Columbia Road Flower Market
A most pleasant way to check out London’s East End is to stroll through the popular and incredibly colorful Columbia Road Flower Market. One of London’s longest running street markets; it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., flower and plant dealers set up shop along the street to offer amazing savings on just about any sort of cut flower or living plant you can imagine. And even if you don’t need to shop for any plants, the festive air of Columbia Road on a Sunday makes it an ideal spot for sightseeing and people watching. There’s a brilliant mix of shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants and pubs as well – all keen to welcome of the throngs of folks that head to the market every week.
For people who’ve landed from a flight to London, the market offers an opportunity to become immersed in the local culture. Hawkers and vendors try to out-do each other by shouting out their bargains for the day in full-on cockney accents. And, it’s always fun to watch as hipsters, born-and-bred locals and tourists rub elbows – with all parties eager to enjoy their Sunday, soak up the local vibe and take some time to (perhaps not so proverbially) stop and smell the roses.
Can’t make it on a Sunday or hope to hang around a bit after the market? The Victoria buildings lining Columbia Road make it feel like a movie set for an adaptation of a Dickens novel – and make it a lovely setting whether the market’s on or not. And with the street’s lively mix of cutting edge galleries, antique stores, vintage clothing shops and more, there are plenty shopping options whatever shade of green your thumb may be.
Good food and drink too! From traditional as well as trendy pubs to authentic Spanish and Italian eateries and a full array of quality restaurants, you’ll be sure to quench your thirst and dine in style at this lovely little East End street.
Columbia Road is located in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets with Tube stations Old Street, Liverpool Street, Bethnal Green and Whitechapel all just short walks away. Lots of buses service the area as well. Also nearby, the hustle and bustle of trendy Shoreditch and Hoxton, Brick Lane and Spitalfields (with their famous Sunday markets) and a whole host of delights await the eager East End explorer.
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