May 24, 2018

A guide to the best London markets

Students are always on the lookout for cheap and affordable clothes and there is nowhere better to regularly get such a find than in London. The many markets the capital has to offer its locals are packed with vintage originals, antique trinkets and artwork for your halls all at prices you’d never find on the High Street. The London markets are one of the best things about big city living, as they offer culture and the ultimate in retail therapy at the same time.

However, if you are a student in London and new to the city, knowing exactly where and when to go to London markets can be hard to get the hang of, so here is a handy guide put together to help you separate the bargain from the boot sale.

Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market is one of the most popular covered markets in London, and its temporary stalls fit comfortably next to its glass fronted shops. Sundays are the busiest day of the week for this market – over 150 stalls are present, offering all manner of goods from clothes to brownies.

The area itself has been made more famous through the popular Spitalfields Life blog and books, whose ‘Gentle Author’ has made the area fashionable through his fascinating accounts of daily life in Spitalfields in the heart of the city, turning it into a must-visit for anyone visiting or living in London. There are plenty of quirky bars and clubs in Shoreditch which is just up the road from the market, as well as all types of shops, so the area makes for the perfect day out, having everything you need.

Portobello Road Market

Around since the 1800s, the Portobello Road Market has become increasingly popular for its fine antiques. While the many stalls there are known for their diverse goods on sale, which includes everything from fruit to posters, it is most recognised as a must for quality antiques and flea market purchases. Just round the corner from Notting Hill, the Portobello Road Market is open from Monday to Saturday every week and is split into sections by type of stalls. Saturday sees the market really come into its own, as it boasts over 2,000 stalls to explore. This market can get particularly busy but, if you pace yourself, it can be one of the best London markets for grabbing a unique bargain.The Portobello Road, which is home to the local market

Image Credit: bunchofcats1 (flickr.com)

Covent Garden Market

The Convent Garden market has the reputation of being one of the prettiest of all the London markets, thanks to its 19th century piazza and quirky little shops. Covent Garden itself is split into three markets in the vicinity: the Apple Market, East Colonnade Market and the Jubilee Market, each of which have their own specialist products and opening times.

The Apple Market is the ideal place to pick up a gift as it sells endless numbers of British crafts, jewellery and antiques. The East Colonnade Market is open every day and has stalls selling plenty of homemade original items such as soap and knitted clothes. Finally, the Jubilee Market, located in the South Piazza, changes its goods day by day; Monday has stalls selling antiques, Tuesday to Friday offers clothes and household products and the weekends is reserved for arts and crafts.

Greenwich Market

Ideal for students in the area, Greenwich Market always has something new. Sushi stalls sit side by side with arts and crafts in this most diverse of London markets. Events management degree students can find clothes and accessories from designer makers on their lunch break, as well as plenty of snacking options from one of the market’s many stalls. Weekends see this market at its busiest, with around 150 stalls lining the streets of Greenwich.

Camden Market

The Camden Market London complex is famed for its quirky student vibe, with its many shops, cafes, stalls and bars having something to offer every taste. The Camden Lock Market is at the centre of this huge setting and plays host to over 100 shops and stalls, selling all types of crafts by the canal. Camden Town itself is renowned for its entertainment scene, and the Camden Stables Market is famed as an alternative fashion hub.

Evenings are when this area truly thrives, and the sun going down sees revellers combine picking up original finds and fashions with enjoying a drink in one of the many lively nearby bars. Due to its increasing popularity, the Camden markets have extended to opening during the week as well as at weekends and, whilst you will miss the busy crowds by attending midweek, there are fewer stalls to browse around.

While London shopping is a known perk of living in the Big Smoke, London markets can offer more than the typical High Street trends with an abundance of vintage buys, priceless antiques and local delicacies all waiting to be found.

Why not tweet your best market finds to the GSM London Twitter page?

Image Credit: Dave Catchpole (flickr.com)

This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.

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