Friday markets in London

Get the best of London's markets without the weekend crowds on a Friday



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Friday is the best day to visit Portobello market – it's far quieter than Saturday, and is the perfect opportunity to snap up the best vintage and indie fashion buys and thrift purchases before the crowds descend at the weekend. There are also food and clothing markets across the capital – a great way to kick off the weekend's shopping early.

Alfie's Antique Market

Good for: antiques
Alfie’s is packed to the rafters with handsome twentieth-century home decor, hosting more than 100 dealers in vintage furniture and fashion, art, accessories, books, maps and more. Dodo Posters do 1920s and ’30s ads. Be warned, the wares down at Alfie's are all fabulous but not cheap, though some gentle bartering; some of the hundred antique dealers will be keen to strike a deal.

  1. 13-25 Church Street, NW8 8DT
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Bermondsey Square Antiques Market

Good for: antiques
Following the redevelopment of Bermondsey Square the ancient antiques market – traditionally good for china and silver as well as furniture and glassware – continues in an expanded space that now accommodates 200 stalls that now include food, fashion and craft stalls. Browsing here is like going through Fagin’s gang’s loot.

  1. Corner of Bermondsey Street & Long Lane, SE1
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Berwick Street Market

Good for: fruit and veg, lunch
This small, buzzy street market, in a sometimes sleazy area, is one of London’s oldest. On weekdays it hosts a good selection of street food stands.

  1. Berwick Street, Rupert Street, W1
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Borough Market

Good for: food
London’s oldest market – dating back to the thirteenth century – is also the busiest, and the most popular for gourmet goodies. Traders satisfy the city’s insatiable appetite for artisan cheeses and ham from acorn-fed pigs. If food is your thing, then Borough, with its abundance of beautifully displayed organic fruit and veg, cakes, bread, olive oil, fish, meat and booze, is the place to go.

  1. Southwark St, SE1 1TL
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Brixton Market

Good for: food
Compared to the culinary homogeneity of Borough market et al, Brixton is a sensory fiesta. The air is thick with the sizzle of jerk chicken stalls, tinny reggae riddims and yam-based price disputes while the multi-coloured hues of exotic fish displays glimmer like a whiffy rainbow.

  1. Electric Avenue, Pope's Road, Brixton Station Road, SW9 8JX
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Covent Garden Market

Good for: gifts, crafts, food
Although something of a London institution, Covent Garden Market is too commercial and generally too crowded to provide a particularly characterful retail experience. However, the colonnaded 19th-century building is impressive, and occasionally some of the performers and entertainers can even be worth watching.

  1. Between King Street & Henrietta Street, WC2E 8RF
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Deptford Market

Good for: household goods
Most of Deptford Market is your standard south/east London fare: three-pack pants, timber wolf fleeces, Duracells and lighters. Halfway down its length, though, is a distended gut of impacted crap, presided over by two tennis umpires up stepladders who take money, dispense change and guard against pilfering.

  1. Douglas Way, Deptford High Street, SE8 3PQ
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Greenwich Market

Good for: antiques
There are plenty of stalls selling bric-a-brac, second-hand clothes, ethnic ornaments, CDs, crafts and jewellery galore at Greenwich Market. On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, the market takes a different turn with an excellent antiques and collectibles.

  1. Off College Approach, SE10 9HZ
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Lower Marsh Market

Good for: fruit and veg
A street market since Victorian times, there’s some quality veg, women’s clothes, decent jewellery and vintage shops.

  1. Lower Marsh, Westminster Bridge Rd to Baylis Rd, SE1 7AB
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Northcote Road Market

Good for: fruit and veg
Decent fruit and veg, flowers, ceramics, vintage clothes, plus the Antiques Market (No 155A; 020 7228 6850) and some excellent independent shops.

