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A Guide to the Best Markets to Visit in London

4th February 2015 - Uncategorised -

London is famous for its markets.  On your day Tour from London, ask your guide to tell you more about the markets, and try to visit at least one during your stay!  Here is a few of our favourites!

Borough Market

Borough Market is London’s most celebrated food market; a source of the finest British and international produce for the city, and the destination for some of the city’s top chefs.

The market is an essential visit for those who care about exceptional quality in the food they eat – with restauranteurs, chefs, amateur cooks, and those who simply adore eating and drinking all converging on Borough. Not only is the quality of the food exceptional, there’s a real atmosphere here, and the people are amongst the friendliest you’ll meet.

Amongst the stalls you’ll find smoked fish from the northwest of Ireland, salamis, pâté, and terrines from the Mediterranean, cheeses from across the UK and Europe, spices from southeast Asia, wines, teas, and beers from around the world, and exotic meats including zebra steaks and seasonal British game.

One of the oldest and most extensive food markets in the city, Borough was established in 1756, while the current buildings date from 1851. The art deco style entrance on Southwark Street was constructed in 1932.

Opens: 10:00 – 17:00

Location: Borough High Street

Transport: London Bridge Underground Station

Camden Market

The market here was only supposed to be temporary when it was established in 1974 but plans to build a motorway through Camden Town were abandoned two years later, and the market became a permanent fixture in the area.

Camden Market is actually made up of multiple adjacent markets, the largest of which is the Camden Stables Market which is located in preserved listed stables and is home to more than 450 stalls and shops. The markets here take up the stables, which were actually a Victorian-era horse hospital for the animals working Regent’s Canal, and the other buildings and warehouses connected to shipping on the waterway.

By the 70s, use of the canal had ceased, and so a crafts market was established both indoors and outdoors on the site. Today, there are many stalls selling antique books, rare and exotic goods, gourmet and fast food, while a three-storey market hall which opened in 1991 is built of red brick and cast iron, in keeping with the 19th century industrial buildings on the site.

Originally a Sunday market, many traders now operate seven days a week.

Opens: 10:00 – 18:00

Location: Camden High Street

Transport: Camden Town Underground Station

Portobello Market

Situated in the Notting Hill area of London, there have been traders here since the 1800s, but Portobello only became famous as a market in the 1950s thanks to the great selection of antiques on offer.

In fact, it is the UK’s largest antiques market despite its origins as a fresh fruit market in the 19th century. These days the stalls sell everything from music, ceramics, clothes, and posters to fruit and bread.

Portobello Road can be easily reached from the Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove (nine minute walk), and Westbourne Park (13 minute walk) Underground stations and by buses serving Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill Gate.

The primary market days are Friday and Saturday, a smaller market does operate from Monday to Thursday.

Opens: 08:00 – 19:00

Location: Portobello Road

Transport: Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove Underground stations (both nine minutes’ walk)