London has a great selection of markets selling everything you could possibly desire, from antiques and vintage clothes, to luxury foods and exotic flowers. Here are five of the city’s best markets:
Portobello Road Market
If you’ve ever seen Notting Hill, you might know Portobello Road Market as the one right outside Hugh Grant’s blue front door. Set in an adorable street that feels more like a town in the Cotswolds than central London, lined by colourfully painted houses, the focus of this market is antiques. Hours could be spent eyeing the stalls for unique finds; but don’t expect unique prices, as the market is no well-kept secret. There are also hot food stands towards the end of the road.
Nearest tube station: Notting Hill Gate, Central/Circle/District Lines.
Camden Market & Camden Lock Market
Camden once became the punk hangout of London, and the theme staunchly remains, with shops extravagantly decorated with gigantic platform shoes and looming scorpions, and piercing parlours galore. But Camden Market is now a steadfast tourist spot, remaining packed with visitors from near and far, every day of the week. The market is huge, extending through several buildings, including an amazing maze of stalls set in old stables, and of course the picturesque lock. If you want a market with variety and culture, then Camden is certainly the place, selling a huge assortment of clothing, artwork, food and more.
Nearest tube station: Camden Town, Northern Line.
Brick Lane Market
Brick Lane Market happens every weekend on, you guessed it, Brick Lane! The lane is famous for its vintage stores, but the market has everything from antiques and paintings to amazing food from seemingly every country in the world. There are stalls all the way down the lane, as well as dedicated indoor market areas, making for one pretty big market! Unlike some of London’s other markets, prices also remain reasonable, so you can set out in hope of nabbing a bargain.
Nearest tube station: Aldgate East, District Line.
Borough Market, which sits under the railway lines on the south side of London Bridge, is the city’s oldest market, selling luxury food produced both in the UK and abroad. There is food both hot and ready-to-eat, and to take home for the fridge, with everything from cheeses, jams and wines, to bread, fresh fish and charcuterie. If you are a true food connoisseur, then Borough Market is the one for you. The full market is open Wednesday to Saturday, with some lunch stands open on Monday and Tuesday.
Nearest tube station: London Bridge, Jubilee/Northern Lines.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Every Sunday Columbia Road is transformed into an exotic flower paradise, featuring every kind of flower you could possibly imagine, imported from all over the world. You can grab amazing bargains, especially towards the end of the day as sellers try to get rid of as much as possible; expect to pay no more than a fiver for an orchid. The market starts at 8am and runs to mid-afternoon, and try not to get there too late if you’re not a fan of glacial-paced crowds. Couple a visit to Columbia Road Flower Market with Brick Lane Market, as the flower market is only a 10 minute walk from the end of Brick Lane.
Nearest tube station: Bethnal Green, Central Line.