants in London >
17. Cartoon Museum
Whilst in the Oxford Street area, ‘pencil’ in a trip to the The Cartoon Museum, dedicated to preserving the heritage of British comic books, sketches and caricatures.
The Cartoon Museum has over 4000 comics in its collection and over 5000 illustrated books, dating from the 18th century to present day.
There are temporary exhibitions including a new exhibition opening in September 2023 (until April 2024) celebrating 30 years of Wallace & Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers, by Aardman Animations.
Entry to the London Cartoon Museum is £9.50 per adult as at March 2023.
Address: The Cartoon Museum, 63 Wells St, London W1T 3PZ
18. The Cock Tavern, Great Portland Street
A great name and a nice pub! The Cock (no sniggering at the back) has recently been restored to a chic city pub and watering hole after a few years spent as a Hawaiian tiki bar.
Around 200 years in the making (lots of the buildings along Portland Street are pretty historic), The Cock Tavern does a fine line in craft beers and cocktails plus they even have their own merchandise range – ‘Cock Lovers’ hand fans and lighters are top sellers apparently.
Also check out the huge lamps outside, acting as quite the impressive sign-post; dogs are welcome too until 9pm. The Cock Tavern is a 3 minute walk from Oxford Circus.
Address: The Cock Tavern, 27 Great Portland Street, London W1W 8QE
19. The Wallace Collection
Founded in 1897, a visit to the Wallace Collection is equally about the works of art on display and the museum layout itself.
This truly is a unique museum setting with almost 30 rooms of exhibits and paintings to visit, located in an iconic London townhouse. To us, a visit to the Wallace Collection kind of feels as though you are visiting a countryside stately home but in the middle of London.
The museum is named after Sir Richard Wallace, who was responsible for starting the collection of items from the 18th and 19th centuries. It is famed for its painting collection, including works by such revered artists as Rembrand Canaletto and Rubens.
The Wallace Collection is a free national museum located in luxurious Manchester Square – it feels a world away from the business of Oxford Street.
Address: The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
20. Bond Street
Located just off Oxford Street, Bond Street is perhaps best known as THE best place in central London for luxury shopping. Bond Street is famous for designer goods, exclusive boutique stores, high end jewellers and art galleries.
It also has incredible examples of Georgian architecture and along with neighbouring Mayfair, is some of the most expensive property / real estate in central London.
All the major international luxury brands can be found here from Prada to Gucci, Tiffanys & Co to Alexander McQueen, Rolex and more. Based on the amount we observed outside stores, Bond Street must have the highest concentration of security guards per square foot than anywhere is London!
In particular, Cartier is known for its annual Christmas decorations – given there is a red London phone-box right outside too, this makes it one of the most Instagrammable locations in London.
Love luxury shopping? Also try The Village at Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush, West London.
21. Hamleys Toy Store
If you or your kids are into toys, no trip to Oxford Circus is complete without a trip to Hamleys Toy Store on Regent’s Street (literally a couple of minutes walk from Oxford Circus station).
Officially the oldest and largest toy shop in the world, Hamleys is a happy place with several levels of toys and board games.
Hamleys is a fun place to visit plus has lots of exclusive merchandise that you won’t find anywhere else. Throughout the day, you’ll also see magicians and performers and toy demonstrations.
Address: Hamleys Toy Store, 188-196 Regent Street, London W1B 5BT
22. Primark Oxford Street
Our final ‘things to do in Oxford Circus’ is a bit of a curve ball but we include it, as it is genuinely the shop we get asked most times about directions for, when we are walking around Oxford Street.
Primark is an inexpensive high street fashion store that has not one but two branches along Oxford Street. Whilst common in Europe, Primark isn’t really known in the wider world but people have been known to visit Oxford Street especially to buy cut price suitcases at Primark then fill them up with Primark clothes to take home.
Primark are often ironically referred to as ‘Primarni’ in reference to Armani (to be fair, Primark’s clothing quality is generally pretty good although their manufacturing ethics less so).
With plain t-shirts starting from as low as £2 and many branded merchandise items available at cut prices (think Disney, Harry Potter, even Greggs the bakery), Primark is the frontrunner in the world of ‘make ‘em cheap, pile ‘em high.
You’ll find one Primark near Marble Arch and one Primark near Tottenham Court Road (both on Oxford Street).
Address: Primark(s) Oxford Circus, 14 – 28 Oxford Street & 499 – 517 Oxford Street
One thing NOT TO DO in Oxford Circus and Oxford Street
Oxford Street Candy stores
These days, you’ll also notice a lot of American Candy stores popping up in the vacant Oxford Street stores. Avoid these like the plague as they are scam central often selling counterfeit goods or being used for money laundering. They even sell counterfeit chocolate bars (not joking).
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