Columbia Road Flower Market

Shopping , Markets and fairs Bethnal Green
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(25 user reviews)
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Columbia Road and Flower Market, Shoreditch, London, UK
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Columbia Road Flower Market

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© Ed Marshall

One of London’s most visually appealing markets, Columbia Road overflows with bucketfuls of beautiful flowers every Sunday. There are bulbs, herbs, shrubs and bedding plants too. Alongside the Sunday market you’ll find a host of independent galleries and shops selling pottery, perfume and the like – many of them are only open at the weekends, and they often shut up shop with the market at 3pm. Turn up as things start to wind down at around 2pm for the best bargains, or as early as humanly possible if you want to guarantee yourself the pick of the crop.

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Venue name: Columbia Road Flower Market
Contact:
Address: Columbia Rd
London
E2 7RG
Opening hours: 8am-3pm Sun
Transport: Hoxton/Shoreditch High St Overground
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

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LiveReviews|25
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Photosbysooz
1 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

Columbia Road Market is a go to place for those ticking off a "Must See in London Bucket List" and it absolutely should be. It is, however, rather a little bit of a victim of it's own success. Having been brought back to life in the 1980s it's popularity has grown so much that it's become a destination for many people just browsing rather than shopping. This has not diminished the quality of the product and the wonderful stall holders, full of banter and gip, but it means crowds and crowds of people - which can get rather unpleasant at times.


Despite this though, as you shuffle along with everyone else, you'll take in wonderful floral spectacles and hopefully the hardest decision you'll have that day is which plants or flowers you are possibly going to decide upon to take home! So not to put you off, this is a wonderful place to visit, but go prepared; travel light, please don't bring a baby in a buggy, or wear a large back-pack and don't expect to get through the stalls at a fast pace.


You can enjoy the surrounding area as well as there are plenty of local shops, cafes and pubs and a general feeling of happiness in a rather lovely East London setting. Also not too far, is Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market, The Geffrye Museum, Dennis Severs House and The Vietnamese Mile on Kingsland Road.

Alizée
1 of 1 found helpful
tastemaker

It's particularly nice on a sunday to walk into Columbia Road. The flower market offers a large choice of fresh flowers. You can find any kind of flowers. Last time I went there, I felt in love with pink pineapple flower. Also shops of the street are cutes.

Suzie J
1 of 1 found helpful

One of my favourite markets in London and if you go around 2pm there are some real bargains to be had! If you are a budding photographer there are some amazing photo ops http://bit.ly/1iS1wKX

Lise M
Tastemaker

Last Sunday, I walked down Columbia Road to visit the Flower Market for the first time. Looking like a small village; this street is absolutely lovely and is a great alternative to Brick Lane Market, where you can discover dozens of varieties of flowers (roses, lilies, orchids, lupin, etc), shrubs (olive, orange,lemon trees), fruit trees (strawberries, tomato plants) or even aromatic plants (thyme, rosemary, mint). I would recommend to visit the market quite early as it can be quite crowdy or if you're not afraid by the crowd to go after 1pm as you can make very good bargains. 

NakedPRGirl Claire
Tastemaker

For true London indulgence on a sunny Sunday, head to Columbia Road Flower Market where the vibe is chilled out and creative. It's just off the beaten track so go to Liverpool Street and have a nice walk up via Shoreditch and grab a coffee at one of the many shops on the street. It starts at 8am to 3pm each Sunday and I'd recommend going as early as possible because towards midday is absolutely chicken oriental. Flowers are cheaper than you're used to, and there's so, so, so many options, you will go wild! My favourites are the gorgeous coloured roses and I must confess I always end up spending around £20 (this time £8 on the light pink and £10 on the multi coloured) but they're always worth it...so many people asked me where the brightly coloured ones were from! After you've finished flower shopping from the many stalls, have a look at the little shops around the markets where you'll find vintage finds and garden treasures. My favourite is called Open House where they sell those wooden crates with Columbia Road on them which is perfect for gifts. There's also plenty of places to grab a coffee and a cake, Monmouth Coffee is sandwiched between two shops with just a hatch for service! And I love sitting on the curb just listening to live music. What more do you want from a Sunday?

