Columbia Road Flower Market

If it’s Sunday, head to Columbia Road for a guaranteed colorful and interesting afternoon. The flower market starts at 8 AM and ends at 2PM, so get your shit together. It’s absolutely worth rolling out of bed early for – no matter the weather or the season, Columbia Road fills with stalls selling nothing but plants, from exotic cut flowers to small orange trees to potted ferns. Their stock change with the seasons and you’ll be absolutely shocked by how cheap and good the deals are. When we were there there was one stall offering 3 huge bunches of lilies (lilies!!) for 5 pounds TOTAL. Plus, to top it all off, all of the overwhelmingly beautiful flowers and plants are hawked at top speed by cockney sellers. In short, it’s the best sensory experience for free you’ll find anywhere in London – smells, sights, sounds, and humor- nothing like walking behind a guy struggling through the crowds with a large potted palm tree in the middle of February:

man with plant

The market is easy to find. Take a bus or tube to Old Street, then it’s a 10 minute walk down Old Street into Shoreditch and then to Columbia Road. Turn left onto Old Street, follow it as it becomes Hackney Road, then turn right into Columbia Road – just get reasonably close and follow the throngs of people with arms full of flowers! Map

flowers

red awning

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Plus, bonus: the market stalls are surrounded on either side by the most adorable boutique shops that sell an array of stuff from jewelery to clothes to gardening to cupcakes (normal and mini-sized!).

shop display

scarves

Other Sunday-only or best on Sunday markets nearby:
Spitalfields
Petticoat Lane
Vintage shops near Brick Lane

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