Markets are a sure fire way to get to the core of a city and see what it is really about. And this is no truer than when in London. London’s array of markets boast world class food options, antiques, one-off fashion finds and so much more. Here are five of the best:
The most diverse of London’s food markets is also the oldest, Borough Market first opened during the 13th century! Quite simply put this is a foodie’s paradise and the place to head for high-end and organically-based produce. Every weekend food lovers descend upon the market to savour everything from rare-bread meats and freshly baked breads to indescribably good sweet treats. The food stalls sweep across continents, with everything from Mongolian barbecue to killer grilled cheese sandwiches just waiting to be discovered.
Nearest tube: London Bridge
Opening Hours: Monday & Tuesday (lunch market) 10-5, Wednesday & Friday (full market) 10-5, Saturday 8-5
Columbia Road Flower Market
It is well worth rising early on a Sunday morning to venture out to the Columbia Road Flower Market. The most fragrant and visually enticing of London’s markets, is situated in the East End. The Victorian-terraced line street is home to shops selling everything from pottery to perfume, but it’s the flowers that are the main attraction. On a Sunday, the residential street is transformed into a visual spectacle when an oasis of foliage and flowers sweep across the normally subdued street. Here, there are bulbs, herbs, shrubs and even bedding plants that are amazing just to smell if not to buy.
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Opening Hours: Sunday 8-3
Perhaps the most famous of London’s markets, the iconic Portobello Road has long been a place musicians, writers and artists flocked to, to shop and hang out. More recently it has become known as the location for the film Notting Hill. A treasure trove for original finds, the market winds one-mile down the Portobello Road and is the place to head to for vintage clothing, unique jewellery, antiques (the most extensive selection in Britain) and superb people watching.
Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate
Opening Hours: Monday-Wednesday 9-6, Thursday 9-1, Friday-Saturday 9-7
Maltby Street Market
One of the newest kids on the market block, Maltby Street Market, has quickly become a firm favourite with food savvy Londoners who gather under the railway arches in Bermondsey for food and drink produced by local artisans. Famous for its Reuben sandwiches and Bloody Marys’, this south London market is still relatively undiscovered in comparison to the nearby Borough Market, it is also easier to navigate, less hectic and no less impressive when it comes to produce offer.
Nearest Tube: London Bridge
Opening Times: Saturday-Sunday 9-3
Spitalfields Market was originally purpose built as a wholesale fruit and vegetable market in the 1890’s. It is now the market to head to for unique fashion and craft finds, as well as being well placed to discover East London. The weekends see hundreds of stalls occupy the covered market. With independent designers and craft makers choosing Spitalfields as their market of choice; this is the place to head if you are in search of something out of the ordinary that you won’t see anyone else wearing!
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Opening Times: Saturday-Sunday 10-5
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