Whether you’re on the look out for arts and crafts, authentic ethnic food, or a half-price pair of Jimmy Choos, you’ll be able to find it at one of London’s markets. Here’s the pick of the lesser-known hot spots.
Cabbages and frocks
The title is just about accurate: this market, in the grounds of St Marylebone Parish Church, hosts a mix of food and clothing.
Established by the people behind the London Fashion Designer Sales, it’s a great place to find vintage clothing, homeware and jewellery before enjoying a cappuccino, Argentinian steak sandwich, Japanese delicacies or a Moroccan Bedouin snack.
» St Marylebone Parish Church, NW1 5LT
Tube: Regent’s Park
020 7794 1636
Pimlico Road Farmers’ Market
Sited in an area called Orange Square, or Mozart Square by those in the know, the farmers’ market is within walking distance of Sloane Square. You’ll find fresh seafood from the East Anglian coast and organic, seasonal fruit and vegetables. Food on sale is grown and produced within 160km of London.
» Orange Square, SW1W 8UT
Tube: Sloane Square
Priding itself on offering a market experience “that can’t be found elsewhere”, Greenwich ranks traders on the individuality and creativity of their products when deciding on who can set up shop. You’ll find jewellery, homeware, handcrafts, food – with everything sufficiently different to what’s on sale at the stall next door.
» Greenwich, SE10 9HZ
Tube: Cutty Sark DLR
020 8269 5096
This Hackney site has been welcoming shoppers since the 1890s. Food is the main order of the day with organic beef, apples from Kent orchards, fish from the South Coast, and regional cheese all on offer here. African, French, English and Caribbean specialities are on sale, too.
Fashion and jewellery don’t go unrepresented at the market; the alternative East London clothing scene is very much alive here, and creative, arty types will love the tables full of books, paintings and ceramics.
» Hackney, E8 4PH
Tube: London Fields
More often than not, goods ranging from bric-a-brac to books, clothes and furniture are simply laid out on a rug on the ground at this East End market, which sprawls out over a number of streets. Take a wander and a browse as the smell of Asian food wafts from nearby Curry Mile.
For seasoned hagglers, a number of other markets are within easy reach from here, including the Columbia Road Flower Market, Spitalfields Market and Petticoat Lane.
» Tower Hamlets, E1
Tube: Aldgate East
Shepherd’s Bush Market
Nestled against the railway viaduct between Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road, this is arguably one of the last remaining authentic ethnic food markets.
Fresh and cooked Afro-Caribbean foods, including yams and exotic fruits, are available as well as recent additions, such as CDs and household goods. And if you can’t find what you want here, Westfield is nearby.
» Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7JA
Tube: Shepherd’s Bush
CLASSIC MARKETS YOU NEED TO VISIT (IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY)
Comprising four markets, including Camden Lock, Stables, Camden Canal and Inverness Street, this is the place to go for alternative fashion and vintage jewellery pieces.
» Camden, NW1
Tube: Camden Town / Chalk Farm
Sun, all day
This enormous food market weaves its way around the railway arches and offers free tasters of produce as well as unusual meats like ostrich.
» Borough, SE1
Tube: London Bridge
Thu-Sat, various times
A busy market site since 1638, the world-famous Spitalfields has rows of stalls selling clothing, art and food.
» Horner Sq, E1
Tube: Liverpool Street
The world’s largest antiques market also offers everything from cigarette cards, and paintings, to clocks, and precious metal artefacts.
» Notting Hill, W10
Tube: Notting Hill
Words: Simon Willmore