London markets are some of the most famous in the world and each one has its own quirks, personality and areas of speciality.
Here, we look at some of the finest markets that you should make an effort to visit during your time in the UK capital.
Address: 32 Camden Lock Pl, London NW1 8AL
Nearest Tube Station: Camden Town (Northern)
Arguably the most impressive and popular market in London is Camden, but note how we refer to it as ‘Camden Markets’.
That’s because there is a common misconception that Camden Market is all in one place, but the name is in fact a collective term referring to more than 1,000 unique stalls, shops, bars and cafes spread across six distinct locations in the Camden Lock area.
What most people usually mean when they talk about ‘Camden Market’ is Camden Lock Market, which runs alongside Regent’s Canal. That said, there’s also Buck Street Market, which has a sign outside reading ‘The Camden Market’, which goes some way to explaining why the formal definition of Camden Market is so flimsy.
There’s also Stables Market – which has an eclectic, youthful vibe with stalls and shops selling fashion, accessories and music – the Electric Ballroom, which serves as an iconic rock music venue when not hosting a 50-stall indoor market, and finally, Inverness Street Market, which specialises in good ol’ fruit and vegetables.
With so many different markets and stallholders, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re after at Camden Markets.
Address: Horner Square, Spitalfields, E1 6EW
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City)
This covered market claims to be London’s oldest after setting up on the same site in Tower Hamlets for over 350 years.
Like with Camden, Spitalfields Market is a catch-all term that includes Spitalfields Traders Market, the Saturday-style Market and the Art Market.
The Traders Market sees up to 110 stalls set up, selling everything from contemporary and vintage fashion, music and bespoke children’s toys to jewellery, accessories and home interiors.
The market is complemented by independent boutiques, food shops and restaurants, forming a great retail experience.
Address: Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT
Nearest Tube Station: Monument (Circle, District)
Set within a spectacular Victorian market setting and located in the heart of the commercial area of the City, Leadenhall Market comprises boutique retail units, offices and a wide range of eating and drinking options.
Since setting up as a meat, poultry and game market in the 14th century, it has evolved into into one of the area’s principal shopping centres, however, the poultry market remains at Leadenhall.
Address: Borough High Street, SE1 9AH
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge (Jubilee, Northern)
London’s oldest food market has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years.
It is open every day except Sunday, while a limited market operates on the Monday and Tuesday. However, in December, it opens through the week up until Christmas Eve.
Borough Market consists of more than 100 stalls selling fish, meat, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees and cakes.
Such is the quality of its food offering that TV filming crews descend on the market to shoot shows such as BBC’s The Apprentice and New Tricks, ITV’s Whitechapel and Countrywise Kitchen. Even a scene from Bridget Jones’ Diary was filmed here.
Columbia Road Market
Address: Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG
Nearest Tube Station: Hoxton (Overground)
Situated in the East End of London close to Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Spitalfields, Columbia Road Flower Market is only open on Sundays and comprises traders selling the finest cut flowers including lilies and carnations, as well as seasonal bedding, herbs and shrubs.
Accompanying the market are 60 independent shops with cupcake shops and vintage clothes stores sitting amongst small art galleries, delis and antique shops, as well as pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Berwick Street Market
Address: Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 0PH
Nearest Tube Station: Leicester Square (Northern, Piccadilly)
Dating back to 1778, this bustling foodie market is made up of around 20 food stalls ranging from the infamous yet humble fish and chips to Mexican, Arabic, Italian and even waffles.
You’ll find it set up between the Soho strip joints of Walker’s Court and the elegant Yauatcha restaurant every day except Sunday between 8am and 6pm.
Address: 5b Greenwich Market, SE10 9HZ
Nearest Tube Station: North Greenwich (Jubilee – then 188 bus) / Greenwich (Southeastern – train)
This is one of the harder to reach markets on our list, but one that definitely rewards the effort as it is regarded as one of London’s best covered markets.
Around 150 stalls set up throughout the week flogging antiques and collectibles on Thursdays and Fridays, craft and design on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.
Address: 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR
Nearest Tube Station: Aldgate East (District)
Located at the Northern end of Brick Lane and along Cheshire Street, in the heart of east London’s Bangladeshi community, this famous market operates every Sunday from between 9am and 5pm.
It attracts bargain hunters and buyers will be able to find almost anything here, from antique books to eight-track cartridge decks. There was even a stall that sold nothing but rusty cog wheels for many years.
Portobello Road Market
Address: Portobello Road, W10 5TA
Nearest Tube Station: Ladbroke Grove (Circle, Hammersmith & City)
Portobello is considered to be the world’s largest antiques market, with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible.
However, there’s more to it than just antiques, with the market spilling into the surrounding streets, specialising in fruit and vegetables, fashion and second-hand goods.
Saturday is Portobello Market’s main day, with the Antiques Arcade open and stalls filling Portobello Road and connecting streets. However, there is no market held on a Sunday.
Petticoat Lane Market
Address: Middlesex Street, London E1 7JF
Nearest Tube Station: Aldgate (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan)
Petticoat Lane Market dates back to the 17th century and today boasts over a thousand stalls, selling mainly clothes for men, women and children, from street-cred clubwear to over-orders of designer goods and last year’s must-haves. It has been described as London’s biggest street jumble sale.