London is a veritable treasure trove of street markets and famous shopping streets. Whether you're on the lookout for antique collectables, retro clothes or a gourmet lunch, the capital's markets offer something for everyone. While away the hours and enjoy the hustle and bustle of one of its many famous markets.
Just moments from London Bridge, this food market is one of London’s most visited gastronomic haunts, and rightly so, with its outstanding offering of local produce. Try the UK and Europe’s finest dairy and charcuterie, eye up the extraordinary selection of fresh seafood, and select some handmade preserves.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Whether you’re there to buy flowers or not, Columbia Road is a worthwhile Sunday excursion. This morning market fills the small street each week with flourishing plants and shrubs, from English roses to exotic orchids and banana trees. While you’re there, call into Columbia Road’s independent shops for stylish homewares and coffee.
Portobello Road Market
With the accolade of being the world’s biggest antique market, Portobello Road attracts collectors from far and wide. More than 1,000 antique dealers gather to showcase their collection of intriguing objects. A smattering of vintage clothing and food vendors set up shop, too.
Brick Lane Market
This East London stretch is best known for its abundance of curry houses, but it’s also the setting for an atmospheric Sunday market. Hop between stalls selling retro bric-a-brac and vintage items, as well as some fresh produce. Backyard Market and Sunday UpMarket in the Old Truman Brewery are offshoots of Brick Lane Market, showcasing arts and crafts and a gastronomic array of food vendors.
Situated in the East London neighbourhood of Hackney, Broadway Market attracts style hunters each Saturday for its fashionable offering of vintage and designer attire. The market also draws in the weekend brunch crowd with vendors offering everything from pastries and gourmet burgers to artisanal coffee.
Covent Garden Market
Within the 19th-century Piazza of Covent Garden, there are three markets to explore. Look around the Apple Market, East Colonnade Market and Jubilee Market for handcrafted gifts, artworks, confectionary and clothes, among other diverse goods.
Dating back to 1887, Spitalfields Market has long been one of London’s best-loved markets, with the addition of new boutiques and cafes around the market’s perimeters in recent years. Find vintage wares alongside handmade crafts, and coincide your visit with Spitalfields Arts Market – held over one weekend each month – or the Saturday Style Market.
Southbank Centre Market
Another market for food lovers is set up across an outdoor space at Southbank Centre, with street food and fresh produce to tempt passers-by. A trip to the market can be combined with further exploration of the Southbank Centre, which continually hosts cultural exhibitions and events.
Camden Town is home to a series of markets encompassing an astonishingly eclectic array of goods to suit all tastes. Pick up some vintage clothes, handmade jewellery, music, or bric-a-brac. The market around Camden Lock features designers and artists, with a selection of international food vendors, too.
Maltby Street Market
Each weekend a gastronomic feast is set up beneath the railway arches of Bermondsey, with a street market stretch called the Ropewalk. Food vendors range from seafood and cured meat producers to local artisans selling their baked goods and homemade pickles and preserves. Aside from being able to sample local produce, visitors can pick up a gourmet coffee.