The UK has a longstanding history of markets. Spanning back to the medieval era, markets have been a staple of the London scene, in part because of it being an international trade hub, and in party because of the very useful river transport links in the guise of the Thames. This wide and winding river which cuts through the South East of the UK and out into the North Sea through Kent. The tradition of riverside market spaces has been prevalent in the city for hundreds of years and is made even easier through the network of canals. This has meant that London has procured hundreds of markets across all its boroughs, all of which retain their own unique charm.
London markets then, have a long history to them, and are well worth a visit if you are staying in the ideally located Shaftesbury Hyde Park Hotel. So, what are the markets to look out for, and what can they offer you as a tourist in the city?
Based in West London’s iconic Notting Hill, Portobello Market is well known for being one of the classiest parts of the city. With its pristine white townhouses and diverse culture, the high street of Portobello Road has always been popular, especially with the arrival of its weekend market. Dating back to the 19th century when it was a fresh food market, the 40’s and 50’s saw the Portobello Market shift its focus to antiques, a tradition which has become ever more popular in the modern day. Nowadays customers at Portobello will find the market rife with vintage clothes and antique jewellery and furniture on Saturdays.
Based just off London Fields, this quintessentially British yet progressively trendy Broadway Market is a food market lined with independent retailers selling everything from anarchist literature to fish and chips. Grab a pint and have a gander through the canal lined market, which on Saturdays gives way to pop up food stalls from local and international chefs and foodstuff artisans.
At night a wholesale food retailer, and in the day a tourist and commuter driven food market, you can find a wide range of cuisines in the warrens and lanes next to London Bridge. Overlooking the River Thames, Borough market is one of the most popular food markets in London and brings a wide range of cuisines to the city streets.
Rife with clothes and fabrics, Walthamstow Market is a daily market space which claims to be Europe’s longest street market. Spanning over a kilometre on the Walthamstow High Street, the market is great for those looking to buy clothes, fresh meat and fish alongside arts and crafts equipment. If you get a chance to hit this East London gem, it’s easy to reach from the Victoria Line’s Walthamstow Central.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Every Sunday, the East London based Columbia Road becomes the setting for a quaint flower market which has become iconic throughout the city. If you are making the most of our 4-star London Hotel special offers over the weekend, then this Sunday Market is well worth getting up early for. With a wide range of exotic and house plants, this market brings great value specimens from a street full of family run market sellers. Alongside the smell of flowers, the Columbia Road Flower Market boasts the beautiful sound of buskers, bustling bars and traditional London traders.