Other Markets, London
The Bermondsey Square antiques market is held every Friday 6AM to 2PM. I seem to remember this is a good place to look for silverware. Some of the dealers go shopping in Paris on Thursday and their "fresh" antiques will be for sale on this Friday market.
Despite of the early starting time; you can have a good breakfast at one the breakfast places around the square.
A newer market that's been held on the square is the Bermondsey Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and a Christmas Market in December.
What to buy: Antiques.
What to pay: Just haggle.
Greenwich Market is a little bit like Camden Town, but on a much smaller scale. Moreover, it is not as over-crowded as Camden. In a hall of approximately 100x20m you can shop for countless different handicraft products, such as handbags, clothing, jewellery, household goods etc. You can also watch some of the craftsmen producing their goods. And after you are done with your shopping, why not get some food from the food stalls at the lower end of the market hall? In contrast to those overrun bad quality food stalls at Camden, you can get a real treat here. While I still enjoy a visit to Camden now and then, I am sure that I will frequent Greenwich Market more often now that I have discovered it.
What to buy: I loved the "chicken door-stoppers", but also the "letter photographs" which you can use to spell your name with photographs.
What to pay: about average
with the forthcoming appalling closure of the Whitechapel Market to facilitate a cycle lane for the 2012 Olympics (see seperate tip for my feelings on that one!) it seems that Watney Market, not too far away will be the place to go for your East End market experience. Like most markets hereabouts it continues a long tradition. Even though the surrounding buildings are distinctly 1960's there has been a market here for a long time. For example, in 1927 227 stallholders applied for the 200 pitches available. Amongst those were J. Sainsbury's who applied for a second stall to sell condensed milk, eggs and margarine in packets. This may not mean much to non UK readers but Sainsburys are now one of the UK's largest supermarket chains with a multi billion pound turnover.
There are nothing like that number of outlets today but the market thrives despite decline in past decades. Whether the costermongers of Sainsbury's in 1927 would recognise it is doubtful. The stallholders now are predominantly Asian and exotic fruits and vegetables sit side by side with saris and Asian materials. This is totally in keeping with the ethnic composition of the area, and it would provide an interesting trip for a visitor who wants to see what the East End is like now.
Worth a visit.
What to buy: You can get just about anything here.
What to pay: Generally cheaper than supermarkets, especially for foodstuffs. Here is a tip, go late in the afternoon and the stallholders sell off the day's stock cheap, there are some great bargains to be had.
Every Sunday a big flower market takes place at Columbia Road, not far from Brick Lane. You can find everything, beautiful roses, bedding plants, numerous seeds etc
The atmosphere is very nice with loudly sellers trying to convince people while colors and smells come from all over the place. The market gets packed with people (watch out for pickpockets).
But the Market isnt just the stalls with the flowers, along the street you can see Victorian buildings that house art galleries and other shops that sell antiques, vintage clothes etc The problem is that with so many people on the street it’s hard to visit properly the shops and although we wanted to return just for the stores we learnt that most of them open only on Sundays.
An interesting tip is that originally the market was opened on Saturdays but as the jewish population became bigger they added another market on Sundays when people bringing flowers and plants from their gardens in the area (but also from Hackney and Islington).
We spend about 45’ along the flower market and we paid £5 for 20 roses which was a good bargain.
Pic 4 shows a weird man watching us from a window :)
Pic 5 shows street art influenced by the flower market.
It is open on Sundays 8.00-15.00 but we noticed some of the sellers were there till 17.00 offering the flowers at really low prices trying to give away everything.
Berwick Street Market is located on Berwick Street (not surprisingly!) in the heart of Soho. It is central London's only surviving fruit and vegetable market, and it dates back to the 1840's.
What to buy: Here you can pick up some fresh produce - all the usual fruit and vegies, along with herbs and spices and even house hold goods. There are stalls selling cheeses, fish and flowers.
There are also some cool shops on either side of the market - several record stores selling old and new vinyl and cds, and a couple of interesting clothing shops. Oh, and make sure you pop into Flat White café for one of the best coffees in town.
The market is open Mon-Sat from 8am-5.30pm
This isn't a market in the strict sense of the word, although it certainly used to be. It is in the City of London, and is architecturally a beautiful structure. It is now given over to a number of small shop units, cafes and bars. As is to be expected form it's location, there aren't many bargains to be had, but it's a lovely place for a browse.
The nearest Tube Station is Bank and the market is closed at the weekend, although the tube station is open if you just fancy a look.
Portobello Road markets are famous markets located in Notting Hill, West London.
They are a must see for many tourists, and although they are open during the week, the big day is Saturdays when the stalls seem to go on forever.
