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London Markets

( blog )

Read time : 6 minutes

I just love spending a day in one of London’s famous markets! You can find everything from food to flowers, modern art to antiques, and clothes to curios. You’ll never get bored of London’s eclectic range of markets – they represent the coolest corners of this capital. Take your pick from hipster hangouts to centuries-old mainstays of London life, where you can buy a weird and wonderful array of products and sample amazing street food. From East London’s Brick Lane Market to West London’s Portobello Road stalls, you’ll get to taste dishes from all corners of the globe, discover vintage clothes and buy unique souvenirs to take home with you. No trip to London is complete without a tour of these markets – it’s a perfect weekend activity, if you ask me!

Being a food lover, one of my favourite markets is Borough Market. For antiques and vintage clothes, it would have to be Portobello Road Market. For trendy shops and pubs and street performers, Covent Garden is my choice, and for an alternative experience, Camden Lock Market is a must!

Borough Market, London Bridge

This is a foodie paradise and one of London’s oldest food markets located right by London Bridge. London's tallest skyscraper, The Shard, now towers above it.

You can find fine food and delicacies from all over the world from Spanish cured meats to fresh Italian pasta, German wurst to French cheeses, handmade chocolate and fresh artisan bread, not to mention great coffee.

There are also lots of fantastic restaurants in Borough Market where you can sit and relax and watch the world go by.

Borough Market is open from Monday to Saturday, but the full market operates from Wednesday to Saturday. On Mondays and Tuesdays not all of the stalls are open.

It is located next to London Bridge station which is on the Northern and Jubilee tube lines, and is also accessible by mainline trains from all over London.

Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

This market in Notting Hill has been operating since the 1800s, but became famous for its antiques in the 1950s. As well as antiques, the two-mile road hosts a variety of stalls selling everything from fruit and bread to posters, clothes, ceramics and music.

There is also a large section of the market dedicated to vintage clothing where shopaholics or collectors can spend hours going through items from past eras to find a bargain.

Dotted amongst the shops and stalls are pubs and restaurants where you can recharge your batteries and people watch or enjoy some live music.

This fashionable market cuts through the heart of Notting Hill in West London – one of London’s trendiest areas.

The main market days are Friday and Saturday with a smaller market running Monday to Thursday and can be reached by tube or bus to Notting Hill Gate and Ladbroke Grove stations.

Covent Garden Market, Covent Garden

Covent Garden Market used to be famous as a fruit and vegetable market, but now includes shops and stalls offering a range of unique handmade crafts, jewellery, prints, watercolours, antiques and collectables. The variety of products available makes it a great place for gift shopping.

Another attraction of the market is its location at the heart of Covent Garden which boasts a large number of restaurants, bars, pubs and fashionable shops to browse.

The area is also famous for its street performers who keep crowds entertained on a daily basis.

Located just a few steps away from Covent Garden tube station.

Brick Lane Market, Tower Hamlets

The East End has long been the cool place to hang out and at the heart of this area is Brick Lane with a market bursting full of antiques, stunning fabrics and kitsch collectables. There are also numerous food stalls and restaurants in the area.

The area is famed for its brilliant curry houses and Indian restaurants, as well as several Jewish bagel shops.

In addition to the main Sunday street market (open 10am-5pm), The Old Truman Brewery hosts several regular markets at its huge site on Brick Lane:

Head to Sunday Upmarket for more than 200 stalls encompassing fashion, art and food. Sun 10am-5pm
Buy jewellery, prints and accessories at Backyard Market. Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Taste culinary delights from more than 30 international stalls at Boiler House Food Hall. Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Explore vintage clothing gems at the Vintage Market. Thurs & Fri 11am-5.30pm, Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Check out Aladdin’s cave of furniture and antiques at The Tea Rooms. Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Camden Lock Markets, Camden Town

Camden Lock Markets are at the heart of Camden Town, London’s funkiest district. Open seven days per week, Camden’s markets are packed with quirky boutiques selling a range of mysterious items from vintage clothing to hand-made jewellery and artwork to gifts, music and more. There are also food stalls offering a large variety of cuisines.

A former timber yard for ship builders TE Dingwalls, Camden Lock was opened in the 1970s as Camden's original arts and crafts market. The original market hall was re-opened in the 1980s and a steel and glass canopy added to the East Yard in 2003.

Camden Lock market is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.

Old Spitalfields Market, Spitalfields

Old Spitalfields Market was built in 1876 but dates back to 1638 when King Charles issued a license for "flesh, fowl, and roots" to be sold in what was then known as Spittle Fields. It is one of the finest surviving Victorian Market Halls in London.

It's now a very cool place to shop and eat in east London. The market is surrounded by independent boutiques selling everything from cool housewares and artwork to vintage clothes and antiques, and the newly launched “Kitchens” in the center of the market offers a great street food experience in London.

The mix of restaurants and fresh food market stalls provide high quality and affordable cuisine including fresh produce, artisan breads and plenty of organic and fair trade products.

The market is located a short walk from Liverpool Street Station and is busiest on Sundays, but it's open seven days a week.

While you're there, check out Spitalfield's Charnel House, a vault used to store human bones in the 14th century situated in front of no.1 Bishops Square, beside the renovated Old Spitalfields Market. This archaeological find was discovered in 1999 and it has since been preserved for everyone to see.


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