London has such an amazing market culture. For lovers of food, bric-a-brac, antiques and flowers, London is the place to go. Listed below are a couple of markets I had the pleasure of visiting and a few others that were on my list and highly recommended by friends. There are also the random pop up markets that occur during certain days of the month or season. Pay attention to the items being sold at the mixed markets as some days specialise in certain items, as well as the times and bank (public) holidays.
It's no secret that Borough Market is every foodie's dream. The market was established in 1885 and spans four sections, even possessing a little information centre and a map. Famous for its artisan food, fresh produce and deli shops Borough Market is worth the visit. Its high quality sellers offer free samples, beautifully stacked fruit and vegetables and hot ready to eat market meals. Cheeses, chorizo, bread, wines, beers, cakes, preserves, honey, turkish delights, seafood and hot paella are just a few of the things for sale at the Borough Market. If you love food, you mustn't miss it.
Monday - Tuesday: Lunch from 11am - 5pm
Wednesday - Thursday: Full market, 11am - 5pm, Friday from 10am - 6pm, Saturday 8am - 5pm
8 Southwark Street, London
London Bridge Station
Consisting of five different specialty areas, Brick Lane is a good place to visit when in East London. Gritty, full of personality and street art, Brick Lane is home to the Boiler House Food Hall, Tea Rooms, Sunday UpMarket, Vintage Market and the Backyard Market.
Saturdays: 11am - 6pm
Sundays: 10am - 5pm
91 Brick Lane, London
Camden Lock Market
The best mix of food and drink, fashion, music and art is at Camden Lock. The markets themselves are eclectic, situated in what is regarded to be the epicentre of culture and music in London.
Monday - Sunday: 10am - 6pm
Camden Lock, Chalk Farm Road, London
Columbia Road Flower Market
This market will more than likely put any other flower market to shame. Every Sunday Columbia Road is alive with colour, sweet smells and locals. Trucks full of crates and flowers are parked on the surrounding streets while owners try to sell their wares. Walking through the market I caught words of advice on how to prune trees, plant herbs and when to "fess up the money for the flowers". A cacophony of colours, Columbia Road is almost every girl's dream market. The stalls themselves are owned by 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of families. Visit early to avoid the crowds and to get the most value out of your visit.
Sunday: 8am - 3pm approximately
Columbia Road, London
Bethnal Green Tube Station
Portobello Road is equally notable for its pastel coloured houses and its long stretching street market. It is also the world's largest antique market at 940 metres long with over 1000 stall spots. The stalls are not just limited to antiques however, with fresh fruit and vegetables also sold. The markets are surrounded by countless places to purchase breakfast or lunch - a wise idea to fuel up when beginning to walk the long stretch.
Monday - Wednesday: 9am - 6pm
Thursday: 9am - 1pm
Friday - Saturday: 9am - 7pm
Portobello Road, London
Notting Hill Gate Station
Old Spitalfields Market
Super historic - even located in an old Victorian building in Shoreditch, Old Spitalfields is open seven days a week. For vintage clothing, furniture and bric-a-brac, it is the perfect hub for arty and trendy items. Each day has a different focus, but each has a tendency to present itself to you like that of an Etsy store. The main market days are Thursdays - Sundays. On the first and third Fridays of every month, the markets are joined by a Record Fair which will seek out crowds of the classic.
Monday - Wednesday: 10am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 10am - 4pm
Saturday: 11am - 5pm
Sunday: 9am - 5pm
16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, London
Real Food Market
Featuring more than 40 producers and delicious pulled pork and apple in a brioche bun, this particular market is held every Wednesday to Friday. The worst thing about this market is probably that you don't have enough room in your stomach for everything.
Wednesday - Friday: 12pm - 7pm
Other markets of note include:
Covent Garden Market