Your guide to London’s markets

With temperatures soaring to a sizzling 19 degrees we can officially say that spring has arrived… and what better place to enjoy it than the Capital! For those of you that have begun internships in London and are keen to explore the big city, I bring you a little guide to my favourite weekend activity: discovering London’s markets. Packed full of unique treasures at bargain prices, these destinations are ideal for those of you on a budget; provide an alternative way of checking out the different areas and cultures that lie within our city; and are, in my opinion, the perfect way to spend a sunny weekend.

Nestled in the heart of the capital, Old Spitalfields Market is the place to head for a little something original. With over 150 stalls trading everything from quirky clothing to cupcakes, and an assortment of interesting shops in the surrounding area, this market is best explored on a Sunday.
Address: 16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, London E1 6EW
Trading hours: Mon – Fri: 10am-5pm; Sat: 11am-5pm; Sun: 10am-5pm

A firm favourite and now my local market! Follow Portobello Road from the Notting Hill Gate end, past the famous idyllic painted properties and along the full length of the road towards Ladbroke Grove. Marrying vintage clothing, furniture and food stalls with boutique shops and Notting Hill’s scrummy eateries, this market never fails to disappoint.
Address: Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1LJ
Trading hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri & Sat 8am-6.30pm, Thu half day until 1pm

Foodie paradise. Borough Market, lovingly referred to as London’s larder, boasts a vast array of mouth-wateringly edible delights to satisfy all taste buds. From fine cheeses to oysters, there’s nothing you won’t find under this roof. Come with your stomachs empty. If you are visiting on a hangover and in need of a sit-down, as I’m sure many of you will be on a Saturday morning, head to Roast for their cooked breakfast – a confirmed hangover eliminator.
Address: Southwark Street, Bankside, London SE1 1TJ
Trading hours: Thurs 11:00 – 17:00, Fri 12:00 – 18:00, Sat 9:00 – 16:00

Columbia Road
The cockney-toned bellowing from market traders in the distance as I stand with my family queuing for Café Columbia bagels, admiring my new pot of flowers, will long remain one of my favourite childhood memories. For something different from vintage clothes and overpowering food aromas, head to Columbia Road for its Sunday flower market – a true taste of the old East End.
Address: Columbia Road, Tower Hamlets, London E2 7RG
Trading hours: Sun 8am-2pm

One for the hungry fash-pack. This East End eco-friendly haunt, primarily a specialist food market, also sells vintage clothing from the 50s through to the 70s alongside an array of high-quality organic produce – no plastic bags allowed. If the weather’s on top form why not make day of it and head to nearby London Fields Lido; a beautifully restored 1930s facility, that even offers a sunbathing terrace for those inevitably pasty British limbs.
Address: East London, Hackney, London E8 4PH
Trading hours: Sat 9am-5pm

Roman Road
Situated in the soul of the East End on one of the oldest trading routes in Britain, this is the bargain hunter destination. ‘Super Saturday’ is a weekly feature through the summer months: with everything from street performances, books, antiques, food, clothing and much more, you’re bound to find a cheap treat or two.
Address: Roman Road, Tower Hamlets, London E3 5LU
Trading hours: Tues & Thurs 10am-3pm, Sat 9am-4pm | Farmers Market: first Sat of every month 8.30am-5.30pm

Alfie’s Antique
The antique emporium. One of London’s largest indoor antique markets, a haven for decorators and interior designers and likened to “a scene out of Mad Men”. The stalls of home furnishings and old furniture span over five floors, with the recent addition of a licensed ‘Roof Top Kitchen’ providing the perfect spot the enjoy panoramic over London’s rooftops.
Address: 13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8DT
Trading hours: Tues to Sat 10am-6pm

If you’re reading this ahead of an interview here at Inspiring why make a post appointment pit-stop and grab a bite to eat at our local Leather Lane market. Situated a short 3-minute walk from our office, the King of Falafel comes highly recommended by the Inspiring team!

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Intern at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly.