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Shopping with a Market Twist in London. From art and antiques to retro fashion, from fresh produce to cheap eats and everything in between, London’s markets are the place to go for the ultimate cultural shopping experience for families. Exploring the markets of London is a great way to give your senses a treat (and not just your fashion sense) – the sights, sounds and smells of London thrive in her bustling markets, many of which are open all week long. Below is a list of some of our favorite London markets, running the gambit from the famous to the less well-known but just as beloved.

Camden Market. One of London’s most famous markets, and the fourth most-visited tourist attraction in London, Camden Market is composed of five interconnecting areas featuring a wild combination of clothes, food, crafts and music. The five areas of Camden Market are: Camden Lock Market, Camden Stables Market, Camden Canal Market, Inverness Street Market and Camden (Buck Street) Market. Not to be missed: All throughout Camden Stables Market are giant carved horses, a tribute to the market’s original use as a horse market. The indoor Victorian Market Hall is a great place to scope out handmade gifts, knickknacks and craftworks. When is it? Camden Market is open seven days a week from 10AM-6PM – but be warned, it can get very busy and crowded on the weekends. Where is it? Camden Market is located in Camden, London, N1. Mind the gap: The nearest London Underground Tube stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm. (

Covent Garden Market. Covent Garden Market was originally a fruit and vegetable market for the local convent, but is now home to a bustling market full of quirky crafts, jewelry and clothing, with over 200 registered artists and craftspeople, offering shoppers a great chance to scoop up handmade British designs. Not-to-be-missed: Outside of St. Paul’s Church, at the West Piazza and at the North Hall of the Market Building market-goers can catch some of the most impressive street performers in London. From comedy and dance to magic and music, the street performers are sure to delight. When is it? Some markets are open at Covent Garden from Monday to Saturday 10AM-6PM, but the most fun time (if also the most crowded) is on Sunday between 11AM-6PM. Where is it? Covent Garden Market, The Market Place, London, WC2. Mind the gap: The nearest London Underground Tube station is Covent Garden, but to beat the crowds, head to Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Embankment or Holborn before disembarking.  (

Old Spitalfields Market. Old Spitalfields Market, located just east of the Mile, is known for it’s many stalls selling one-of-a-kind items, vintage and retro clothing, music, jewelry and handicrafts. Spitalfields’ proximity to the nearby art-and-design college has made it a showcase for up-and-coming young artists. Spitalfields has been home to a market since 1638, when King Charles gave local merchants a license to sell “flesh, fowl, and roots” in what was then known as “Spittle Fields.” Need to know: Depending on the day, the offering at Spitalfields changes. On Monday and Tuesday, there are general stalls with goods that run the gambit. On Wednesday the market hosts delicatessens as well as record and book sellers, on Thursday the market turns to the antiques trade while on Friday the focus is on fashion and art. When is it? Old Spitalfields Market is open Monday through Friday from 11AM-3PM and on Sunday from 10AM-5PM. Where is it? Old Spitalfields Market, Horner Square, London, E1. Mind the gap: The nearest London Underground Tube station is Liverpool Street Station. (

Greenwich Market. Located in the heart of historic Maritime Greenwich, Greenwich Market is probably London’s best source for handcrafted items, as well as original artwork, unique gifts, collectable and antiques. The entire market is located undercover, making it a great choice even for rainy days, and it’s always pretty as a picture. Bonus Points: Throughout the holiday season Greenwich Market hosts a Christmas Market, complete with Santa’s Grotto, free workshops and late-night shopping. When is it? Greenwich Market is open Thursday through Sunday from 9:30AM-5:30PM. Where is it? Greenwich Market is located in College Approach, London, SE10. Mind the gap: The nearest London Underground Tube station is Canary Wharf, at which you switch to Docklands Light Railway to Cutty Sark Gardens. Alternatively you can simply get on the Docklands Light Railway at any point and take it directly to Cutty Sark Gardens. (

Waltamstow Market. Walthamstow Market is the longest street market in England, running over a mile long. Shoppers can find a wide variety along its length, including high-street clothing, books, and fabrics. Food rangers from local cockney grub, to deliciously fragrant Caribbean food. When’s it open? Walthamstow Market is open Monday-Friday from 9AM-4PM, and Saturday 9AM-5PM. Where is it? Walthamstow Market is located on High Street, Waltham Forest, London, E17. Mind the gap: The nearest London Underground Tube station is Walthamstow Central. (

Walk the markets. Author and cultural historian Sandra Shevey offers several guided walks to and through London Markets, including Brick Lane Market, Petticoat Lane and Southall. Shevey’s stated goal is to celebrate the ethnic diversity of London, and the wide range of cultures evident in London’s markets. Featured markets vary by day, but each walk runs for three hours and features three markets. Bonus Points: During the walks Shevey reads prose & poetry in situ about the markets from such famous authors as Dickens and Defoe, as well as Shevey’s own personal work. Walks run in the early morning, the evening and midday depending on day and time of year. During the holiday season Shevey hosts a special Christmas Eve Day walk which includes a visit to the Smithfield meat market auction. Tickets are £25 per person, excluding travel from market to market. ( or

Information posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. with images from Family TRavel Files archoves. Copyright updated 2015.
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