The markets stalls are grouped in sections, with a large amount of antique stalls and shops at the Notting Hill end, moving then onto fruit and veg stalls.
Closer to Ladbroke Grove you have lots of new and second hand clothing, jewellery and some retro bric-a-brac.
Further on you get into less interesting stalls, but there is always a bargain to be found!
The shops that line Portobello Road are also interesting, and there are plenty of cafes and coffee shops to help keep your energy up for shopping!
We have been twice - in winter when it was freeeeeeezing, and summer which was much nicer for a wander.
Saturdays get VERY busy, so GET THERE EARLY!
What to buy: Antiques, second hand clothing, funky old home wares and furniture.
Covent Garden was designed as a piazza in the 1600's and some of the area street names are still the same as then. St. Paul's church is on one side of the square and it used to be surrounded by Inigo Jones designed houses. Little by little Covent Garden became a market square and then a flower market and slowly the merchants expanded into the surrounding streets. In the mid 1960's, the old market was cleared out and redeveloped for tourism. There are still market stalls amid all the shops and restaurants and the old theatre is now the Royal Opera House.
What to buy: Covent Garden has some very interesting shops in the main piazza structure. There are seconds china shops, a theatre and toy store, Past Times, boutiques and the market stalls as well. You will see street performers and at night, there are streams of people filing into the area to take part in the bars and restaurants before and after the theatre.
The old Truman Brewery and a few other nearby buildings have been converted into shopping malls, with their own food courts, selling all kinds of retro and independent designer clothing, jewelery, etc.
Even if you are not into this type of 'flea market" atmosphere for shopping, the great variety of ethnic food offered is worth passing by for. Most meals are large and priced at a 5'er, so very economical.
Sundays from 10:00 to 5:00
Tube – Aldgate east / Liverpool Street
Leadenhhall Market is in the heart of the City and because it was a Saturday afternoon when I visited the market was closed (the City is virtually closed on Saturdays). However it is a very impressive market - enclosed with passageways that have a wide variety of shops. Shops to my northern eyes but stalls to Londoners!
The market was built in 1881 and then restored in 1991 to what you see today. In 2001 it was used in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone as Diagon Alley.
The market does seem to be a very exciting market - looking at the website I see there are many special events through the year and I would like to visit through the working week.
Not one of London's better markets but the only traditional market I am aware of in the West End. There are stalls here every day of the week apart from Sunday and the market is open from 09.00 to 18.00. It seemed to me that this is a market for vegetables, fruit, meat , fish , cheese and some clothing but many of the stalls (at mid day) looked very under stocked in comparison to the northern markets I am used to (or indeed London suburban markets).
In all honesty I can only think worth visiting if you actually want to buy something if you are in the area - I would not make a special journey to see it.
London is a great city for markets, the attached website lists 20 that are within easy reach of Central London. We've been to a lot of these markets, some of which I've already listed on separate tips.
Portobello Road is a bit on the touristy side but we always make a stop here if we are in London on a Saturday, the best day to go. You can find a little of everything here, food, antiques, souvenirs, junk, clothing
Covent Garden's Jubilee market is the most touristy of the markets, souvenirs and clothing mostly. The covered market has antiques or arts and crafts
Camden Lock and Stables Market always seems more hip and more local than Portobello, a little bit of everything, best time to go is on the weekends, during the week lots of it is closed
Borough Market, gourmet food market, open Thurs-Sat
Church Street Market, very local, mostly fruits and veggies and household goods, cheap clothing
Bermondsey Market is the antique market for serious antiquers, get there early for the best deals
The East End Markets are all open on Sunday, Petticoat Lane for clothes, Brick Lane for a variety of goods and Indian food, Old Spitalfields Market has shops, restaurants and a market with varying goods throughout the week
I loved this place from the beginning. 2° hand clothes of good quality, 2° hand designers' bags, some food, some handmande jewelery, buscuits, vegetal body cream and Argentinian food vendor. GREAT. Everything in a small area between St Reagent Park and the absurd Madame Tusseaud. Unfortunately just on Saturday.
It's really a must. Please review it in my restaurant tips. I've put it there because it's a quite cheap and good option for lunch. I've bought terrific homemade jams.
What to buy: Every type of food and wines
What to pay: The quality is rather good so prices are adequate
An extraordinary display of food and drink. Everything you can imagine to eat and drink is here. Superb butchers, fishmongers, cheeses from all over Europe, condiments, fresh produce, interesting beer and wine. Also stalls will sell you rolls or baguettes or wraps filled with superior sausages and burgers, roast meat, falafel, chorizo. Mulled wine and cider on sale in winter.
For some reason I took no photos ?!
What to pay: As much as you can carry. The food is not cheap, but I have not seen anything like this place.