December 10, 2020

The best markets in London!

Shopping in London covers a whole lot more than the High Street and malls (although I have also written the perfect shopaholic’s weekend in London that blitzes through the fancy shops of Kensington, Oxford and Regent streets, but I digress) it is also filled with markets.

I love a market! That feeling of going on a treasure hunt, the delicious food, then at the end of the day you could check out one of London’s best rooftop bars to literally top off your day!

In fact London is teeming with fabulous markets to potter through, grab a bite to eat, a birthday present, do your weekly grocery shop…

Portobello Market
Famous Portobello Market in Notting Hill

Shopping in London doesn’t have to be expensive either (believe it or not it is possible to do London on a budget!). You’ll find great flea markets in London, Sunday markets, antique markets, weekend markets all with the buzzing atmosphere we know and love. (Check before you go to see the latest restrictions as some markets may not be running at the moment.)

In London you will find a street market for every taste. Literally. The city is very proud of is markets, most of which date back to medieval times.

From the famous antique Portobello Road to colourful Columbia Road Flower Market or Borough Market which is perfect for foodies!

I’ve rounded up my 10 favourite London markets to visit …

Jubilee Market

Jubilee Market is one of London’s oldest markets and is right in the heart of London’s West End in Covent Garden.

It is under the cover of Covent Garden’s hall which makes it perfect even on a rainy day.

Jubilee Market Hall, Covent Garden
Doesn’t matter about the weather at the Jubilee Market Hall in Covent Garden

Visit on Monday for antiques, on Tuesday to Friday for the general market with everything from sweets to clothing and accessories, and on Saturday and Sunday for arts and crafts, although you will also find some vintage clothing and other items.

Visiting Jubilee market is a bit like stepping back in time as the first market in Covent Garden piazza took place in 1654!  

Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market is probably the world’s best-known street market with a history stretching back over 150 years.

This is a great weekend market, although is open Monday to Friday too with a different focus each day. The main market day for antiques is Saturday when you will find a huge selection of fashion, food, books and music.

Portobello Market, London
There’s so many curiosities at Portobello Market!

Here you can discover over 1000 dealers from all over the world and find treasures like antique jewellery, shell shaped cutlery, Beatles vinyls and the most delicious food. Did someone say Halloumi fries?

Take some snaps in front of the beautiful pastel coloured houses, listen to the talented buskers and stroll along the food stalls from Westbourne Grove all the way up to and along Goldborne Road.

Brick Lane Market

Head to Brick Lane and you will be amazed by hundreds of vintage clothing rails, jewellery, tables of sunglasses and stacks of antique chairs.

This is one of London’s hippest areas in East London which is perfect for vintage finds, people watching and just enjoying the mixture of cultures.

Brick Lane book shop
Brick Lane Sunday Market

In recent years, the street market has incorporated several indoor markets like The Tea Rooms, Backyard Market, Sunday Upmarket, Boiler House and the Vintage Market.

You can easily spend a whole day here and it won’t even be enough. Plan in some additional time to discover the amazing street art and to try food from all over the world.

Columbia Road Flower Market

There is probably nowhere more atmospheric to browse for and buy flowers and plants than Columbia Road Flower Market. It is a heavenly Sunday market and where the locals shop to frilly up their homes – or you might just want to give someone a treat.

If you are just in London for a visit and can’t take plants back home with you, it’s definitely worth a visit – even on the coldest, greyest days!

Columbia Road Flower Market

Enjoy the intoxicating scent of jasmine, lavender, mint or lilies as you wander down the electrifying street that is dating back to the 19th century.

For the ultimate Columbia Road experience, hold off on breakfast until you get there. The street is full of independent cafes with delicious pastries, croissants and more. 

Greenwich Market

Think cobblestone floor, elegant portico, street food vendors and dozens of unique clothing sellers… welcome to Greenwich Market!

This market is open 7 days a week and is regarded as one of London’s best covered markets and is one of the city’s best sources for arts and crafts, unique gifts, and rare antiques and collectibles. Not to mention Greenwich Village is a lovely day out.

Greenwich Market entrance
Historic Greenwich Market

Borough Market

Borough Market is hands down London’s best food market!

It is located next to London bridge and is a renowned food and drink market filled with fresh produce and food to eat while you’re here.

Whether you are looking for the latest food trends, inspiring ingredients or just something delicious to eat, you will find it on this market which has been around for over 1,000 years.

Borough Market
Come hungry to Borough Market!

Not only is the market a popular destination amongst London locals who do their weekly shopping here, but it’s also an interesting place if you’re on the hunt for fresh fish or meat, all sorts of different spices or exotic fruit to wow your dinner guests.

Camden Market

If it’s character you’re after, Camden Market is definitely the place to be.

Camden is the booming hub of London’s music scene and a fantastic place for a day (and night) out in London.

Discover the unique Camden Market in leafy North London, along the picturesque Regent’s Canal. Here, you will find some of the coolest shopping in London specialising in handmade, one-of-a-kind crafts.

Camden Lock, London
Camden Lock

Camden Stables Market has over 1000 shops and stalls, including food from all over the world, vintage clothes and pre-owned goods. Oh, and if you want a piercing or tattoo, get it done here!

Herne Hill Farmers’ Market

If you’re looking for a quieter Sunday market, Herne Hill Farmers’ Market is the perfect place for a less “touristy” market.

It is located in South London and is held every Sunday. The market is very lively and is truly independent in spirit with a local village atmosphere and unique shopping.

It is fantastic to see the market used by the local community who buy products from more than 50 traders providing locally produced foods, jewellery, clothes, art and crafts.

Southbank Centre Food Market

Southbank Centre Food Market is a weekend market every Friday to Sunday on Southbank Centre Square behind the Royal Festival Hall.

This market features more than 40 producers in confectionary, spices, fresh meat, and more. The scenery here is lovely, and after visiting the market you can stroll along the Thames with your chosen treat.

Broadway Market

For an off-the-beaten-track London market, Broadway Market on Regent’s Canal in Hackney is a lovely local market selling all sorts of things, like artwork, wooden artefacts, jewellery, vintage clothing and lots of delicious food… including a whole stall for dog treats!

It is eco-edgy too with a ban on plastic bags so bring your reusable shopping bag and plan to stock up. There is also a vegan market that takes place every Saturday in the playground of London Fields Primary School.

About Megan Singleton

Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!

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