Historically speaking, one of the things that London’s renowned for is its markets. Borough. Portobello Road. Brick Lane. Smithfields. And, of course, Camden. They’re all bywords for markets that are constantly buzzing with locals and tourists alike. However, should you be coming to the UK capital and after something of a genuine London experience, then you really should try to experience one of the markets that are less talked about but revered by those in the know. Here are just five…
Notting Hill Farmers Market
(Kensington Place W8 7PP)
Fond of referring to itself as its area’s best kept secret, this off-shoot of the more illustrious ‘big brother’ Notting Hill Market boasts a dedicated following of eager regulars, who’ve lapped up all the quality baked and dairy goods, drinks and fresh produce it’s served up Saturday mornings since its opening back in 1999. It’s particularly great for enthusiasts of organic food.
Tube: Notting Hill Gate station
(Lewisham Way SE4 1XL)
Open every Saturday from 10am-2pm, this South East London market’s perfect for not just fresh produce and artisan breads and pastries, but also flowers and plants of a large variety. Bustling, award-winning and the food’s delicious!
Trains: St Johns and Brockley (both Overground stations)
So called because, unlike, well, practically any other market you could think of, it’s not open in the morning, this recent addition to be found in Walthamstow runs on Thursdays from 4-10pm, which means that should be enjoying a business short-break at one of the Montcalm hotels London and want to squeeze in a quality market during your day, this may be the one for you. As with many of the efforts in this list, though, it also serves up and retails top nosh from excellent eateries but, again more individually, holds themed events on a regular basis and welcomes new traders among its stall-holders.
Tube: Walthamstow station and Walthamstow Central station (Overground)
(Green Street E13 9BA)
A jewel among the classic East London markets, perhaps most of all because it may just be the cheapest. Comprising as many as 80 stalls and 60 local shops, it’s been around since the Victorian era when it was a mainstay of Jewish traders selling clothing and vegetables. Nowadays it stocks pretty much every kind of food you can imagine – very much in keeping with its area’s fascinating multicultural vibe.
Tube: Upton Park station
Whitecross Street Market
Finally, possibly one of the capital’s oldest markets (it’s been in existence for at least 150 years, yet a 17th Century Sunday market was also held on its), this one runs along the long stretch of road off Islington’s trendy Old Street, which – owing to the poverty of the area in Victoria times – became known as ‘Squalors’ Market’. Nowadays, though, it’s anything but; it’s worth experiencing on weekday lunchtimes when it’s stocked full of quality street produce; absolutely unmissable for foodies, especially those after a cheaper alternative to the fashionable but far from light on the wallet Borough Market!
Tube: Barbican station