Shopping is not everybody’s cup of tea, but heading to a local market is a whole different ball game – and in London, we really are blessed. Large, little, street-food, organic fruit & veg, fashion, collectables and disposables, it’s all covered! Here 10 suggestions if you would like to go beyond Borough and Camden and experience a few markets off the beaten track.
So if you fancy something slightly more adventurous than a stroll in a park, this top 10 great small markets in London should be as sweet as apples and pears!
East London Markets:
1. Hackney Wick Flea Market, Hackney
East London has got so many markets nowadays the local be-hatted residents are spoilt for choice. But Hackney Wick’s flea market is just plain retro, and for that reason alone we think it deserves a top 10 place. Bring a £5 note and you’ll be sure to leave the place with a hippo-shaped bedside lamp or equivalent random purchase.
2. Columbia Road Flower Market, Bethnal Green
This is one of those places it’s hard to believe actually exists. The last bastion of proper cockneys (unless you ever get down to Old Street Baths) it’s like a film set of sheer brilliance. Flowers are lovely, and at this market you get the pleasure of a road full of the things. Make sure to stop off for a pint at the Royal Oak on your way through. And if you’re hungry, Stingray serves up some of the best pizza in London. Buy a flower too while you’re at it. Read more…
3. Broadway Market, Hackney
Food, food and more food at this market. There’s no clear winner either but whatever you decide on, make sure to wash it down with some Vietnamese coffee. London Fields is round the corner too in case you feel you deserve a good rest after deciding to attempt lunch and dinner in one sitting.
South London Markets
4. Bermondsey Square Antiques Market, Bermondsey
This could well be our favourite market. You’ll be convinced you’ll pickup a priceless artefact for pittance, Del & Rodney style. We’ve tried, we’ve failed.
5. Brixton Market, Brixton
It’s got reggae, jerk chicken and oodles of positive vibes. You just can’t beat it if the weather’s good. We recommend you buy a little fancy dress as you walk through and gradually put it on as the day unfolds. We got free food the last time we pulled it off. We hope you all get the same treatment.
Central London Markets
6. Leadenhall Victorian Market, City
It’s not really Victorian. But then again we wouldn’t know how to judge one. Leadenhall is charming nonetheless and is frequented by street acts most weekends. Rumour has it this was the setting for Harry Potter’s wand search many moons ago. No shops of that nature though.
7. Church Street Market, St John’s Wood
Brilliant – chaotic, varied and personal – from the day to day bits and bobs to the once in a lifetime finds. And On 12 July there’s the Church Street Festival which brings even more mayhem to the street. On most weekends you’ll have plenty to sift through, though, including the not-so-famous-but-should-be Alfie’s antique market. Amazing roof terrace and café-cum-hairdressers on the top.
West London Markets
8. Pimlico Farmer’s Market, Pimlico
Markets like this one that proves London is the king of old fashioned market patter. Brilliant food, but even more brilliant atmosphere at this venue. Bring a basket with you and fill it up with ingredients as you go. Then head home and play ready, steady, cook. Read more…
9. Cabbages & Frocks, Marylebone
This market is starting to pull in the crowds now. It might be yet another food market, but this one is rather eclectic with its variety of stalls. Spices, sweets, chillis, it’s all there. So if you’re in need of culinary inspiration, we probably recommend you head here. Read more…
10. Chiswick Farmer & Fine Food Market, Chiswick
Of all the markets, Chiswick is a firm favourite. It’s one of the smallest of the markets, but one of London’s little hidden secrets. A very family-friendly (and dog friendly) market with some great customers and stallholders. It’s such an enjoyable place to be. Plus, of course, you can get some great food.