At night one can appreciate the splendour and beauty of Regent Street. When the lights come on, the complexion of this grand street changes. The contrast of the grand white architecture contrasted with the dark night sky is simply magnificent. What is even better is there is little pedestrian traffic so you can appreciate the curved buildings more than when you’re dodging the daily pedestrian commuters, tourists and shoppers.
Many years ago I confused Piccadilly Street with Regent Street for some odd reason. I’d race up Piccadilly thinking I’d arrive at Liberty in less than five minutes only to find myself at Green Park and far from where I wanted to be. There is a lesson to be learned when navigating the streets of London on foot – use a map or know where you’re going. I did neither in my early years. I can now get from Point A to Point B with my eyes closed.
Since my London book project began, I’ve learned when to zag instead of zig to end up where I need to be. Thank the street gods for that. Learning to navigate is not at all difficult. I often say I am not a fan of public transportation. The reason for this is because I miss out on London by being on a bus or underground. The sounds, sights and even the smells of London make it remarkable. So, stay on foot, walk a bit more and discover London the way it should be discovered.
That said, Regent Street is a good example of starting at one point of London thinking you’ll end up where you want to go, but really end up at Point C. Always look on the bright side – there are great shops along Regent Street to keep you entertained. You might also think about these interesting facts about Regent Street :
:: Regent Street was one of the first planned developments in London. It was intentionally constructed by the government as a commercial business area.
:: Regent Street was given its name in honour of Prince George (later King George IV), who funded most of the construction.
:: In 1850, Regent Street shops stayed open until a whopping 7 pm making it one of the first late-night shopping events in the city.
:: Over 7.5 million people visit Regent Street every year. The street is over a mile long and the shops along it employ about 20,000 people. Regent Street also contains room for over 400 small offices and 750,000 square feet of large office space.
:: Due to its status as a fashion Mecca, and its length, Regent Street is also referred to as the “Mile of Style.”
:: Open since 1881, Hamleys toy store is the oldest operating business on Regent Street, having opened originally in High Holborn in 1760. The oldest continually operating store perhaps goes to Liberty, which opened six years before in 1875.
The video above includes a night scene of Regent Street. The lighted pavement in the foreground is brilliant. Below are a few images of Regent Street.