Guide To London’s Best Outdoor Markets
London’s markets are a great way to pick up a bargain and explore different parts of the capital city. If you are looking to browse round some interesting stalls, then these markets are all well worth a visit.
Warning: You may find yourself dedicating a whole weekend to any of these venues, so make sure you are wearing walking shoes and have a wallet full of cash!
Columbia Road Flower Market
This blooming flower markets is located in the East End and many of the market stall holders bring real East End charm to their work. Each Sunday, Columbia Road is transformed into a veritable bower of blooms. Every possible type of flower and flowering plant is available, from house plants and bedding plants to exotic trees are ready to be snapped up.
The market is open from 8am until around 3pm (the stall holders may start to pack up before this time, so best to get there early).
It’s an interesting area to visit too, as there are many independent shops in the surrounding streets. When you need to have a rest, there are plenty of charming cafes and restaurants in the vicinity.
Borough Food Market
Borough Market is a great place to taste the many varied culinary aspects of London. The stalls are an eclectic mix of fresh produce and take away food that is ready to eat. A paradise for gourmet food lovers, there is something for everyone and you are guaranteed to come away inspired by the many different cuisines on offer.
There is also a Demonstration Kitchen, where resident and guest chefs show our varied cooking ideas to the assembled crowds.
Borough Market is open at lunchtimes from Monday to Wednesday but the full market is open on Thursday from 11am-5pm, Friday from 12pm-6pm and busiest of all Saturday from 8am-5pm.
Portobello Road Antiques Market
Set in trendy Notting Hill, Portobello Road is one of the most famous markets in the world. It is best known for the antiques and vintage stalls and it is easy to spend hours poking through the bric-a-brac to find something unique for the home. However the 2 mile long market also includes fruit and veg, clothing, jewellery and art work.
Saturday is the main trading day at Portobello Road, although some stalls are open during the week. It starts to get going from around 9am and most traders start packing up at 4pm.
Camden Road Market
Camden claims to be “London’s Favourite Market”, a bold claim possibly but it is easy to see why so many visitors make it part of their itinerary. There has been a market in this area since 1800 but since the 1970s, it has been most famous for the art and crafts market which surround the canal and Camden Lock.
Camden has something for everyone: antiques, clothes, souvenirs, food and every manner of knick-knacks. It can get very busy but for many that is part of the unique charm of the area.
The market is open seven days a week from 10am – 6pm, including bank holidays (except Christmas Day).
Spitalfields in London’s oldest market and is haven for those searching for vintage clothes, art and delicious food. Some shoppers feel that it has dipped in quality over the last few years but there are still many interesting stalls and nearby shops to pique most visitors’ interest.
The Traders Market is open Monday – Friday from 10am-5pm and Sunday from 9am-5pm.
The Art Market runs once a month from March and weekly from mid-November; the stalls are open from 10am-5pm on the dates advertised on their website.