Nine Famous London Street Markets

There are hundreds of markets throughout London and the culture of the market  is rich with the flavour of what London is all about- people, banter and atmosphere. Whilst most regions and boroughs have their own healthy share of markets, this is a list of markets big and small that best sum up the market culture or have the most to offer the shopper.


1.Camden Market

There are several different markets and sections to the markets in Camden but the main part is by Camden lock at the end of the high street.  It is an entertainment show all of its own., and people dress to impress, (though it’s more space fairies than Dior.) There is a shop specifically geared towards proper 60s retro, another for people who like Barbie and fairies, a rave hall, loads of trendy street fashion shops, death metal, second hand clothes, gifts and crafts, records, lots of weed , and loads of food-  for example a bizarre little walkway with stalls selling noodles which looks as though it would feel more at home in Beijing than Camden. The shops are madcap and the atmosphere chaotic. It’s not pricey but you may feel a bit lost in the maze of trendy people and loud music!


2.Berwick Street Market

Berwick Street market is small, but it captures the essence of the London market. The fruit and veg market has been there since the 1840s, and continues to thrive in the heart of Soho today.  The stalls run in between shops full of silks, and sell a variety of daily essentials. From the pancake stall at the top to the fruit stalls at the bottom doing “bowl for a £” on all fresh fruit and veg, the stall owners are loud and friendly. Next to the fresh fish stand at the top there is always a small table with men crowded around gambling and playing card games. I”


3.Camden Passage/Essex Road

Islington is home to a variety of different shops, but veering down Essex road is a string of antiques shops. These are accompanied every day with antiques stalls running behind the street along Camden passage. The assortment is bizarre and people looking to browse and buy ad hoc are more likely to find a great bargain than someone with a specific object in mind. On a Sunday, the forecourt at the front of Camden Passage is home to a food market selling organic farm goods, fresh fish and cakes. The brownies are a must and the smell of the home made (in front of your very eyes) beef burgers can be too much to resist when hung over following a Saturday night out.


4.Covent Garden Market

The main attractions in Covent Garden are the two craft markets which sell a variety of things from signs to jewellery, cushions to bath robes, painting, baby clothes, pottery etc. Occasionally there are food stalls stretching along the outside of the market hall selling authentic English produce and lots of nibbles to try! The markets are completely undercover and in the spirit of Covent Garden you will probably find that you are serenaded by a string quartet, guitarist or opera  singer while you peruse the crafts and gifts.


5.Southbank Market

More tables then an organised market, along the South bank underneath the bridges ,you will find the spill over from nearby arty gallery style. Selling books and prints this a great little browsing spot and conveniently positioned next to the cultural honey pots and cafes over looking the River Thames


6.Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road is the hub of a diverse multicultural community and is home to three markets, each of which has its own distinct character: the daily fruit and vegetable market is the best place in West London for fresh produce; the weekend street market sells new goods, crafts and fashions; and the pick of the bunch, the world’s largest antiques market which takes place only on Saturdays. The English antiques scene is legendary, and if you know what to look for, you can source some real treasures.

The antiques market kicks off at around 7am on Saturday, when between 1000 and 1500 dealers set up stall along the street and in the 10 arcades. The smallest arcade has just 5 dealers, the largest as many as 200 – but whichever one you choose to explore you can be sure that by mid-morning it will be absolutely heaving. The range of antiques on sale here is incredibly varied: from random bits of bric a brac to unusual pieces of furniture or a £20,000 watch.

Despite attaining international fame thanks to Hugh Grant’s blockbuster movie ‘Notting Hill’, Portobello Road has managed to couple its quirky, grassroots identity with its image as a hip hangout for the trendiest Londoners.

7.Greenwich Market

In line with the historic Greenwich trademark, this market is a weekend activity for visitors on the hunt for a present, something vintage or the odd collectable.


8.Borough Market

This market has seen a fair few film crews in its time, most recently, ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ and ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,’ but it is for the fantastic spread of food that most people flock to the East London market. Speciality cheeses, interesting types of meat, organic herbs and of course booze, lots of, especially at Utobeer, with its array of world beers.


9.Spitalfields Market

The best known of the East End markets, Spitalfields sells organic produce, bits and bobs and fashion., lots of it. Lively with something for everything ,whether kitsch kiddies treats, fur rugs or sequinned dresses ,you can have it all in this under cover shopping heaven.


Destination – England