London markets: the 20 best

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  • London markets: the 20 best

    1. Portobello Road

    Best for: vintage clothing

    While perhaps best known for its famed antiques market, Portobello Road in Notting Hill is a true haven for fans of fashion from bygone eras. Whether it’s second-hand Chanel, pre-loved Burberry or kitschy cocktail jewels, you’re likely to spot something among the endless stalls of goodies that stretch the entire length of the road and beyond. While you’re in the area, it would be rude not to pop into some of the best vintage shops in London like One of a Kind (259 Portobello Road) – Naomi and Kate are regulars.

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    Address: Portobello Road, London W11


    Telephone: +44 20 7361 3001


    Website: portobelloroad.co.uk


    When: Saturdays 9pm – 6pm; weekdays vary

  • London markets: the 20 best

    2. Borough Market

    Best for: food, glorious food

    Food fans are guaranteed a good time at Borough Market, born in 1014. One of London’s largest food markets, it’s bursting at the seams with gourmet goodies from around the world to take home or devour on the spot, such as Ibérico ham from Brindisa, piping hot pastry from Pieminister or Bread Ahead’s legendary jam doughnuts. A friend in the market recommends heading by for around 3.30pm, when you’re more likely to pick up discounts and encounter jollier traders as things start to wind down for the day.

    Address: Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL


    Telephone: +44 20 7407 1002


    Website: boroughmarket.org.uk


    When: Daily 10am – 6pm

    Our guide to the best Borough Market restaurants and street food

    The best restaurants in Borough

  • London markets: the 20 best

    3. Columbia Road Flower Market

    Best for: beautiful blooms

    Part of the reason it takes so long to edge down Columbia Road on a Sunday morning is the fact that people regularly stop in their tracks to take photographs, causing rather a pile-up. And you can’t blame them – the flower market is undeniably picturesque, not only for its rainbow of colourful flora but also its charming boutiques behind pretty 19th-century shop fronts. Head here to snag bunches of fresh peonies, Cornish daffodils and tulips, and gawp at people lugging giant pot plants home with them, often in rather ingenious ways.

    Address: Columbia Road Flower Market, Columbia Road, London E2 7RG


    Telephone: No telephone


    Website: columbiaroad.info


    When: Sundays 8am – 3pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    4. Billingsgate Fish Market

    Best for: the catch of the day

    Trade customers and dedicated foodies brave an eye-wateringly early start to visit Billingsgate, the largest fish market in the UK, and once the largest in the world. Open from 4am-8am from Tuesday to Saturday and crammed to the gills with all manner of fresh seafood, it’s as much an experience as an opportunity to shop. Lap up the banter from the traders or spy exotic fish varieties from around the globe (150+ species are sold here). For an insider’s introduction to the market, the on-site Billingsgate Seafood School offers tours.

    Address: Billingsgate Fish Market, Trafalgar Way, London E14 5ST


    Telephone: +44 20 7987 1118


    Website: billingsgatefishmarket.org


    When: Tuesday to Saturday 4am – 8am

  • London markets: the 20 best

    5. Broadway Market

    Best for: hipster spotting

    A playground for the creative types who have settled in Hackney en masse over the past decade or so, Broadway Market is a lively place in which to spend a Saturday afternoon. It’s rammed with international food stalls, purveyors of vintage and vinyl, and opportunities to rub shoulders with the area’s style-conscious population as they sip flat whites and chat on the pavement, dogs in tow. We advise fuelling the perusing and people-watching with a strong coffee from Climpson & Sons, and popping in to the canalside Market Café for a spritz when you’re done.

    Address: Broadway Market, London E8 4PH


    Telephone: No telephone


    Website: broadwaymarket.co.uk


    When: Saturdays 9am – 5pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    6. Camden Market

    Best for: counterculture

    Easily one of the best things to do in Camden, the market is actually comprised of six different sites, and has historically been a beacon for London’s nonconformists, from punks in the Seventies when the market first opened, to grunge devotees, rockers and hippies. Despite its present-day popularity, it still maintains a somewhat independent spirit, thanks to its banning of chain stores in Stables Market, which means that its large numbers of traders mainly sell handmade, Fairtrade crafts and vegan food. It also remains a hotspot for kinky club and fetish wear.

    Address: Camden Market, Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8AF


    Telephone: +44 20 3763 9900


    Website: camdenmarket.com


    When: Daily 10am until late

  • London markets: the 20 best

    7. Maltby Street Market

    Best for: sheer gluttony

    For an opportunity to indulge with joyful abandon, you can’t beat Maltby Street. Lined up opposite a row of handsome railway arches, you’ll find street food stalls serving up shamelessly calorific delicacies, and crowds of cheery punters, beakers of G&T or vermouth in hand, waiting to get their fill. On our last visit, fare included oozing cheese toasties, fluffy naan breads piled with fresh toppings, intensely chocolatey brownies and some of the best beefsteaks in London. The permanent venues under the arches are always bustling, too, like the diminutive Bar Tozino, a fantastic spot for an aperitif.

