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Regent Street Summer Streets

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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No cars in Regent Street: Just shoppers and pedestrians
Throughout the four Sundays in July Regent Street will be open for business, but not for traffic. Summer Streets is a perfect way to shop without inhaling traffic fumes or worrying about crossing the road. Each Sunday has a different theme celebrating culture, the arts, shopping, architecture and fashion. We're too late for 7 July (Action & Play on Regent Street), but 14 July is Awaken the Senses in Regent Street, 21 July is dedicated to Fashion on Regent Street and on 28 July Regent Street goes green with A Garden on Regent Street.

The plans for this well-known thoroughfare were drawn up by John Nash in 1811 and the individual structures (built by Nash and Sir John Soane, among others) were erected between 1814 and 1825. Originally known as New Street it separated the less salubrious Soho from the more fashionable Mayfair. The original buildings were all demolished and replaced between 1895 and 1927 when King George V and Queen Mary drove along its length.

On 14, 21 and 28 July not even royalty will be permitted to drive their cars or carriages through Regent Street, although they would be welcome to join in the host of free activities taking place.

On 14 July you can introduce your young offspring to the street by signing them up to Toddle in the City, a step free route for 3 7 year olds to discover Regent Street. There will be three 'Toddles' each Sunday, and pre-booking is essential. Older Londoners are invited to participate in a free yoga class at midday, to spend the afternoon with Urban Canvas decorating the pavement with chalks, or to watch Big Dance Pledge perform their dance steps.

Summer Streets in Regent Street
14 July (Image Courtesy of

On 21 July there will also be more 'Toddles' and yoga. In addition budding fashion models will be given a chance to strut their stuff along the Mile of Style and be photographed for the Photographers Gallery.

Summer Streets in Regent Street
21 July (Image courtesy of

The final Sunday of the month will see Regent Street turned into a garden decorated with trees and plants. In conjunction with the Mayor's Clean Air Campaign you will be able to get information regarding bee keeping in London or creating urban gardens. If your little ones haven't already toddled the street, there will be three more opportunities for them to do so.

Summer Streets in Regent Street
28 July (Image courtesy of

All Sundays will be accompanied by music, choirs and acrobats and jazz will be played at three special summer bars to help those cooling drinks refresh you.
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Why? To enjoy the shops and other delights of Regent Street without worrying about traffic
When: From 11.30 onwards
Where: Regent Street
Cost: Free
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