Fresh flowers at Columbia Market
Fresh flowers at Columbia Market

Markets are an enduring element of London street life, and the sound of local stallholders hawking their wares in piercing Cockney accents is a distinctive feature of the city’s soundtrack. Old- fashioned markets abound, such as the archetypal Walthamstow Market, the longest outdoor market in Europe, and the colorful Columbia Road Flower Market, where endless lines of potted plants add a horticultural flourish to inner-city Shoreditch.

Some of the the city’s old fish, fruit, vegetable, and meat markets have been transformed into must- do shopping experiences. While Greenwich Market has become a major source of upmarket collectibles including fine art, antiques, and arts and crafts, the most spectacular transformation is that of Borough Market, where an elegantly restored Victorian wrought-iron market building hosts myriad stalls serving up a fabulous array of gastronomic delights.

Finally, Camden Market’s sprawling cornucopia of the weird, wonderful, and downright tacky ensures that it remains the market haunt of choice for the capital’s mohican-sporting punks, black- frocked Goths, and other alternative fashionistas.

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