Driving in London (or any capital for that matter) can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. It can actually be a pleasant experience if you know where to go.
We’ve put together a list of the top six roads that you simply must visit should you be driving in England’s wonderful capital that is London. There’s plenty of parking around should you wish to hop in and out of the car to explore some parts on foot, making it super easy to explore London by car.
You’ve all heard of it; if not from the Monopoly game, it’s the well-known 1.2-mile shopping street of the UK. But, did you know it was previously known as Tyburn Road? Its former name was given because of the Tyburn River running beneath it, which was once used to transfer prisoners from Newgate Prison to the Tyburn tree to be hanged. You can find a stone on the floor just outside Marble Arch tube station where the tree once stood. Nowadays, Oxford Street has everything in the way of retail, from well-known high street brands, through to some of the world’s best designer boutiques.
Piccadilly is New York’s equivalent to Times Square. It’s a sight to behold; it’s colourful, bright and encapsulates the essence of London life and all that the wonderful city has to offer. Connecting Regent Street and Piccadilly, the ‘circus’, from the Latin word for ‘circle’ (a round open space at a street junction) is home to the arts, with theatre’s West End district close by. Originally known as Portugal Street, it was changed to Piccadilly in 1743 after a famous tailor named Robert Baker (famous for selling Piccadillies — a type of collar).
If you’re a Beetles fan, you’ll be well aware of Abbey Road and the album cover of the four walking across its zebra crossing. It’s crazy to think that the band choosing to shoot their new album cover outside, in order to save money, would become such a legacy. It’s now famed for people staging photos of themselves and friends re-enacting the famous road crossing album cover.
We’ve all heard of Jack the Ripper, right?! Well, Brick Lane was once his hunting ground. You’ll be glad to hear that’s no longer the case, though, and it now homes a wonderful street market vibe, with people flocking from all over the world to enjoy its street food, along with the stalls in the Old Truman Brewery.
Built-in the late 1600s, Carnaby Street was once the go-to place for peace and love during the swinging ’60s. And it’s somehow held onto that chilled out, free-spirit vibe. We might not see as many flares or wildly floral shirts, but Carnaby Street is quite the hipster hub for the bohemian freethinkers. It continues to feature quaint architecture, but now has a whole hoard of awesome little shopping boutiques, quirky pubs and chilled cafes. It’s pedestrianised, but there is parking close by so you can hop out and enjoy this real must-see in the city of London.
Not everyone will be into politics, but when we talk about London and its famous streets, Downing Street is always one that pops up. That said, you can’t actually visit it. It’s, understandably, well-guarded, but can you can take pictures from behind the set railings. That said, if you’re itching for a selfie in front of Number 10, there’s a great alternative at Number 10 Adam Street, which is situated near The Strand. No one would ever know the difference… maybe.
Remember, driving on London travel roads may incur additional charges, such as congestion etc, so please do check this before you travel.