Columbia Road Flower Market, London

September 21, 2013

I love wandering through markets. While in London on this last trip, my friends read about the Columbia Road Flower Market, a market only open on Sundays and an easy walk from our hotel. Having a morning open before we caught our afternoon flights, this was the perfect place to explore on a bright, sunny morning.

As you might imagine from the name, the market is bright, colorful, and bustling. The flowers are gorgeous and I was sad that I couldn’t purchase some to take home. I loved the vendors hawking their wares – their cries adding to the festive feel. The market isn’t very large but the small street is packed with flower vendors on both sides. Behind the flower vendors are shops of all sorts – antiques, galleries, home goods, and food.

You might think it’s easier to walk the sidewalks behind the vendors but it’s equally as crowded as the main street, if not more so.

Discovering cafes and hidden courtyards

We found a little cafe that sold all sorts of bagel sandwiches, some with fillings you wouldn’t think of in New York like egg mayonnaise (egg salad), rocket (arugula), and tomato. They had a lovely little courtyard out back where you could get away from the bustle of the market, if you could find a seat.

And little alleyway coffee shops

Another fun discovery were little coffee shops in alleyways – just wide enough for a barista and their espresso machines. I would imagine it’s a little claustrophobic but the coffee was delicious.

A lovely way to spend a Sunday morning

If you have a spare Sunday morning, take a walk over to the market. Colorful flowers with equally colorful vendors, buskers, and street food. It’s a pleasant way to spend a morning.

And check out some amazing street art

And on your walk over, check out the street art throughout the area. Here’s a small sample. They are really quite amazing.

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