If you are looking into the option of visiting London but want to avoid the massive crowds of Oxford Street and the Strand, a good option would be to tour the many beautiful, quaint, and calm mews of the city.
These mews were used, back in the days, as service streets and located at the back of posh terraced houses, and they were home to horse stalls and carriage houses. This had the advantage of keeping the smells and sounds of horses at a minimum when the family was in the house.
And while these alleys have lost their equestrian function, one thing hasn't changed: Just as in the 18th century, very few people can afford living in them. I find that the most charming ones are located in Kensington and South Kensington. My favorite of them all is pictured above.