Oxford Street holds the title of Europe's largest shopping street. The street follows the route of a Roman road which linked Hampshire with Colchester, one of the major routes in and out of the city. It became notorious as the route taken by prisoners on their final journey to the gallows. During the 19th century, the area became known for its shops. For many British chain stores, their Oxford Street branch is regarded as their 'flagship' store. Each Christmas the street is decorated with festive lights, a tradition that dates back to 1959.
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