When it comes to underlining the uniqueness of London and the outlook of the Shoreditch area, there are few better examples than Columbia Road Flower Market.
On-site for over one-hundred and fifty years, the market offers an almost incomprehensible array of native and foreign-grown flowers, covering everything from the most exquisite roses to modest posies and everything in between. Aside from the fragrant offerings, Columbia Road Flower Market is also just a great experience of real London, from the explosions of colour everywhere to the friendly approach of traders.
And it’s straightforward to get to from The M by Montcalm, so there’s no reason not to make the trip.
Londoners have lived in the area now known as Columbia Market since at least the 1600s and probably before. Back then the area was rich with brick clay but ceaseless mining and an overflow of local waste – there were no sanitation workers or, indeed, any sanitation in those days – made the area very undesirable.
Zip forward a couple of centuries and the area was once again thriving and it was Angela Burdett-Coutts who founded the first Columbia Market back in 1869. This market survived until the late 1880’s and, after that, the area again fell into neglect and decline.
It was when the1960’s rolled around that the market got a new lease of life, with a resurgence in gardening leading to a massive boom in popularity. The modern-day market still holds onto this ethos of providing Londoners and visitors with the freshest, best quality flowers, plants, bulbs and more.
Traders are on-site at Columbia Flower Market every Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm, which gives you a big window to make the trip from The M by Montcalm and sample everything on offer.
But that’s not all you can find here. You’ll also find a plethora of stalls selling antiques, artisanal food and drink, handmade candles, soaps and much else besides. The modern Columbia Flower Market is more a mecca for boutique proprietors of all stripes, rather than just a venue for flower sellers, and that’s what makes it so much fun to explore. If you end up with aching feet as the result of your exertions, you can always retire to the Versace Spa London for a spot of relief.
It’s also worth taking the time to find the local shops of the area around Columbia Flower Market because there are some real hidden gems selling artwork, jewellery, vintage clothes and everything else you’d expect to find in such a quirky, eclectic area.
How to Get There
It only takes about five minutes to reach Columbia Road Flower Market from The M by Montcalm, and it’s a simple route so you shouldn’t have any problems.
Follow City Road towards Old Street Tube Station and then veer left on to Old Street. From there, all you need to do is follow Old Street all the way to St Leonard Church and then take a left, so you’re on Hackney Road.
Take a right on to Columbia Road and simply follow it all the way past Jesus Green and you’ll arrive at Columbia Road Flower Market.