    Address: Maltby Street Market, 41 Maltby Street, Ropewalk, London SE1 3PA


    Telephone: No telephone


    Website: maltby.st


    When: Saturdays 10am – 5pm, Sundays 11am – 4pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    8. Spitalfields Market

    Best for: great gifts

    Set under a striking steel and glass Victorian roof, there have been traders at Spitalfields Market since 1666. It draws crowds for its vibrant mix of independent traders selling an eclectic selection of wares. From hammam towels to antique maps, you’re sure to uncover an inspiring find. You’d be wise to pay a visit to Walconcept – a stall run by the always impeccably-dressed Waliou, whose selection of vintage scarves and ties can’t be beaten.

    Address: Spitalfields Market, 56 Brushfield Street, London E1 6EW


    Telephone: +44 20 7377 1496


    Website: spitalfields.co.uk


    When: Weekdays 10am – 8pm; Saturdays 10am – 6pm; Sundays 10am – 5pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    9. Dover Street Market

    Best for: cutting-edge fashion

    DSM is not your traditional market. In fact, the word ‘traditional’ has no place here at all. Inspired by the cult Kensington Market – a home for London subcultures that closed in the ’90s – this gender-fluid, multi-brand space by Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo pushes boundaries in all directions. Not least because it looks like one big art installation – featured designers are given the freedom to arrange their areas within the store as they see fit, resulting in endless strange and beautiful displays. With a gleeful mix of high and low price points, you’ll find established brands including Gucci and Balenciaga alongside pieces by rising stars such as Stefan Cooke and Marine Serre. In January and July DSM undergoes its seasonal changeover, where the entire place gets a new look. This is a prime time to visit, with exclusive products and treats from the top-floor Rose Bakery.

    Address: Dover Street Market, 18-22 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4DG


    Telephone: +44 20 7518 0680


    Website: london.doverstreetmarket.com


    When: Monday to Saturday 11am – 7pm; Sunday 12pm – 6pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    10. Brick Lane Market

    Best for: bric-a-brac

    Brick Lane, the vibrant artery of Shoreditch, really comes into its own on market Sundays. Traders line the street with blankets spread with vintage china, decorative knick knacks and furniture, and alongside the odd inevitable bit of tat you’re likely to find a treasure. Head towards the imposing Old Truman Brewery for the Vintage Market, where you can browse homewares and memorabilia, clothing and accessories from the Twenties to the Nineties. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, visit the Sunday Upmarket’s huge food hall.

    Address: Brick Lane Market, Brick Lane, London E1 6PU


    Telephone: +44 20 7364 1717


    Website: visitbricklane.org


    When: Sundays 10am – 5pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    11. Mercato Metropolitano

    Best for: Italian delicacies

    Formerly a paper factory, this sustainability-focused market dishes up superlative Italian food from a collection of permanent stalls. While other food is available, fresh pasta, crisp cannoli and Florentine gelato are the star attractions, and the market’s convivial atmosphere makes it a great place to while away an evening. Find bright young things and local residents socialising and digging in to plates of spaghetti on the communal tables. It’s also home to impressive delicatessen Una Drogheria and Enoteca, that boasts biodynamic wines and a tasting room tucked behind the counter.

    Address: Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR


    Telephone: +44 20 7403 0930


    Website: mercatometropolitano.co.uk


    When: Monday to Thursday 8am – 11pm; Friday 8am – 12am; Saturday 11am – 12am; Sunday 11am – 10pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    12. Petticoat Lane

    Best for: bargains

    Petticoat Lane – which actually no longer exists, since it was renamed Middlesex Street in 1846 – provides an authentic taste of the old East End. Locals and visitors flock to this historic market, possibly one of Britain’s longest-running, to eye up cheerful garb at rock-bottom prices, accompanied by a cuppa from a nearby greasy spoon. The wonderful thing about this market is that it’s a glorious jumble – high-street excess stock, Chinese silks, sparkly hair clips, Harry and Meghan memorabilia, smart leather men’s shoes and reams of designer knock-offs are just the beginning. Bring cash.

    Address: Middlesex Street, London E1 7HT


    Telephone: +44 20 7364 1717


    Website: towerhamlets.gov.uk


    When: Sundays 10am – 5pm

    The local secrets

  • London markets: the 20 best

    13. Sunbury Antiques Market

    Best for: homewares

    Get to Kempton Park Racecourse on the second and last Tuesday of every month to jostle with leading interior designers, prop buyers and the likes of David Gandy and Paloma Faith. There’s ornate cutlery, mid-century G Plan furniture, old-timey signage, antique mirrors and so much more, sold by more than 700 traders from across the UK and Europe. Arrive as early as you can bear (it opens at 6.30am), bring cash for extra haggling power, and if you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to ask for it – many of the traders show only a fraction of their stock at the fair.

