Established for over a thousand years, situated beneath the railway on Borough High Street right by the River Thames, Borough specialises in gourmet food. Producers bring a range of fresh produce to the many market stalls, including fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and pastries. Why does Borough get our number one spot? Surprisingly, it’s not just the array of mouth-watering food but also the diverse mix of people that populate this charismatic venue that make it all the more charming. Sellers from across the UK, Europe and rest of the world come to market to show off their produce, demonstrating a real passion for the food and drink they offer. In turn, Borough’s visitors have the opportunity to sample fabulous food whilst being fully immersed in a world of culinary expertise, making Borough market a unique place to explore and sample undiscovered flavours.
Location: Borough High Street, SE1 9DE
Nearest Tube: Southwark
In second place, Portobello is arguably the most colourful market in London. Combine the vibrant setting with the markets’ quirky offerings and you have yourself a corner of London that is crying out to be explored. It’s famed
for its eclectic mix of antique and bric-a-brac stalls which are concentrated alongside an array of fashion and food stalls. However, be warned, Portobello market requires a little time investment. It has over 2000 stalls and stretches over half a
mile from Notting Hill gate. The trick to fully enjoying this market is arriving early, so you get a good scout of the offerings and then grabbing a spot of lunch during the main mid-day rush (look out for the Moroccan fish stall on Golborne Road).
Try to visit on a sunny day as this is the only market on our list that isn’t covered.Location: Portobello Road, London, W11 1AN.
Nearest Tube: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park.
There was no doubt Spitalfields market would feature in our shortlist, and by the number of awards this market has received over the years it seems like many others share our appreciation for this unique place. It really is a shopaholics’ idea of heaven. Nestled in the heart of the city, Spitalfields Market marries covered stalls with restaurants and glass fronted big brand stores. We love a number of stalls but our top picks for the summer holiday season are ‘Auntie Aviator’ for vintage sunglasses and ‘The Elephant’s Trunk Company’ for unique handmade accessories. We’d also recommend a pit-stop at ‘Flying Angels of Spitalfields’ who offer a delicious selection of pastries and cakes.
Location: Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6EW
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Greenwich made the shortlist for a number of reasons, including the site seeing opportunities along the way. Hop on the riverbus at Waterloo, to arrive forty minutes later at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich– the famous British clipper ship. Like many other London markets the Victorians made this one a more permanent fixture by covering it with a fantastic wrought-iron structure, adding a much needed level of protection from the unpredictable British showers. With wood turners, blacksmiths, jewellers and quilters having all set up stall at this market, it’s a perfect destination for anyone who is into their art and crafts or looking to find a unique gift.
Location: Greenwich Market, London, SE10 9HZ,
Nearest Tube: Cutty Sark (DLR)
Camden passage has been a much loved shopping destination for Londoners since the 1960s. Over the years, numerous independent shops, cafes and restaurants have opened in addition to the ever-expanding number of stalls selling all sorts of vintage items. Camden Passage is essentially four separate markets - Annie's Antique & Vintage Market, Camden Passage Market, Charlton Place Market and Pierrepont Arcade Market all of which have their own speciality offerings. The book market is a must-see as it’s likely to get even the most well-read Bibliophile excited. However our favourite had to be Annie’s Antiques and Vintage Market, hidden in Camden Passage between Islington Green and the Camden Head Pub. There’s an array of decorative antiques from 18th to 20th centuries, as well as vintage fashion and jewellery.
Location: 29 Camden Passage, Shoreditch, London, N1 8EA
Nearest Tube: Angel