3 markets you have to see in London


When it comes to visiting London, there are literally hundreds of activities you could choose from to have a great holiday, whether you’re going there for a week or just a couple of days.

There are lots of museums, landmarks and parks that make for educational, interesting and relaxing days out together but you shouldn’t forget to check out one of London’s other greatest assets: its markets.

Markets have to be on everyone’s must-see list when they come to the Big Smoke, not only because they’re filled to the brim with bargains, but becayse visiting them is a great way to immerse yourself in the city’s everyday culture. Londoners spend lots of their time at markets, buying clothes, having dinner and wandering around to experience something new – you’re guaranteed to have a great time at whichever market you decide to visit.

At The Shaftesbury, we’ve picked our top three markets that we think you should go to see and you might even be able to squeeze them all into one trip!

1. Borough Market

Easily one of London’s most famous markets, Borough Market is practically a spiritual home for foodies, thanks to it boasting more than 100 different stalls with food from all over the world. You’ll find it in the neighbourhood of Southwark, which isn’t too far from London Bridge.

You can really go on a voyage of discovery when you head to Borough Market, starting the day with British classics and eating your way around the world, sampling delicacies from Italy, Ethiopia, Australia and more.

This market has every type of food you can think of, whether that’s pastries, fish, poultry, fruit or freshly-baked bread. If you can imagine it, you’re probably going to find it here.

Excitingly, many chefs from great restaurants all over the city come to Borough Market early in the morning to barter for the best produce they can get their hands on. Michelin-grade chefs adore this market, so that should tell you something about the quality here.

What’s even better about this market is that it holds special themed festivals throughout the year to celebrate different food from various regions and countries, so keep an eye out for its calendar of events to see what’s happening.

2. Portobello Road Market

Again, this market is quite famous, particularly since the movie Notting Hill hit the screens in the nineties showing off the beauty of this area.

Unlike Borough however, Portobello Road Market doesn’t focus so much on food, but it does sell just about everything else. This is the place for you if you love antiques, vintage clothing, household items, bric-a-brac and great second-hand bargains.

You can get food here, of course, but this market is aimed more at people who enjoy browsing and looking for trinkets and things to add to their collections. If the market doesn’t have a wide enough selection for you – and, believe is, it really should have! – then there are also plenty of other shops, bars and restaurants that line Portobello Road itself.

The easiest way to get to the market is to get the Tube to Notting Hill Gate Station, as it’s just a few minutes walk from there. The market is open every day, except Sunday, and opening times vary, but it’s open basically all day on Friday and Saturday, so these are the best times to go.

3. Camden Market

Although we’re sure many of you will have heard of Camden, which is well known for its live music and club scene, you might not know that there is also an excellent market in this part of the city.

The atmosphere is a huge selling point of this market. As soon as you’re there, you’ll feel incredibly welcomed – particularly in winter when there are huge wooden vats of mulled wine to warm you from the inside out.

Almost everything you could want is at this market, from global cuisine to music and from fashion to art, you’ll find it all here. The best thing about Camden Market is that it prides itself on being unique, so if you’re into alternative and quirky things, then this is the perfect place for you.

History buffs will also enjoy being in this area, as there is a lot to learn about the waterside trade and underground tunnels.

The market is best reached by taking the Tube to Camden Town Station. It’s open every day between 10am and 6pm and you can expect weekends to get very busy.

For information on London holiday packages, contact The Shaftesbury Hotel London now.