5 fun markets in London 13


For years, my dad and I have been taking two-day trips to London. It’s become a sort of a tradition and although we didn’t manage to go this year, we’ve already planned our trip for 2015. Our city trips to London are usually a combination of exploring new things and revisiting places we love.

You’d think we would return to museums, certain restaurants, or some of the many interesting stores you can find in the city. But what we always return to — what we love — are the markets.

London has plenty of fun markets where you can find different kinds of products, but also all sorts of people. Below you’ll find my five favorite markets in London.

1. Borough Market

Borough Market

Borough Market lies right across the exit of the London Bridge tube station. All you have to do is cross the street, walk under the entrance bow ,and start tasting. That’s right, most of the stalls here offer samples and I assure you it’s hard to decide what you’ll eventually have. I love visiting this place around lunch time and just combining several small snacks until I’m full.

  • Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
  • Tube station to get off at: London Bridge
  • Opening days and hours:
    • Monday – Tuesday: 10 am – 5 pm (open for lunch)
    • Wednesday – Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm (full market)
    • Friday: 10 am – 6 pm (full market)
    • Saturday: 8 am – 5 pm (full market)
    • Sunday: closed

2. Camden Lock Market

Camden Lock Market

Camden Lock is located in Camden near Regent’s Canal, and it’s actually more than just a market. At Camden Lock you’ll find small, local stores, a food court with delicious bites from all over the world, and many stalls selling everything from clothes to arts and crafts. The vibe at Camden Lock Market is rather alternative and you’ll mostly see young people here.

  • Address: Unit 215 – 216, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AB
  • Tube station to get off at: Camden Town or Chalk Farm
  • Opening days and hours: Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

3. Portobello Road’s Antique Market

Portobello Road Market

If the name “Portobello Road” doesn’t ring a bell, “Notting Hill” surely does. You know, the movie with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant? Well, walking through Notting Hill you’ll come across some beautiful houses, but especially fun is the antique market that takes place each Saturday on Portobello Road. It claims to be “the world’s largest antiques market with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible.” Sounds good, right?

At the market you can find real antiques as well as the typical rubbish — but only the quirky kind of the rubbish, not plastic toys that have taken on unrecognizable shapes and are ready for the bin. Towards the end, the antique market flows over into a regular food market where you can get some fresh produce. If you’re like me, though, you’ll go for a cupcake from the Hummingbird Bakery.

  • Address: Portobello Road, London, Greater London, W10 5TA
  • Tube station to get off at: Ladbroke Grove
  • Opening days and hours:
    • Monday – Wednesday: 9 am – 5 pm (fruit and veggies, fashion, second hand and more)
    • Thursday: 9 am – 1 pm (fruit and veggies, fashion, second hand and more)
    • Friday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm (fruit and veggies, fashion, second hand and more)
    • ! Note: the antique and bric-a-brac market is only open on Saturdays

4. Covent Garden Market

My dad and I love Covent Garden. It might be a typical tourist location, but it’s always fun to walk by here, especially when the weather is nice and the street artists are performing. The Covent Garden district is great for shopping in general, but the real ambience is at the market, where you’ll find beautifully crafted accessories as well as more touristy souvenirs.

  • Tube station to get off at: Covent Garden, Leicester Square or Charing Cross
  • Opening days and hours:
    • Monday – Friday: 10 am – 9 pm
    • Saturday: 9 am – 8 pm
    • Sunday: 11.30 am – 6 pm

5. Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market hall in London’s East End, which has already saved us once when it started pouring during our trip. As the edges of the market hall are made up by modern looking stores, you would never tell that Old Spitalfields has been around for over 350 years. It’s located very close to Brick Lane and is thus ideal to wander through after or before getting some curries at this now famous London street.

  • Address: 16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, London E1 6EW
  • Tube station to get off at: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street
  • Opening days and hours:
    • Monday – Wednesday: 10 am – 5 pm (general market stalls)
    • Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm (antiques and vintage market)
    • Friday: 10 am – 4 pm (arts and fashion market)
    • Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm: themed market day
    • Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm (general market stalls)

 

About the author

IMG_0667Sofie Couwenbergh is a freelance writer and founder of the travel blog Wonderful Wanderings. From researching and writing for the Belgian Press Agency Belga, she switched to reporting on the many places her wanderlust takes her. She’s also an avid dancer who functions best on tea and chocolate. You can connect with Sofie on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Which market in London is YOUR favorite?

 


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