Ros A
Tastemaker

Columbia Road is one of my absolute favourite things to do in the whole of London. Yes, it means getting up on a Sunday when you're hungover, but you'll be greeted by great cafes and shops to browse in, plus a main drag of gorgeous flowers. The florist standowners are a bit cheeky (in a good way) so you can fully expect them to tell your boyfriend to "stop being so tight and buy the lady some flowers" etc. Handy, if you want someone to buy you flowers and all. The flowers are better quality in the morning, but cheaper in the early afternoon as the crowds die down. Nearest tube is Old Street but it's walkable from Hoxton overground too. 

LoveLondon
Tastemaker

If you live in London, you've been here. If you haven't, then make your way! If you are a visiting- definitely mark this in the calendar. Every Sunday from early morning till 3-4pm- even if you don't buy anything, it is worth just to come and look at all the beautiful colours and smell the fragrance. Come a bit later towards the end and you'll get some amazing bargains! Flowers stay fresh for 10 days at least.

Tiago Almeida
Tastemaker

A slightly out of the way gem in London. It does get very crowded first thing but is well worth a visit. Good shops as well as the flower stalls too

Corina B
Tastemaker

I went recently for the first time and was surprised that I had never heard of it as a Londoner, everyone talks about Brik Lane and Portobello, but I think this market deserves as much credit. It is absolutely beautiful and surprisingly (mostly) affordable. The variety of flowers and plants is incredibly overwhelming and I left with 3 items I didn't have space for.

The only downfall, which is very difficult to overlook is how crowded it is, so if you have any problems with sharing your personal space perhaps it isn't a good idea (or try to get there as early as possible). I think more than the quantity of people it is how narrow the street actually is.

MandyGo
Tastemaker

Columbia Road Flower Market has become a venue that every Londoner has to visit. Even if you're not from London, it's earned the popularity it deserves and is well worth a trip into town to check out. 

However, I think it's very important to state If you don't like crowds, or people, or crowds of people – this might not be the place for you. 

It gets absolutely rammed. And I wouldn't be surprised if it were the trigger of Enochlophobia for some people. (Fear of crowds. See, you even learn something with my reviews!) 

Having said that, if you can look beyond the bustle, it may just become worthwhile. The hundreds of flowers and array of plants are absolutely stunning. Make your way along every stall before you make your choice as picking the best bunch shouldn't be a hasty decision. If you want a real bargain, get there as it's closing – as many sellers are willing to get rid of stock and it could see you walking away with three Orchid plants for 75p. Sunday's don't get better than that! 

Livvi AT
Tastemaker

Columbia Road Flower Market is the perfect excuse to drag your hungover Sunday morning self out of bed and to enjoy a unique and tourist free pocket of London. 


Prepare for a huge array of vendors and flowers, all at reasonable prices; I got a bunch of stunning tulips for £3 and an orchid for a fiver. The colours, fragrances and calls from the vendors make it a buzzing, vibrant atmosphere. Even in the rain (though the downpour meant it was a little quieter than usual), this is the perfect way to get a nature fix in the middle of the city.


And with plenty of pubs, cafes and juice bars adorning the streets either side, you can finish your stroll with a pie and pint. 


Top Tip- make sure you check out the whole length of stalls before committing to purchase to make sure you get the best deal!

Sharmin C

A place to make a habit of going and for the generations after to follow, just as I have succeeded my Parents ^^

Ioanna La
Tastemaker

Columbia Road Flower Market is the most exciting way to spend your Sunday in London, maybe one of the best non-touristy places in London, perfect if you love strolling, and like most things, it's even better when it's sunny! You can feel you're nearby right in a 1 km radius as you'll see many people carrying flowers - loads of flowers! You'll get a big selection of flowers, spot some really unique sellers. Most people will be smiling, it can get really busy though but you know it so you'll expect it and you'll be patient, and you'll enjoy the walk! There are usually discounts before the market closes. You can combine your visit with brunch or coffee! There are also some awesome shops hidden behind the stalls, do pay a visit and you'll find hidden gems! Fried prawns seem to be a must snack, just on the shop around the middle of the market behind the stalls. Don't forget to turn at Ezra Street, only to find that this place is not only about flowers! Street performers, musicians, all kind of fashionably attired people, a vintage market and some nice places for coffee or brunch. Or just sit on the pavement and enjoy a takeaway coffee or drink and a chat with friends, if the weather is good enough. So, what are you doing next Sunday? 

Bonus: Columbia Road is amazing even during the rest of the week. You can admire the shops and have a nice stroll around! 

