Wouldn’t it be fantastic at this time of year to be transported, à la Star Trek, to your favourite shopping streets instead of battling your way through the crowds?

Just think: no endless circling the streets looking for somewhere to park the car; no more being crammed face-to-armpit on public transport; no need to wear hobnail boots and cricket pads in the crush of every department store. Heavenly…

This site is the answer. It creates a virtual street based on some of the top shopping streets in London and the US. In future, there’s sure to be a wider geographical spread, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter. Oxford Street is one of the world’s busiest shopping streets and it’s an obvious choice for this site. As you scroll along you’ll see all the shop fronts arranged as they are in real life.

Need to pop into Miss Selfridge for a pressie? No problem: click on the door and a link to their online shopping site pops up. Need to visit HMV for some retail therapy for yourself? The same applies: one click and you’re there. If the retailer you choose doesn’t have an online presence, you’ll be taken to a supplier who provides their goods (or similar).

It really is a great idea. You may find it a little clunky (you have to wait for the images to load), but once you’re over that it will really take the pain out of Christmas shopping. Perfect for those who don’t live anywhere near London or just can’t face the living hell that is the West End at this time of year.

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