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A guide to London's best markets

By Joe Phelan

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In this blog we’re going to take a look at some of the standout markets you should endeavour to visit throughout 2021, and showcase what makes them so special.

Whether you’re after elegant pasta or local small-batch gin, artisan sourdough or bespoke handmade jewellery, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re after – and much more besides – at one of the Capital’s world-renowned marketplaces.

With London opening up again and adventures becoming increasingly viable, there has never been a better time to explore a new part of the city, become acquainted with an abundance of expert independent retailers, and meet with friends to enjoy fantastic food and drink.

Maltby Street Market, Bermondsey

Nearest station – London Bridge (Jubilee/Northern/National Rail)

You can search for nearby properties by clicking here.

Maltby Street Market, located just moments away from London Bridge station, is an urban haven for foodies. It is home to an abundance of tremendous eateries, pop-up bars and artisanal shops, all of which are operated by knowledgeable and passionate people. Whether you’re looking for churros or cheese, sandwiches or souvlaki, you’ll be able to find it somewhere in this incredible little section of the Capital.

It’s also worth noting that if you are a beer lover looking to complete the Bermondsey Beer Mile, the iconic south London pilgrimage for lager, stout and IPA fans, Maltby Street Market roughly marks the middle of the route, so you can stock up on provisions before heading off to the next craft brewery on your list.

Old Spitalfields, Liverpool Street

Nearest station – Liverpool Street (Central/Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan/National Rail/Overground)

You can search for nearby properties by clicking here.

Photograph: Yisris // Flickr

If your sole criteria for markets is how convenient they are to reach via public transport, then Old Spitalfields is the one for you. Located directly over the road from Liverpool Street, one of the Capital’s busiest stations, this is a market that contains a little bit of everything. If you’re after food there are any number of restaurants, stalls and trucks – you can indulge in everything from doughnuts to crepes, bao buns to curries – or if you fancy something a little bit special in terms of clothing or jewellery, you can visit Miranda Melina, S&B's Styles and InSpitalfields.

Borough Market, London Bridge

Nearest station – London Bridge (Jubilee/Northern/National Rail)

You can search for nearby properties by clicking here.

Borough Market, which is actually much closer to London Bridge station than it is Borough station, is a firm tourist favourite. It is an expansive warren containing stalls selling all manner of goodies, and is home to some of the most popular pop-ups in the Capital, including Humble Crumble, East London Liquor, Brindisa and La Tua Pasta, all of which can be regarded as attractions in their own right.

Given the market is incredibly attractive and nearly always packed with visitors, it’s no surprise that it has featured in a host of films and TV shows. In the 2001 romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Diary, the eponymous lead character lived in an apartment ensconced in the heart of the market, while in the 1998 gangster flick Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, one of the quieter corners of the market – a spot which currently houses a terrific coffee shop called The Gentlemen Baristas – was used as a gang hideout.

Columbia Road Flower Market, Shoreditch

Nearest station – Bethnal Green (Central)

You can search for nearby properties by clicking here.

Photograph: Katrin Gilger // Flickr

Columbia Road Flower Market is, somewhat unsurprisingly given its name, London’s premier location for all manner of flowers and foliage. Many of the sellers grow their own flowers or import them from various places around the world, meaning that every time you visit, you are liable to be hit by a unique assortment of smells and colours.

Columbia Road itself contains over 60 independent retailers, with small art galleries, vintage clothing stores, Italian delis, English restaurants and family-run antiques shops all sitting side by side. There is nowhere else in London – nor England – quite like Columbia Road, and it is somewhere that really needs to be visited before it can be adequately appreciated.

It is important to note that while the market is only open on Sundays, the shops can be visited throughout the week and on the weekend.

Broadway Market, Hackney

Nearest station – London Fields (Overground)

You can search for nearby properties by clicking here.

Photograph: _dChris // Flickr

Broadway Market, located in the heart of Hackney, has been a regional staple since the Victorian era. With Regent’s Canal at one end, and London Fields at the other, it is a prime shopping location surrounded by some of east London’s most distinctive places of interest.

Traditionally, Broadway Market was a rather conventional affair, selling fruit and vegetables, homeware and discounted clothing, but in recent years it has become home to an array of stalls selling sourdough, artisanal coffee, striking pastries, beautiful plants and stellar street food.

Broadway Market is also flanked by various superb restaurants, pubs, cafes and shops, including – but by no means limited to – L’eau à La Bouche, a wonderful French deli, OKKO, a stylish Japanese restaurant, Hill & Szrok, one of London’s most respected butcher shops, Hermanos, a Colombian coffee roasters, Meringue Girls, a terrific bakery, and The Dove, a community pub that stocks over 100 Belgian beers.

Greenwich Market, Greenwich

Nearest station – Cutty Sark (DLR)

You can search for nearby properties by clicking here.

Photograph: Yisris // Flickr

No visit to Greenwich is complete until the many stalls and stores of Greenwich Market have been thoroughly perused. Open seven days a week, and with around 120 stalls displaying art, antiques, cheese, clothing and a lot more besides, the market, which was established in 1737, has been a bustling hub in this riverside region for almost three centuries.

One of the things that makes Greenwich Market truly stand out is that there is a pub right in the middle of it. The Coach and Horses, which beautifully melds the contemporary with the traditional, is the perfect place to spend an afternoon and watch the world go by. The pub's aesthetic approach has also been harnessed to great effect in a number of other drinking establishments around Greenwich, with the Trafalgar Tavern, The Old Brewery and The Cutty Sark all utilising similar designs to an equally impressive degree.

Portobello Road, Notting Hill

Nearest station – Ladbroke Grove (Circle/Hammersmith & City)

You can search for nearby properties by clicking here.

Photograph: Jorge Franganillo // Flickr

Running almost the entire length of the iconic – and undoubtedly desirable – Notting Hill, Portobello Road is most famous for its street market, home to every sort of knick-knack and type of antique you could possibly imagine. Traditionally a Saturday market, it has expanded its opening times over the years so that it can now be visited every day apart from Sunday, but it is on Saturdays that it truly comes to life.

Portobello Road Market is regarded by many as being the world’s largest antiques market, with absolutely every type of trinket imaginable – from watches to candlesticks, furniture to toys, jewellery to stamps – on offer.

Given the market’s global reputation and its standing as one of the world’s premier locations for discovering a hidden gem or two, it is unsurprising that it has frequently been utilised as a key location in books and movies, including Paddington Bear, Martin Amis’ seminal work London Fields, The Chinese Agent by Michael Moorcock, and, perhaps most famously, the 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

Looking for properties to rent or buy near another excellent London market? Get searching today.

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