Chesca R
Tastemaker

This is the perfect place to spend your Sunday. I have been here on numerous occasions with friends who are brides to be to buy their wedding flowers to save them paying a premium on flowers because of the big W word. The variety and seasonal change is also brilliant both native and exotic. Great also for house warming gifts or for spoiling yourself. Don't forget to reward yourself with coffee, cake or a cheeky bagel, Cafe Columbia, Jones' Dairy and Treacle are all delicious. 

South Carolina
Tastemaker

This is easily one of my favourite places in London. I’d recommend it to someone just visiting or a seasoned Londoner. Don’t be fooled by the name, this market is way more than just flowers. Herbs, chillis, house plants, moss - you name it, they’ve got it! The vendors come chock full of character, I have yet to walk through the market without at least one of them making me smile. They all really know their stuff as well, don’t be shy definitely ask about the plants you’re getting if you’re unsure about them. If it’s cheap flowers you’re after head there at the end of a rainy Sunday to grab some great deals.

Angela L
Tastemaker

I love coming here to daydream about the indoor plants I would have if only I had more space and green fingers.  However I basically come here on Sundays to see the different varieties of flowers, the herbs, the colours and the vibe!  Sometimes I actually do come here to buy flowers for myself.  Best time is post 2pm to get a bargain.  Otherwise it's also just a nice walk on Sundays.  If you go early it is just rammed.  Please can people not bring their prams / children with them, it is not the time nor place.  Thanks...

Vicky T
Tastemaker

Sundays can be much happier and colourful - especially the sunny ones- when visiting this lovely flower market! The experience begins before arrival even while watching all the people coming from the same direction holding flowers- seems like part of a festival. And when you're finally there, things are even better: the colours, smells, buzz of the street and the shops nearby are overwhelming! Don't miss out on the opportunity for some real bargains near closing time (got an orchid for 5 pounds), but even if you don't want to buy anything, being there is still worth the visit!

Diana T
Tastemaker

Columbia Flower Market is great! The place is always buzzing on Sundays, if you show up after 3pm they usually give you discounts on flowers and some stalls have the cutest cacti on sale. There are hundreds and hundreds of Christmas trees in winter, and the crowd keeps you warm when you're walking through the stalls. The little shops on the sides of the street are great too, either to buy pots and other homeware or for a quick coffee. Its busy even in the rain. If you're in the area, spend a tenner and brighten up your home with a new plant or some flowers. 

Lizzie W
Tastemaker

A must on a sunny Sunday morning.

The buzz and atmosphere is great, the flowers beautiful - really good stroll! Some flowers seem like a bargain, some a rip off! Tonnes of small drinks vendors tucked in the between shops behind the flower market - coffee and juices. I had the nicest carrot, Apple and ginger juice!
Apparently good places around for cake or breakfast but I didn't spot any as was so busy.
Can't wait to return to buy some flowers. My friend bought a beautiful orchid for her mum for £5!

Daniele T
Staff Writer

A great Sunday outing, not really for the flowers but for the buzz surrounding the market - a London hipster casbah. 

Allan Watkins

My husband & have been searching for a London market to visit and the description, especially the pictures have certainly inspired us to take a trip! It definitely looks worthy of a day out, offering something very different for even the most conservative of market shoppers, who even have the option to become connoisseur's of the local art world as well as hardened tea drinkers! Looking forward to it!

Hayley

Wonderful way to spend a sunday afternoon. Its a vibrant piece of traditional London markets, completely with lots of yelling and haggling! If you show up between 4-5pm you can get some really great deals! Also, there are a tonne of pubs and restaurants along the strip that have excellent food at a variety of costs from cheap street food to classy sit down meals. Not to be missed.

Emily

Make sure you go at the right time to the Columbia Road Flower Market at the right time! When I went I slightly misjudged it and arrived a bit late. However, I was still really impressed with the variety and quality of flowers. It is a very beautiful and inspiring sight! Not to be missed.

fiona mcmillan

This is a wonderful morning out - we went on a sunny summer's morning and it truly lifts the spirits. You can get a massive bunch of the most divine smelling flowers for a song, and you get a sense that the market hasn't changed conceptually for decades. The shops around the area are great too - lots of quirky ones to explore and I picked a wonderful dinner set in one of these, again for a bargain. This is a real market for Londoners, and brings something that has been lost from some of the other markets.

Becky C

If you're looking for a proper, old-fashioned, East End London market, Columbia Road is your place. The air is thick with Cockney accents advertising their bargainous wares (huge bunches of lilies for £5!) and there around some wonderful little cafes and boutiques dotted around if you fancy escaping the crowds for a minute or two.