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An atmospheric and historic covered market in the City of London.
Built in 1881 and fully restored to its Victorian glory 110 years later, Leadenhall Market is a beautiful indoor shopping space close to the City of London. Filmmakers adore its ornate roof structure and general sense of grandeur, which is why you might recognise it as Diagon Alley from ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. It also featured in Terry Gilliam’s fantasy flick ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ and Erasure’s ‘Love to Hate You’ music video.
Given its location near London’s wealthy commercial centre, you won’t be surprised to learn that there are no cockney fruit-and-veg sellers here. These days, the weekday stallholders offer jewellery, arty gifts and a variety of tasty lunch options to nearby office workers and tourists. Leadenhall also contains characterful retail units occupied by mid-to-upmarket brands like Diptyque, Barbour and Reiss. If City slickers need to source a last-minute birthday gift, this is their first port of call.
When you’ve finished browsing the stalls and shops, head to the historic Lamb Tavern, an ideal spot to soak up Leadenhall Market’s atmosphere. GrabThai, Leon and popular Italian restaurant Osteria Del Mercato are among the food options contained within the market while The Bootlegger is a cool, speakeasy-style cocktail bar a couple of minutes walk away.
Top tip: The main market space is open 24/7, so pop in during off-peak hours if you fancy taking photos of the glorious roof. Nick Levine
RECOMMENDED: London’s best markets
Visitors come to indulge in retail therapy, enjoy some of the best food and drink experiences on offer in the capital, or simply to enjoy the stunning architecture and learn about the market’s fascinating history.
Over the centuries Leadenhall has been an important backdrop to London’s evolution as a world class city - it has survived the Great Fire of London and the Blitz and even doubled as Diagon Alley for the world’s most famous young wizard, Harry Potter!