London’s markets are a vibrant and rich part of the city’s history. Their presence on the streets of London dates as far back as the Roman times, through the Saxon and Victorian eras, right to the present day. Each one has its own unique character, reflecting the area it inhabits. They have provided livelihoods for many Londoners and have grown from shopping hubs for locals into attractions in their own right. There’s nothing we love more than a lazy brunch followed by a stroll round one our favourite markets!
London markets have seen a renaissance in recent years; young entrepreneurs are using pop-up markets to kick-start small businesses and there’s been significant investment in older establishments, like foodie hot-spot Borough Market, to breathe new life into them. Markets are seen as an integral part of London’s commitment to independent businesses and we’re so happy they’re thriving.
This month, we took a few Clink backpackers around some of our favourite London markets – the perfect autumnal day out! Check out our latest What’s Up! London episode to see what they got up to.
Camden Market is a real London institution and almost synonymous with London’s alternative scene. Here you can find the weird and the wonderful – from spiked collars to vintage clothing and crafty gifts. Whilst its hey-day was arguably in the late nineties and early noughties, it’s still a great place to wander around, taking in all the interesting sights! Top tip: Get the tube to Chalk Farm if you want to skip the trashier part of the market.
Open weekdays from 10.30am – 6pm and weekends from 10am – 6pm
Nearest tube: Chalk Farm / Camden Town
Old Spitalfields Market
Old Spitalfields market has been spruced up in recent years and the refurbished market now sits at the centre of a modern shopping square which houses mainly independent businesses. Food stalls around the edge will tempt you with the smell of freshly cooked offering. Old Spitalfields is at its most busy and bustling on a Sunday when you can browse a great selection of jeweller, clothes, crafts, books and homewares.
Berwick Street Market
Originally a fruit and veg market (one of London’s oldest in fact) the market now incorporates a delectable selection of street food stalls that cater to hungry workers from Soho offices and anyone who ventures off the main drag of Oxford Street (which we highly recommend doing!). Berwick street is also worth a wander down in its own right, with several vintage shops and cute coffee houses flanking the cobbled walkway.
Monday – Saturday: 10am-6pm
Nearest tube: Oxford Street
A real mecca for food lovers, Borough Market has been recently refurbished and its grand, semi-covered halls now play host to a mixture of takeaway stalls and artisan producers selling their wares. Arrive with an empty stomach and take advantage of the free samples on offer – you’ll probably be tempted into at least one purchase!
Monday-Tuesday: 10am-5pm (Open for lunch)
Wednesday-Thursday: 10am-5pm (Full Market)
Fridays: 10am-6pm (Full Market)
Saturdays: 8am-5pm (Full Market)
Nearest tube: London Bridge
Brixton Market is the place to head if you’re after a taste of a real, traditional London market. Brixton market is fit to burst with colourful clothes, fresh produce and all the other random bits and bobs. If ‘hip’ Brixton is more your thing then head round the corner to Brixton Village and Market row where you’ll find an Alladin’s cave of cuisines, fresh produce, clothing, jewellery, homeware, art and music.
Southbank Food Market
London’s Southbank is a vibrant, creative area and that extends to its food market which offers up some of the best street food and produce in the city. Wander along and soak in the buzz of the riverside atmosphere and sample some of the tasty morsels on offer.
Monday (bank holidays only): 12pm-6pm
Nearest tube: Waterloo