If you have the pleasure of having downtime in London and are looking for an inexpensive way to spend the day, choosing one of London’s most well-known markets will surely provide you with the adventure and fun you are looking for. From antique markets to farmers markets, and even a full flower market, there is something for just about everyone! With all of the markets London has to offer, it was hard to choose just five. Here are some of the most popular markets known around town!
Borough Market is just one of the many treasures that London has to offer. Located on 8 Southwark Street, Borough Market offers a vast variety of trading stalls and food carts. They have everything from fresh fish and seafood, meat and poultry, fruit and vegetables and of course, an abundant amount of dessert traders and much, much more.
Borough Market is rather large, so in order to get the full feel of the market, it takes a bit of wandering around. If you find that you have time to do just that, then Borough Market should be your next stop. You can also look up the full list of traders beforehand, to ensure you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Borough Market is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Lunch is offered on Monday’s and Tuesdays from 10 am to 5 pm. However, the full market is only offered from Wednesday through Saturday. The hours vary on these days so it’s worth it to look them up ahead of time to make sure you’re getting the most out of your trip. If you plan on visiting on a weekend, Saturdays are one of Borough Market’s busiest days. Get there early to beat the crowds!
Located in Northwest London, in Camden Town, you will find a village of markets. When you first enter Camden Market, you may feel as though there isn’t much to it. In this markets case, there is more than meets the eye.
The moment you step off the tube, you are in Camden Market, also known as Buck Street Markets. Stalls and stores line the streets leading up to Camden Stables Market. There, you will find an array of indoor and outdoor trading booths. Most of them offering traditional international foods, alternative fashions, and all sorts of handmade goods. You can visit the market on any day of the week, with most of the stalls and shops opening at 10 am and closing around 6 pm. This is one of the most diverse markets that gets to call London home.
It is easy to spend a large portion of your day inspecting all of the stalls that line the many pathways. Be sure to look up ahead of time what the traders offer specifically, to get an idea of what you’re looking for. If you find that you tire of the market scene, either find your way back to the street or use the bridge to cross over the lock. There you will find one of the many pubs, bars, or restaurants that Camden Town has to offer.
Columbia Road Market
Made up of tiny art galleries, cafes, delis of all sorts, and a wide array of pubs and restaurants, Columbia Road is comprised of about 60 independent shops. On Sundays, all of that changes.
The streets are dominated with vendors selling their homegrown or imported plants and flowers. You can find anything from fruit trees to your average flower and bedding plants. If you’re spending the weekend in London, the market is a must see. The fact that it is rich in history is only part of the reason it is held to such high a standard. You can feel the love that the shop owners and street traders put into the market by just walking down the street.
If you want to make it to the market, you’re going to have to set an alarm. Vendors and stalls start opening around 8 am and close around 3 pm. The market is open in any type of weather, so start your Sunday early in the East End and be sure to follow the flower road.
Covent Garden Apple Market
Don’t let the name fool you, apples are not the focus of this market. Located in the North Hall of the Covent Garden Marketing Building, the Apple Market is home to about 40 stalls. Be sure to stop here if you’re looking for a market vibe, but don’t want to feel overwhelmed.
On Mondays, you can flock there to find antiques of all sorts. Tuesday through Sunday, the market is filled with homemade arts and crafts being sold. Some of which consist of leather goods, jewelry, handmade soaps, and even hand knitted articles of clothing. The market opens at 9:30 am and closes around 6 pm.
Portobello Road Market
If you’re into collectibles and antiques, this market is for you. Portobello Road is one of the largest one-day antique markets London has to offer.
Luckily you won’t have to plan your trip around visiting this lively market. Portobello’s antique arcades are occupied throughout the whole year for the convenience of its visitors. Saturday’s are known for their vendors and stalls specializing in the sale of antiques. Opening at 9 am and closing around 7 pm, it’s easy to drop by throughout the day and take a look around.
If you find that antiques are not your thing, Portobello also offers an outdoor market throughout the week. The outdoor market offers fruits and vegetables, new and second-hand goods, and even a fashion market. Be sure to check the hours beforehand, as they vary during the week.