Have a butchers at Londons markets

Whether you are looking for something specific or just keen to get in amongst the locals and soak up some of the atmosphere, London’s markets will not disappoint. There is always a market on somewhere in London and all sorts of treasures can be found. Keep your ears peeled for cockney rhyming slang too. The phrase ‘Have a butchers’ in my title means ‘have a look’ for example. London has many many markets.I have featured my favourites but there are lots more to explore.


Camden town has a thriving market scene. The largest market is by Camden Lock and it is possible to buy just about anything here. There are stalls selling household items, art, jewellery, large art frames, bags, music and clothes. Not just any clothes though, but often goth, neon, rubber, pvc or clothing made entirely from recycled materials. There are lots of food stalls outdoors too selling everything from burgers to fresh fruit juices. Camden has a very rebellious feel to it. The colourful high street is lined with stores offering body piercing, tattoos and even magic mushrooms. Camden is a great place for people-watching. As soon as you exit the tube station I can near as guarantee you will see someone with neon hair or facial piercings.

Camden High Street, London, UK

Portobello Road

Made famous by Disney’s film ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ in the late 1970s, Portobello Road is considered the world’s largest antiques market. It is a very long road and runs almost parallel to Ladbroke Grove in West London. There are all sorts of stalls but most specialise in antiques. It is a fun street to wander along slowly on a Saturday morning taking it all in and also has fruit and vegetable vendors at the Northern end.

Covent Garden

Originally a flower market, Covent Garden Market today is more geared towards arts and crafts. In the main building there are several permanent (mainly high street) shops as well as temporary independent stalls selling art, crafts and jewellery amongst other things. There are many cafes and restaurants around the main plaza too. The Jubilee market, slightly to the South has more cult items like old advertising signs and clothing stalls. Covent Garden always seems lively with street performers entertaining huge crowds, standing impossibly still painted head to toe with silver body paint, or playing Himalayan pipe music in the square. It is especially busy at weekends.


Borough Market is one of London’s largest food markets and food from all over the world can be found here, sold wholesale extremely early each morning, as well as to the public, at more human times. The market lurks under the overhead railway by London Bridge and trains roar overhead occasionally adding to the busy atmosphere. There are many specialist retailers here dealing in fancy cheeses, meat products or stunning preserves. There are always lots of options to try a bit of the products on sale too, so it’s a great market to wander around if you’re feeling peckish.


To the South East of London’s centre is Greenwich, home to Greenwich Mean Time and the Maritime Museum. The market here is interesting because it focuses on different wares on different days. On Wednesdays the focus is food, Thursdays and Fridays antiques. On the weekends stalls focus on arts and crafts as well as food. A lovely way to get to and from Greenwich is by boat. The National Maritime Museum buildings as you arrive look very impressive from the water.


The lively and reggae-filled market at Brixton specialises in African and Caribbean produce. Products that are the norm in Caribbean shops such as piri piri sauce, pigs trotters and certain fruit and vegetables more available there (plantain anyone? fancy a yam?) are abundantly available in Brixton. One of the best things is all the music you can enjoy as you eyeball all the tasty food for sale. There was even a live steelband playing outside Iceland supermarket in the high street last time I went. One of the streets the market is on is Electric Avenue, made famous by Eddy Grant’s song of the same name about the area.

Riverside Walk

The area on the South bank just in front of the Royal Festival Hall has become a secondhand book market, with a few stalls by the river, under the shade of the nearby trees, selling books of every type imaginable, as well as some postcards and a few posters. There are several bars and cafes along the river so it’s also a lovely place to end up at the end of the day as the sun goes down across the river.


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