London is a brilliant place to shop with stores catering to every kind of budget and taste. From designer labels and high-end department stores to independent boutiques and shops curating the best in creative design.
Some of my favourite places to shop, however, are the markets in London. The capital is filled with fun markets from farmers’ to fashion, as well as plenty dedicated to street food, antiques, flowers and more.
There have been markets in London since at least the Middle Ages and nearly every corner of the city has its own corner where street stalls spring up weekly. However, if you’re just in town for a quick visit then these are some of the best markets in London you can’t miss.
[author] [author_info]Looking for other things to do in London? Don’t miss the best places for views of the city, the 11 best playgrounds in London and our guide to all the FREE things to do in London with kids. [/author_info] [/author]
One of my absolute favourite places to go is Borough Market. This is one of the most famous markets in London and is foodie paradise. You can buy quality fish, fruit and veg, meat, bread and cakes as well as oils, vinegars, spices and pretty much anything else you need to whip up a tasty meal.
There’s also a huge array of street food stalls from amazing sausage burgers, delicious empanadas, freshly shucked oysters, and plenty of freshly baked sweet treats. Make sure you try these dishes when you visit.
Located near London Bridge, a food market has existed in this spot in some form or other for around 1,000 years and although it still operates as a wholesale market in the very early hours of the morning, it’s best known among visitors as a great place to go to eat. It gets very busy so arrive early!
Borough Market is open Monday to Saturday. On Monday and Tuesday, not all of the traders are there but there’s still lots of choice. The market is closed on public holidays.
[author] [author_info]Don’t forget to join our London with Kids Facebook group for more ideas on things to do in the city! [/author_info] [/author]
Columbia Road Flower Market
Located just off the main drag of uber-trendy Shoreditch, Columbia Road Flower Market is one of the most popular of London’s east end markets.
Every Sunday sees the cobbled street transformed into an outdoor market selling bucketful of freshly cut flowers as well as bedding plants, banana trees, bulbs, shrubs and pretty much any other plant you might like for your garden or home.
Columbia Road is also home to a huge number of independent shops including art galleries, vintage clothes stores, yummy delis and antique shops. There are also plenty of pubs and cafes for a post-market snack or drink.
Although the market is supposed to open at 8am, stalls may well still be setting up at 9am. Peak time is 10.30am – 1pm when the road is packed.
[author] [author_info]Columbia Road is one of London’s most well-known roads – here are some more of London’s most famous streets![/author_info] [/author]
Old Spitalfields Market
Located near Liverpool Street station, a market has stood on the site of Old Spitalfields Market for some 350 years. The current structure was rejuvenated in the early 2000s and is now one of the capital’s most exciting shopping destinations.
Open daily, the main concourse is packed with stalls selling clothes – both contemporary and vintage – homewares, jewellery, art, children’s toys, artisan food products and more. There are also permanent shops and a number of great restaurants, cafes and bars. On Thursdays, the Antiques Market comes to town when 80 stalls set up selling the best of their vintage stock.
[author] [author_info]Need help getting around? These are the 11 best apps for making the most of London.[/author_info] [/author]
Portobello Road Market
The world’s largest antiques market takes place on Portobello Road in colourful Notting Hill. Expect over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique, bric a brac, knick-knack and collectable imaginable. It’s one of the most popular markets to visit in London.
The market is separated into different sections with one area dedicated to second-hand goods, another selling clothes (many famous designers and brands started out here), a third section for fruit, vegetables and other food and then, of course, the area dedicated to antiques.
The market is open daily, check the website for more information (some sections are only open on certain days).
[author] [author_info]Notting Hill is one of London’s most popular neighbourhoods. This guide shares other great neighbourhoods to visit – and stay in![/author_info] [/author]
What originally started as a small arts and crafts market with just 16 stalls is today one of the most lively markets in London. Some 250,000 visitors head to Camden every week to explore the huge number of street stalls, street food traders and independent stores.
The area is actually made up of several adjoining markets; Camden Lock Market is the place to head for arts-and-crafts, the Stables Market is home to an eclectic range of goods including furniture and clothes and Buck Street Market is the place to head for t-shirts and London souvenirs.
For more information, take a look at the Camden Market website.
Brick Lane Market
You’ll find Brick Lane market in East London. Every Sunday, the streets are packed with people selling second-hand furniture, clothes, artwork and all kinds of bric-a-brac from old magazines to kitsch collectibles. There’s often music playing and street artists performing. It’s a fun and occasionally chaotic atmosphere and a brilliant place to visit.
The area is filled with ethnic restaurants and cafes including authentic Jewish bagel shops and plenty of Bangladeshi curry houses. Make sure to visit the 24-hour Brick Lane Beigel Bake while you’re here. There are also lots of food vendors on a Sunday hawking everything from ribs and chicken strips to Balti and tandoori dishes.
As well as the main Sunday street market there is The Old Truman Brewery, home to its own selection of regular markets. Here you’ll find vintage clothing, furniture and antiques, jewellery and accessories, artwork and almost anything else you could possibly want!