This long road runs from Langham Place in the north, across Oxford Circus, and then round Piccadilly Circus before heading south to Pall Mall.
Regent Street was built in the 1820’s by John Nash, the Prince Regent’s favourite architect. Nash wanted the street to form part of a ceremonial route from the Prince Regent’s residence in Carlton House to Regent’s Park, where he had been commissioned by the Prince to build a palace. In the end only eight villas and no palace were constructed in the park.
The creation of Regent Street cleared away slums and improved transport links across the captial. Nash also intended that Regent Street should act as an barrier between aristocratic Mayfair and lower class Soho, a distinction that still exists today.
Nash did manage to create the striking colonnaded section just north of Piccadilly Circus, known as the Quadrant.
From the beginning Regent Street was known for its fashionable shops and some of London’s most famous stores, including Liberty and Hamleys, can still be found there.
A hundred years ago the Café Royal, at No. 68, was a very fashionables. Today, however many chain stores have moved in.