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  • Writer's pictureIna

The WithinLondon Guide To Bond Street London

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Since the 18th century, Bond Street is one of the major shopping areas of London. It’s the epitome of British fashion, luxury, and style. Located in London’s West End and the heart of historic Mayfair, Bond Street connects Oxford Street (north) to Piccadilly (south). Whether you're an enthusiastic tourist or a seasoned Londoner, Bond Street will never cease to surprise you due to its shape-shifting dynamism. Read on to find a few fascinating facts about the famous "street" and why you should always have it on your "Must Visit" list.

Why is it called Bond Street?

Let's start with the big elephant in the room: the "alleged" etymologic link with James Bond by making it clear that the original “Bond Street” street was named after Sir Thomas Bond who developed the area surrounding the Clarendon House on Piccadilly. For the argument's sake, there is a far-fetched link between James Bond and Bond street: Bond street is located in Mayfair, the birthplace of Bond creator Ian Fleming. He lived there between 1934-1945 and a blue plaque was erected at 22b Ebury Street.

Bond Street is more of a concept linked to London’s upmarket retail area, rather than an actual street because the topographic reality is that Bond street as such doesn’t exist… at least not in Central London. Therefore, what we all call “Bond Street” is made of two proper streets: New Bond Street and Old Bond Street.

The Old Bond Street's Royal Arcade is the oldest shopping arcade in London.
The Old Bond Street's victorian Royal Arcade (constructed in 1879) is the oldest shopping arcade in London.

Why do people think Bond Street does exist?

People think that Bond Street exists because there’s a Bond Street station, a Bond Street Association, a mid-range Monopoly property, and because of numerous references in the popular culture, including David Bowie’s song called Maid of Bond Street.

At some point, Bond Street did exist back in 1686, and it was about two hundred yards long, running from Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens. At the beginning of the 18th century, work on New Bond Street began, continuing Bond Street's North West trajectory.

By the time it reached Oxford Street in 1720, Bond Street had become Old Bond Street. To this day, its affluent residents and patrons still refer to the two streets simply as Bond Street.

London does have two real Bond Streets located outside Central London, in Forest Gate and Chiswick.

The Old Bond Street's Royal Arcade is the oldest shopping arcade in London.
The Old Bond Street's victorian Royal Arcade (constructed in 1879) is the oldest shopping arcade in London.

What is Bond Street London famous for?

London's Bond Street is popular for being a deluxe shopping staple much adored by well-to-do shopping aficionados who like their shopping expensive and prestigious. It’s widely known for being the home of a wealth leading, elegant fashion outlets, exclusive brands, designer fashion, luxury goods, fine jewels, art, and antiques.

Some of the world’s most prominent retailers have flagship stores here, including Bulgari, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Dolce Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Mulberry, Cartier, and Tiffany Co. Behind its frontages, you will find distinguished auctioneers, art dealers, jewellers, and fashion houses.

Did you know that Bond Street was also a fashionable residential address?

Since its foundation in the 1700s, Bond Street has been an unequalled mix of traditional elegance, history, and modern luxury. Apart from serving as a playground for society’s most stylish, wealthy, and influential people, Bond Street is a much-loved travel destination for international socialites and celebrities.

The beau monde used to stroll down Bond Street to see and, above everything, be seen. For centuries, Bond Street was a trendy residential address. Past residents include Lady Emma Hamilton, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Laurence Sterne, James Boswell, Henry Fielding, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and Sir Walter Scott.

The most expensive shopping street in London & Europe

And in case you were wondering “What’s the most expensive shopping street in London?” New Bond Street is the answer. It’s not just synonymous with the cultivated British luxury, but it’s even more expensive than the Champs-Élysées and it’s Europe's most expensive shopping areas.

And it doesn’t stop here. Its surrounding area boasts a remarkable number of the world’s most individual and unique hotels and restaurants, including The Ritz and Claridge’s and fine art establishments such as world-famous auction house, Sotheby’s (based here since 1917,) and The Royal Academy of Art.

When is the best time to visit Bond Street?

The best time to visit Bond Street is around Christmas when the street (as the entire Central London) is bursting with deluxe Christmas cheer. Its spectacular peacock-inspired light display is truly a sight to behold and the storefronts double the marvellous decor.

📍 New Bond Street & Old Bond Street

🚇 The closest London Underground Stations to Bond Street are Bond Street (on the Jubilee & Central lines), Oxford Circus (Victoria, Bakerloo, Central), and Green Park (Victoria, Jubilee, Piccadilly).

📌 Nearby London Attractions:

  • Oxford Street

  • The Wallace Collection (1 km).

  • Royal Academy of Arts (600 m).

  • Madame Tussaud's London (1.6 km).


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