    Address: Sunbury Antiques Market, Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury On Thames TW16 5AQ


    Telephone: +44 19 3223 0946


    Website: sunburyantiques.com


    When: Tuesdays and Sundays 6.30am – 2pm (varies, check website)

  • London markets: the 20 best

    14. Netil Market

    Best for: indie design

    Located a stone’s throw from buzzing Broadway Market, this Hackney hub is a draw not only for its excellent selection of street food, but its collection of independent designers and makers selling their high quality, craft-focused wares. Look out for handmade ceramics by Klei, award-winning smellies by Soapsmith and delicate rings by WeAreArrow, who run a studio in their shipping container on site. The fact that the yard is fairly small is to its advantage, giving it a friendly, family feel.

    Address: Netil Market, 13-23 Westgate Street, London E8 3RL


    Telephone: +44 20 3095 9718


    Website: eatworkart.com/netil-market


    When: Friday 11am – 6pm; Saturday and Sundays 10am – 7pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    15. Hackney Flea Market

    Best for: eclectic finds

    Seventies fabrics, reclaimed fixtures, anatomical drawings, retro board games – you never know what you might discover at Hackney Flea, which is part of its beauty. Taking place monthly in a hall in trendy Stoke Newington, it has 30 or so traders, largely peddling vintage. Recent additions to the line-up of stalls include the brilliantly niche My Moka, specialising in rare espresso pots, and Piquant, who scour markets in Paris and Scandinavia for stylish home accessories.

    Address: Hackney Flea Market, Abney Hall, 73a Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0AS


    Telephone: No telephone


    Website: hackneyfleamarket.com


    When: Saturdays 11am – 6pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    16. Canopy Market

    Best for: relaxed browsing

    Perched just off Granary Square, Canopy Market is a relative newcomer on the scene (it opened in 2018). Inside there’s a mix of art and design – think prints, stationery, knitwear and more – plus an ever-changing lineup of street food vendors, making it a lovely place to shop for handmade crafts before retiring to one of the benches with a snack and a glass of English sparkling wine. On Fridays, it’s open until 8pm, with live music – we can’t think of a more laid-back way to kick off a weekend.

    Address: Canopy Market, West Handyside Canopy, London N1C 4LW


    Telephone: +44 20 3479 1795


    Website: kingscross.co.uk/canopy-market


    When: Friday 12pm – 8pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am – 6pm

  • London markets: the 20 best

    17. Herne Hill Market

    Best for: local produce

    This weekly farmers’ market in a leafy residential zone of South London prides itself on the fact that its fresh fruit, veg, baked goods and gourmet delicacies are all sourced from within a 100-mile radius. With 60-odd stalls set up outside the main entrance of Herne Hill station, the market serves up local flavour in more ways than one thanks to its welcoming, neighbourhood atmosphere. On warm days, take your eats to nearby Brockwell Park for a perfect picnic.

  • London markets: the 20 best

    18. Camden Passage Market

    Best for: historic charm

    The bulk of this small but perfectly formed market is not actually in Camden, but on a quaint, pedestrianised side street in chichi Angel with its 18th-century buildings. This little corner of London has a history as a centre for the antiques trade, and maintains this tradition today. Traders, perched in nooks and crannies along the length of the Passage and surrounding streets, sell trinkets from times past, including Victorian crucifix necklaces and dainty 1950s tea sets. There are also great permanent boutiques and appealing cafés – try Kipferl for cakes.

    Address: Camden Passage Market, Camden Passage, London N1


    Telephone: +44 74 6355 7899


    Website: camdenpassageislington.co.uk


    When: Open from 9am–6pm on Wednesdays; 8am–6pm on Saturdays; 11am–6pm on Sundays

  • London markets: the 20 best

    19. Brockley Market

    Best for: street food

    Head to hip Brockley Market as soon as you can post-10am if you want to dodge the hordes of hungry (and potentially hungover) locals that descend on it each Saturday. They do so for its award-winning food, served by an array of small, artisan producers from south-east London and the surrounding area. Get your teeth into generously stacked burgers from Mother Flipper and mouth-watering, Filipino-inspired plates from BBQ Dreamz, while stocking up on fresh cheeses, organic vegetables and chutneys. Just remember to bring cash.

    Address: Brockley Market, Lewisham College Carpark, Lewisham Way, London SE4


    Website: brockleymarket.com


    When: Open from 10am–2pm on Saturdays

  • London markets: the 20 best

    20. Flea at Vinegar Yard

    Best for: collectibles

    What makes this market, which moved to its Bermondsey location earlier this year, stand out is the fact that many of its stalls are highly specialised. Whether selling vintage pharmaceutical bottles or tweed hunting jackets, it’s clear that stallholders are passionate collectors in their own right. This means there’s a really well-curated range to rummage through, plus plenty of expert knowledge. The shipping-container-filled spot near London Bridge also has a bar and food traders, making it very easy to spend a few lazy hours here.

    Address: Flea at Vinegar Yard, St Thomas Street, London ​SE1 3QU


    Telephone: +44 20 7357 6799


    Website: flealondon.com


    When: Open from 11am–6pm on Saturdays; 10am–5pm on Sundays

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