Exploration / Flowers / London / Markets

To Market: Columbia Road Flower Market

The markets in London are glorious.  From antiques, to food, to vintage clothing.  Pretty much anything you could want is in a market here somewhere.  You can peruse for hours and find many useful and also frivolous gems.  I’ve waxed lyrical many times about Camden market but another favourite of mine is Columbia Rd.  Located in East London on (you guessed it) Columbia Rd is where you will find this flower market that deserves to be explored.

The market only opens on Sundays from 8 am until 3 pm.  I would suggest going around mid day where you can take the time to explore and then make a purchase closer to the end as vendors cut prices to get rid of their stock.  I was first taken to this market my first year here by a friend Erin, a Canadian who lived in and loved London but returned home.  When my mom visited last summer I brought her here and she loved it.

It’s fairly easy to find and is about a 10 minute walk from old street tube.  As you walk through the vendors call out to you to buy their flowers, giving you the feel of a proper market.  The market is small so I tend to walk through at least 2 times before choosing.  There is so much variety here with tropical plants, trees, cactus, bamboo, and even a guy randomly selling peacock feathers.  This market is a gardener’s and photographer’s heaven.

Go soon and make a day of it.  Columbia Rd also has independent shops and galleries which are partly obscured by the the foliage, but do venture inside and you won’t be disappointed.  After visiting those you can head to nearby brick lane and surrounding streets which house vintage shops, food stalls and amazing street art.


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