  1. Northcote Road, SW11 6QB
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Petticoat Lane Market

Good for: household goods
If the promenade of trendies at the nearby Spitalfields Market gets a little overbearing, head a few streets south to the famously salt-of-the-earth Petticoat Lane Market. Note, however, that the stalls are actually located in and around Middlesex Street – the Victorians deeming the road’s original name a touch too saucy.

  1. Middlesex St, Glousten St, Toynbee St, Wentworth St, Bell Lane, Cobb St, , Leyden St, Strype St, E1 7EX
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Portobello Road Market

Good for: antiques, clothing
Portobello is actually several markets rolled into one, all penned in by Notting Hill Gate tube at one end and Ladbroke Grove tube at the other. Friday is less hectic and one of the best days for sourcing clothes from fresh fashion designers. If you want to escape the crowds, check out the fantastic shops lining the surrounding streets or head up to Westbourne Park Road.

  1. Portobello Road, W11 1LU
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Ridley Road Market

Good for: food
Everything from domestic and exotic fruit and veg, fish and meat to cheap clothes, household goods, toys, bric-a-brac and fabrics from Africa and India.

  1. Ridley Road (off Kingsland High Street), E8 2NP
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Shepherd's Bush Market

Good for: food, clothing
While Shepherd’s Bush Market is just a hop and a skip away from Europe’s largest urban shopping centre at Westfield, it’s a world apart in every other sense. At this gritty, multicultural market you’ll find a fantastic range of ethnic foodstuffs (Indian, Caribbean, African and Polish).

  1. East side of railway viaduct, between Uxbridge Road & Goldhawk Road, W12 7JA
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Smithfield Market

Good for: meat
Smithfield Market (also known as London Central Market) provides a colourful link to an age when the quality of British beef was a symbol of national virility and good humour. Designed by Horace Jones, Smithfield opened for business in 1868 and early risers will still find meat and poultry (though no livestock) traders setting up their stalls at first light inside the metal structure with its ornate arched ceiling and bizarre colour scheme (white, purple, blue and green).

  1. Charterhouse St, EC1A 9PQ
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Spitalfields Market

Good for: antiques
Redevelopment has seen this East End stalwart combine the refurbished 1887 covered market with a modern shopping precinct. Around the edge, enthusiastic stallholders sell grub from just about every corner of the world.

  1. 1 Crispin Place , E1 6DW
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Stables Market

Good for: clothing, gifts, crafts
A multimillion-pound redevelopment project is currently in the midst of transforming what was the highlight of Camden's sprawling markets, Stables Market. The once boho Stables may soon become something a little more sterile, but for now you can still find vintage threads alongside crafts, antiques and the sprawling, re-housed Proud gallery and bar.

  1. Chalk Farm Rd, (opposite junction with Hartland Rd), NW1 8AH
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Strutton Ground

Good for: clothes, flowers, jewellery
Never judge a market by its size. Strutton Ground may well be petite, and dwarfed by the surrounding office blocks, but it has a lot to offer.

  1. Strutton Ground, SW1P 2HY
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Surrey Street

Good for: food
Situated behind Croydon High Street and a row of nightclubs, kebab shops and the lights of Grant's Entertainment Centre is a small patch of Croydon that's fascinatingly timeless.

  1. Surrey Street, Croydon, CR0 1RJ
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Walthamstow Market

Good for: food
The longest market in Europe, with loads of fruit and veg stalls, a good selection of Asian and Caribbean products, fabric, flowers and more.

  1. Walthamstow High Street, E17
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Whitechapel Market

Good for: food, household goods
Stretching between Vallance Road and Cambridge Heath Road, lively Whitechapel Market has every type of speciality Asian ingredient and spice you’ll ever need.

  1. Whitechapel Rd (Vallance Rd to Cambridge Heath Rd), E1 1DT
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Whitecross Street Food Market

Good for: lunch
The workaholics of Clerkenwell and Hoxton descend upon this energetic food market every Thursday and Friday for a slap-up lunch on the go. Follow your nose, or gravitate towards the vans with snaking queues, always indicators of quality grub.

  1. Whitecross St, EC1Y
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