London has a wealth of different markets, 162 to be exact! Visitors really are spoiled for choice when considering which ones to go to; and sometimes finding out which market is the best one for you can be difficult. From food to fashion, antiques, flowers and books – you can opt for a specialist market or find one that offers a little bit of everything. Many of our guests will choose the iconic markets but some are after a more authentic local experience. Our curated list of recommendations gives you a bit of both; some of these markets you will no-doubt recognize but there are also some ‘off the beaten track’ options that are popular with the locals…so if you’re ready to live like a Londoner then read on!
Markets near the West End
The famous Portobello Road market sits in the picturesque area of Notting Hill amongst the iconic bright coloured houses. This is the world’s largest antique market housing over 1000 dealers and a huge range of collectables as well as food, clothing and more. Pick up a bite to eat whilst you wander around and find your antique souvenir. The best day of the week to go is a Saturday when the majority of the stalls are trading, but you can still pay a visit during the week.
Covent Garden is known for being the West End’s most famous sheltered market – it takes us back to 1631 when the area was turned into a public square on the granting of land to the Duke of Bedford. The market had its own journey of development from offering fresh food, to its reopening as a shopping centre in 1974, housing fashionable shops and leading brands. As well as being a shopping destination, Covent Garden also has a number of museums, where you can immerse yourself into London’s culture. On some days, you can also enjoy live performances at the square, from comedy to stunt performances.
Duke of York Square Fine Food Market
Located in the heart of Chelsea on the famous King’s Road, this up-scale market is hugely popular with the local residents. Offering a range of fine foods, all curated by high-end supermarket Partridges located just next door to the market. From British specialties to Sushi, cakes, and pastries, here you can taste the very best selection of locally sourced cuisine.
Be sure to plan your visit on a Saturday when this market is open. You can even fit a visit to the market around a day of shopping in the boutiques on The Kings Road.
Berwick Street Market
One of the oldest markets in London and frequently stumbled upon by visitors on their visit to Soho. A trip here during lunch hours will delight you with a selection of concept traders serving delicious street food that you might not discover elsewhere, as well as the usual favorites. Here you’ll discover the likes of Egyptian, Balkan and even Afghan cuisine. Try something new with a visit to the Berwick Street Market in Soho.
Markets near the City and Central London
Over a thousand years old, this is London’s most renowned food and drink market delighting thousands of visitors with a buzzing atmosphere. Spread across an area offering both open spaces and pathways, you can expect an extensive fruit and vegetable market, meat, fish and cheese in the centre space with a multitude of mouth-watering vendors around the periphery, serving cuisine from around the world. Open Monday to Saturday with the best days to visit being from Wednesday – Saturday when more traders are present.
A local favorite that some might call a hidden gem. Whilst the crowds flock to Borough Market, take a walk on the embankment until you get to The Southbank Centre. Just outside you will discover an award-winning hub of delicious street food, wine, coffee and sweet treats. Open from Fridays- Sundays.
Located in North London and easily accessible from The City, the famous Camden Market consists of a number of retail sites all adjoined, offering an extensive complex for you to explore over 1000 stalls. The sites are named Buck Market, Camden Lock Market, The Stables and Camden High Street – and tempt you with a huge range of items – from food to fashion, music, art and more.
The site located at Buck Street is undergoing extensive redevelopment works and will reopen early 2020 as a complex of new units but there’s still plenty to explore.
Pay a visit any day of the week but Friday – Sunday are the best days to go in order to ensure you get the most out of the stalls that only trade during the weekend. Travel to Camden Town or Chalk Farm to work your way around the market.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Easily the most picturesque market that London has to offer. Situated near Brick Lane and Spitalfields, this beautiful flower market sells everything from banana trees to bedding plants. Take in the aroma, gaze at the colourful displays before selecting your favourite flowers – and even have a browse in one of 60 independent boutique shops lining the street.
Brighten up your Sunday with a visit to Columbia Road Flower Market, open only on Sundays from 8am – 3pm.
Old Spitalfields Market
A historic London market (over 350 years old!) located just outside the City of London. The market is open 7 days a week and conveniently covered making it the perfect destination for the rainy days. This market offers a variety of goodies including fashion, arts and crafts, food and more with famous permanent brands occupying shops at the outer edges. There’s a fair share of food options available, from burgers to street food vendors – you’ll even find oysters and champagne.
Tip: Visit during the week for a less crowded experience
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