A weekend in London means heading to some of the best markets in the city – and you’ll find yourself utterly spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to go. The city’s Sunday markets are more than just a place to browse for a quick bargain… you’ll find them packed to the brim with character and quirkiness, as well as lots of hidden gems and deliciously tempting food to try out.
If you’re planning a weekend stay in London, check out some of the great M by Montcalm Shoreditch packages for an affordable and stylish place to stay, before reading on to plan your perfect Sunday.
Columbia Road Flower Market
This celebrated East London Sunday market is the perfect place to head to if you happen to be spending the weekend in hotels near Shoreditch. A short distance away on Columbia Road, you’ll find the streets transformed every Sunday morning, decked out in flowers and plants in every colour imaginable, with the gorgeous scent of blooms filling the air.
The flower market has been a long-standing tradition for decades, and in the late 19th century, you’d have found plenty of busy market stalls, packed with fruit and vegetables. Today, the market is filled with traders specialising in all kinds of plant life, from beautiful bouquets to specialist house and garden plants, herbs and more.
Whether you’re looking for a special bouquet to give to someone or simply want to soak up the atmosphere in a unique part of London, it’s worth heading out early to experience the best of the market.
The Columbia Road Flower Market is open all year round, every Sunday from 8am to 3pm.
Brick Lane Market
Just around the corner from Shoreditch towards Spitalfields, you’ll be able to smell the unique hustle and bustle of the Brick Lane Sunday market, before you’ve even stepped foot inside. While Brick Lane is teeming with activity every day of the week, on Sundays, the area transforms into something extra-special.
Packed with everything from vintage clothes, one of a kind knick-knacks, unique collectables and lots of delicious food, the market is a colourful, vibrant and exciting experience. It’s worth taking your time over it, to absorb all the fun and fascinating wares on offer, chat to the market sellers and enjoy some of the mouth-watering snacks around you, so make sure you don’t rush your visit while you’re there.
Be prepared for creative and inventive takes on the everyday staples while you’re here – you might just pick up a freshly brewed cup of coffee from the top of a black cab, or enjoy a fresh coconut juice straight from the fruit. You’ll find much more than just market stalls too – check out a free game of chess with a resident chess master or enjoy the atmospheric live music.
While you’re at the markets, leave some time aside to browse the special Brick Lane Vintage Market too. Just off the main market way, you’ll find an underground labyrinth packed with countless, colourful rails of vintage gems from every era. Whether you’re looking for a one-off piece with character to liven up your wardrobe, or something fun and quirky to bring a little novelty in your day, you’re unlikely to walk out of here empty-handed.
The Brick Lane market has plenty of tasty food and drink stalls to check out, featuring everything from fresh juices and salads, baked treats and hot dogs, but if you’re still feeling hungry after your visit, make sure you head down to the restaurants and bars in Shoreditch for a follow-up meal.
Old Spitalfields Market
If you prefer your market experience with a glossier twist, check out the Old Spitalfields Market on Sundays instead. A short distance away from the Montcalm Brewery, the Old Spitalfields Market is held indoors inside an old, Victorian market space.
Packed with history, the market dates back to the 19th century, but in recent years, it has taken on a classier approach. You’ll find fantastic pieces and creations from local artists and designers, including small runs of cutting-edge clothing and accessories, crafted from the finest and often some surprising materials. Alongside the exquisite cashmere, silk and leather goods, look out for stylish recycled sunglasses and handbags made from repurposed materials.
You’ll also find a handful of leading design brands within the confines of Old Spitalfields Market too, but they don’t detract any attention away from the lively market atmosphere. And alongside all the creative pieces on display, there is plenty to eat and drink – with ample food trucks around the market area selling artisanal takes on favourite comfort foods, coffee and drinks.
It’s a good idea to bring some cash, especially for smaller purchases, although many sellers will happily take card payments.
An iconic London establishment, the Camden Market has been a fixture in the city since 1974, growing from 16 market stalls every Sunday, to one of the biggest and liveliest markets in the city. The market’s history provides the perfect snapshot of the many changing faces of London, as the music and fashion industries evolved, and exciting new trends came to the forefront. Camden’s market was the launchpad for many a fledgeling designer, where you could find unique creations on the stalls, alongside a worn-out pair of Doc Martens boots, or a sweet vintage dress.
With over 1,000 sellers, featuring a diversity of goods, you’ll find vintage clothing sellers specialising in every era and genre, from fabulous 60s get-ups to Victorian-inspired menswear and old school leather jackets.
If music is more your thing, check out the thousands of classic vinyl records on sale from a variety of sellers – and you might even find some hidden gems from up and coming artists.
There’s something for everyone in Camden, from sweet children’s clothing and toys to beautifully handcrafted accessories, jewellery and gifts. While the market can certainly feel a little overwhelming at times with the crowds, it’s always worth a visit.
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