If you are into markets, or just want to get a feel for East London life, take a trip East on a Sunday morning and check out some of the markets in this colourful area of London.
Spitalfields Market is a large covered market, specialising in organic food, arts & crafts and some antiques. It can get really busy here, so best to arrive early....we went one Sunday afternoon and it was so crowded it was impossible to stop and look at any of the stalls. Opening hours are Mon-Fri: 11am-3pm, Sun: 10am-5pm. Organic Market only on Fri & Sun.
Another Market in the area is Brick Lane Market, which is a real East End experience, kind of dirty and smelly....with stalls selling everything from fresh produce, to household goods, second hand clothing and bicycles. Make sure you stop by the famous Bagel shop - 'Beigel Bake' for a snack while you are in the area. Market open on Sunday till 2pm.
Petticoat Lane is a another market, this one specialising in clothing, including leather goods. It is usually pretty crowded, particularly so on Sundays. It is open Mon-Fri: 10am-2pm & Sun: 9am-2pm
For address details and nearest Tubes, refer to the web link. Happy shopping!
What to pay: Prices vary market to market - at some markets you can even practice your haggling!
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.
Shepherds Bush market is located in West London.
It has over 300 stalls and shops, selling everything from ethinic foods, fabrics, household goods, clothes, gifts and the usual market bric-a-brac.
I had a wander through early on a Saturday afternoon, and it was surprisingly quiet. There were some locals buying food for their evening meal and browsing some of the stalls.
I had been meaning to go to these markets for ages, and am glad that I made it, but don't feel the need to rush back.....interesting though, and a good place to buy ethnic style cooking ingredients and I have heard that the fish monger there is good.
Covent Garden markets would have to be the most famous markets in London - not many tourists would go home without having at least a quick wander around here.
In this under cover market, there are plenty of stalls selling good quality handicrafts, clothing and souvenirs.
There are also retail shops, restaurants and bars.
Another draw card are the numerous street entertainers, always there to keep the kids (and adults) amused.
What to buy: Minature paintings of London icons, funky t-shirts.
What to pay: Not as cheap as some markets, but what do you expect from such a major tourist attraction.
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
Spitalfields Market is located in Commercial Street, between Lamb Street and Brushfield Street, E1.
Is placed in an old market or 12,000 m square.
What to buy: In Spitalfields market you can buy food, trendy clothes, beautiful local crafts.. also you can eat there as well or in the streets around the market.
What to pay: Prepare your pocket because you will fall in love of the crafts and clothes.
You can spead around ?50 easily.
However depends on the day and in the person.
Every Saturday there's a collectors market near the Charing Cross tube station for people who collect postcards, stamps, coins, cigarette cards.
You probably won't find many bargains here as the sellers seem to know their goods pretty well but if you are a serious collector of any of these items it might be a fun place to have a look around.
Borough Market is a lively food market open on Fridays (12pm-6pm) and Saturdays (9am-4pm).
It's a perfect place to get both fresh fish and potatoes for your homemade fish and chips :)
And you can also buy every other kind of fresh produce there.
What to buy: Fresh or smoked salmon, cheese, etc...but make sure to walk around and check everything! :)
This place always provides fun & smiles & sometimes hearty laughter (see other photos of my friend & myself a few years down the line!! The main market hall has many small high street outlets, but the local craft is much more interesting. You can find lots of special local crafts in the covered market. Come and be entertained by the street performers, watch talented fiddle players in the market place, or if the weather turns to rain or cruel winds, like it did on our visit, go people watch in one of the pubs = all good fun
What to buy: Everything from food & drink to warm hats & scarf to local craft & prints & postcards
What to pay: What you can afford - somethings are really cheap & some expensive
This is one of many street markets in London and has a lot of antique shops along the street as well as vendors spreading their wares on the sidewalks. We picked up a couple of souvenirs but the main thing about these places is enjoying the "shopping" even if you don't buy anything.
What to buy: Here is everything from fine antiques to kitschy collectibles to jewelry to junk.
What to pay: As much or as little as you want.
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.
In the middle of the village is the Greenwich Market which is a fascinating collection of jewelry, antiques, collectables, clothing, arts and crafts, etc. We enjoyed browsing through and I even bought a few old coins. Nice place to find a souviner that is not one of 10 million alike. It is open Thursday-Sunday until 5:30 p.m. Opens at 7:30 on Thursday and Friday and 9:30 on Saturday & Sunday. There are cafes, shops etc. adjacent, most of which are open daily. A recent addition is the food market whi ch is open Wed-Sun and has a wonderful selection of fresh breads, cheeses, meats, pastries, etc. Great place to pick up stuff for a picnic.
Whitechapel market is a popular and busy Asian street market where you can buy all kinds of fruit, veg, clothing, fish and electrical goods. This is such a strong Asian community, you could easily feel like you are no longer in Europe whilst visiting this area of London.
The majority of residents and market stall owners here are Muslim, so respect that and be careful taking photos - some may not like it and it will cause offence.
What to buy: Almost anything here, particularly handbags and shoes
What to pay: It's not expensive
Alright, alright. So I'm not describing a "shop" (again!) so to speak, but as student living in London (who has to pay her own living expenses! aCk!) I'm mostly concerned with how to "get by" rather than trying to get the latest pair of kitten heeled boots.
Toilet paper. VERY important. Probably one of the most important things to purchase. And also one of the hardest things to price, because c'mon! It's one of lifest necessities (except for those of you who clean your rears with newspaper!) You need toilet paper. However, do you REALLY want to spend a pound or more on JUST four rolls of toilet paper? NO! You don't.
Solution: go to the street markets where you can get as many as 10 rolls for 1 quid! Amazing. That comes to 10p per roll of tp! hehe! :-D
What to buy: Good, quality 4ply toilet paper that doesn't flake on you!
What to pay: less than 10p a roll!
Whilst I can't imagine too many British people buying one of these, they may well appeal to foreigners. Pubs are one of the very traditional things in Britain that foreigners love to see (especially the more olde worldy type ones).
I can therefore imagine that people may want to buy one with a typical type of name. A traditional type name is the "Queen's Head", a more modern psuedo-traditional type name is the "Slug and Lettuce". There are loads of different signs and names, so take your pick!
What to pay: Several pounds, depending on size.