6 Must-Know Secrets Of Oxford Street Shops

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 25 months ago
6 Must-Know Secrets Of Oxford Street Shops
Photo: Laura Gilchrist

Oxford Street. Love it or loathe, most Londoners think they know it pretty well. But did you know about these hacks and tips to make your shopping trip that little bit easier?

The secret outlet

Even if you've braved the Mango store just a few doors down from Oxford Circus (and we don't blame you if you haven't), you may not know about the outlet on the second floor. Tucked away right at the back is where they sell off last season's stock — there's nothing wrong with the items, and Mango jeans for a tenner? Yes please. Mango, 225-235 Oxford Street

The secret coffee shop

Sandwich salvation among the shoes.

It's worth knowing that the bottom floor of Topshop (AKA the 10th circle of hell on a Saturday afternoon) has an EAT. It's usually chock full of bored boyfriends and parents at the weekend, but the rest of the week it's pretty quiet, being buried deep in the bowels of one of Oxford Street's busiest shops. There's also a cupcake/bubble tea/frozen yoghurt concession on the ground floor if you can't find your way down two floors — or more to the point, won't be able to find your way back up once you're down there. Floor -2, Topshop Oxford Circus, 214 Oxford Street

The secret entrance

Want to head into Topshop but can't face the crowds of tourists and teenagers congregating at the entrance? Head into Miss Selfridge next door and slip in the side door — the two shops are connected — and you'll find yourself right by the escalators. From this point on, you're on your own. Any single store which requires a map to navigate is too much for us. Next to Topshop Oxford Circus

The secret viewpoint

Depending on which advertising campaign is currently adorning the windows of Debenhams, head to the corners on the Oxford Street side of the store on the fourth floor for a view overlooking the shoppers and buses below. If you're lucky, you'll be able to see through floor-to-ceiling glass. Although last time, we came face-to-nose with a five-storey-high poster of a model. You win some, you lose some. Debenhams, 334-348 Oxford Street

The secret rooftop

Although it's closed for the winter, there's a little-known rooftop bar at the Marble Arch end of the street, which is often overlooked in favour of the larger Oxford Street rooftops (Selfridges, John Lewis, we're looking at you).  

Roofnic is situated atop Marriott Hotel Park Lane — ideal for emergency cocktails when a trip to Primark gets too much. Keep an eye on the website for details of next year's cocktail offerings. Roofnic, 535 Oxford Street

The secret cinema

OK, so strictly this one isn't on Oxford Street, but it's worth knowing nonetheless. The Courthouse Hotel, just around the corner from Oxford Circus, is home to one of the biggest private cinemas in central London. If the thought of suede walls and leather seating sucks you in, there's a cinema club at the 100-seater venue every Saturday night — perfect for chilling out after a hard day's shopping. Courthouse Hotel, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street

Got any more insider tips to make a trip to Oxford Street more bearable? Let us know in the comments below.

Last Updated 27 October 2015

19 Beauchamp Place

Ah this is lovely! We love sharing little shopping gems like this. Thanks 19BP x

Wong Joon Ian

also... duck into the photographers gallery for a quiet(er) coffee (next to M&S); and margaret street and its environs are great for free on-street parking at night and on sundays...

Amelia

I don't know how many free toilets there are in Oxford street but sometimes you just need one quickly and there's no time to buy anything at a coffeeshop just to use the toilet (not all of them have toilets anyway). I found one at marks and spencer a few years ago, it's big and clean and it's on the first floor I think.

Charles

people like to do the same thing but feel like they are doing something different. it's still Oxford Street.

ntsteflonnts

The best ways to make Oxford street more bearable: get completely drunk before hand. Carry an electric cattle-prod. Elbow-pads are best for edging your way in to take something from the rack. Avoid Primark and TopShop like your very life depends upon it - shopping there is reserved for foreign tourists and professional shoppers with Level 6 qualifications - amateurs not welcome.

hostile_17

My "secret" it's avoid the place entirely. I really don't know how people receive any joy from this place.

Lolla Moon

Eat, a "secret" coffee shop?? Really?
As for loos, Selfridges has a great one. Super clean, not crowded and if you use female khazi it's by the bookstore. :) TopShop isn't as bad to shop at as Primark Marble Arch. Even the branch by Tott Court is less crowded, but it's best to stick with your local Pry ou go to one in the suburbs for peace and quiet and £1 knickers. :)

CaptainLardyPants

Roofnic is no more. Now it is Notch. http://www.notchldn.com/