Seven best outdoor markets to visit in London

London is home to so many fantastic markets, many of which have been shut for the duration of lockdown.

On 1 June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave outdoor markets the green light – but many of them have remained closed.

But with none-essential retailers allowed to open their doors on 15 June, as restrictions are relaxed further, it’s possible that the markets will flourish once again.

As such, we have put together a list of some of the capital’s best outdoor markets, from east London’s hipster mecca to foodie spots.

We find out if they are currently open (or if not, when that might happen) and what’s on offer right now.

Shoppers, at the ready.

Borough Market, London Bridge

Borough Market is a staple for any tourist visiting London, but also for many locals – thanks to the fresh produce and amazing street food.

The market has actually been open throughout lockdown, however with restrictions and social distancing in place.

Go here for freshly-baked bread and doughnuts, artisan cheeses, olives and spices, as well as all the vegetables and fruits your heart desires.

The street food is pretty excellent too, especially the Jamaican morsels from Rudie’s Jerk Shack.

Fingers crosse that The Globe Tavern – home to Bridget Jones’ flat, located above the pub, if you didn’t know – will be selling fresh pints out of the window as well, so you can down your grub with a tipple.

Columbia Road Market, Bethnal Green

If plants and flowers are what you’re after, then it doesn’t get any better than Columbia Road Market in Bethnal Green.

But, be warned – it’s usually very cramped (pre-pandemic, anyway) so it’s likely that you’ll have to queue up for quite some time to pick up your greenery.

The market usually runs every Sunday, from 8am to 3pm, but organisers have not yet revealed if the market will open on 15 June.

Keep an eye on the website or Twitter for more info closer to the time.

Lloyd Park Market, Walthamstow

Lloyd Park Market in Walthamstow actually reopened on 23 May.

It’s a foodie’s paradise with street grub, homemade cakes and biscuits, farm-made pies and much more.

Pick up a fresh piece of meat from the organic farm butchers, some charcuterie and don’t forget the single origin coffee and craft beer.

Come hungry, leave stuffed.

Broadway Market, Hackney

Known as a ‘working Victorian street market’, Broadway Market is a hipster mecca.

Following its re-launch in 2004, the market now has everyone you’d expect from an event hosted in east London – from vintage clothing to flowers, books, street food and much more.

There is also a range of shops in the area well-worth exploring, and most of these should be open on 15 June, if all goes to plan.

And if you’re really lucky, the buskers will also return so there’s music to set the tone for your shopping spree.

However, bare in mind that there’s been no confirmation on when the market will open – so check the website or Twitter before you head on down later this month, to avoid disappointment.

Brixton Village and Market Row, Brixton

Brixton Village and Market Row is about one thing and one thing only: food.

Sure, there are small shops dotted around area, a grocer’s market, a flea market and various stalls selling vintage goodies – but, basically, you just come here to eat.

There’s an eclectic mix from countries across the globe, so that you can visit Europe, India, Asia, Africa and South America all in one day.

Fruit and veg sellers reopened in April, so it’s highly likely the rest of the market will follow soon.

Don’t forget to swing by Pop Brixton before you head home.

The event space, which is located behind Brixton station, has been shut for the duration of the pandemic – with its 49 street food vendors suffering substantially from the lack of income – but who knows, the doors may soon open again.

Keep an eye on Pop Brixton’s Twitter for more info.

Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill

Portobello Road Market is always rammed with tourists.

They come for the bric-a-brac, to munch on crêpes or to take snaps for ‘Gram outside the famous Notting Hill bookshop or the ‘blue door’ featured in the movie (which, by the way, isn’t the real blue door – that one was auctioned off years ago).

But don’t let that put you off – it’s one of London’s loveliest markets.

And remember, no one is really travelling at the moment, so there will likely be a lot less tourists milling about (although that’s bad for business, sadly).

The market has been operating at reduced capacity since lockdown began on 23 March, with only food stalls such as fruit and vegetable sellers and fish mongers open at present, as well as vendors offering household goods.

But, with restrictions loosening, it’s likely that the second-hand and antiques stalls will soon return.

Stay updated on Visit Portobello.

Greenwich Market, Greenwich

Last but not least, there’s Greenwich Market.

On a normal day, you can find everything from fashion to antiques, food to art, jewellery to baked goods here – but unfortunately, the market has been closed throughout lockdown.

Although there’s not yet any news on when it will reopen, organisers are hosting virtual markets instead to help vendors stay afloat during this time.

Visit the market’s Instagram page every Friday to Sunday from 11am for an online shopping session.

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