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Markets in London

If you’re tired of the same old shopping experiences and are looking for something truly unique you’ll find a range of excellent markets in London.

One of the locals’ favourite pastimes in North West London is taking a weekend stroll around Camden’s markets [map]. You’ll find all sorts in this collection of markets including discount designer fashions, antiques, handmade crafts, music and much more.

As the capital’s fourth most visited attraction you’ll find this a busy area but with several markets to choose from there’s no shortage of bargains to be had, however if you’d rather not shop then many people go to enjoy the bustling atmosphere and the street performers.

Camden’s collection of outdoor markets include – Camden Market, Camden Lock Market, Stables Market, Camden Canal Market and Electric Market. All the markets are open on Sunday between 10:00am and 5:00pm and most are open at the same time on Saturday. Camden Town is probably the most convenient station but on market days you can only exit from this station so visitors usually use the Mornington Crescent or Chalk Farm tube station on leaving.

North London offers shoppers the chance to experience the vibrant Chapel Market close to Angel tube station. Expect to find fresh fish and vegetables including some African foods, clothing and plants on the stalls as well as some bargains in the stores and junk shops around. The market is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00am.

If you want trendy chic from your market experience then Spitalfields [map] in East London is the place to go. Located in a glass topped Victorian building on Commercial Street, Spitalfields market hosts a multitude of stalls where up-and-coming fashion designers sell their creations, beautifully handcrafted merchandise is on offer, and, on a Sunday, fresh organic food is available to buy.

Close to Spitalfields is Petticoat Lane market [map] but don’t look for the street name as it doesn’t really exist. This market is more than 100 years old and developed from a pig market to an area where second-hand petticoats were sold – hence the name. These days the market goes ahead every day (except Saturdays) in Middlesex Street, Wentworth Street and the surrounding offshoots, however Sunday is considered to be the best day. On Sundays the market bustles with more than 1,000 stalls selling discounted clothes, Asian fabrics, household items and leather goods.

Locals love Brick Lane market [map] because on a Sunday morning it’s a one stop shop for all your needs from food to furniture, and when the shopping is done you can get a bite to eat with the money you have left at one of the curry houses or the at legendary 24 hour bagel bakery. If you want to go, head to Liverpool Street or Whitechapel tube station on a Sunday, the market opens at around 8:00am and finishes at 2:00pm.

Just because you don’t follow fashion or enjoy clothes shopping doesn’t mean you have to be left at home or in your hotel room, because South East London offers some really good markets for searching out unusual gifts and antiques. One of the most popular markets amongst locals is Borough Market [map] situated between Borough High Street, Bedale Street, Stoney Street and Winchester Walk, SE1. This weekend only market serves food from across the world and includes a great mix of traditional London produce as well as exotically influenced fruit, vegetables, and baked goods from across the globe. This is the place for getting your organic and natural ingredients as well as being a must for a Christmas shopping visit.

If you’re hoping to bag a bargain try one of West London’s renowned markets. Portobello Market [map], Portobello Road and Portobello Green, W11, is the perfect place to pick up some unique jewellery or vintage and retro clothing. The market is open Fridays and Saturdays, although some stalls remain there throughout the week.

Alternatively, head to Shepherd’s Bush [map] for its historic market that has been at the same place – Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road, W12 – since 1914. Owing much to its African and Irish communities this is the ideal place to try some new culinary treats and choose from a selection of exotic fish, meats and fresh and organic fruit and vegetables. There are also some excellent music stalls here offering everything from Irish folk to reggae and everything in between.

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