Jump into a picture with Mary Poppins, not just an illusion from when you were a kid; it is possibility in Columbia Road! Just close your eyes for a few seconds and hum a little superfragilisticespialiodocious .... Then get caught up in the most spectacular market, with the colors of various types of flowers magically glowing before your eyes. I personally could not pick a favorite from the most beautiful selection of flowers. The air intoxicated me with the most coveted and natural scents. It was like I told you ... Mary Poppins in a picture frame.
On my last trip to London I had the opportunity to experience this market famous for its beauty and authenticity. It is now one of my favorites: the flower market or Columbia Market, dotted with bright colors and delicious aromas.
Right before your eyes, curious tourists and locals swarm to over sixty stalls full of all kinds of flowers and plants. Every Sunday the street is decorated like Spring, it is located east of the city, close to Brick Lane and Spitalfields.
The bohemian atmosphere is always friendly and you'll find it open every Sunday from 8:00 to 15:00 h.
We recommend that you get there early because as with other popular markets, as the morning crowds progress the narrow streets begin to fill.
Locals often go late, as it’s a good time when market sellers try to get rid of unsold merchandise throughout the day and begin to shout their bids. Prices at this time are very tempting and you can take a nice bouquet of roses for £ 5 or less, provided you are good at haggling!
An icon in the city
This centennial market is an icon of the city. Currently, it is the primary flower market in London that sells plants, flowers, garden accessories and garden tools at affordable prices. Most of the plants and flowers you can buy are sourced locally, as many of the vendors in this market come from Essex each week.
But in addition to flowers and plants in Columbia Road you will find over sixty independent shops: small art galleries, cupcake shops, vintage clothing, garden items, antique shops along with English and Italian delis. There are many pubs, cafes and restaurants to regain your strength.
Next to the market, the street is filled with people of different nationalities and street performers who play different musical styles. Many also have stalls where they sell, with humor, their private art, accessories and unimaginable eccentricities.
The earliest information we have on this market dates back to 1869, when Angela Burdett-Coutts a philanthropist installed 400 originally covered market stalls. Different historical reasons meant that the market never worked at full capacity, which was why in 1886 it closed.
Years later, in the same spot, the centuries-old tradition of flower market would begin.
How to get there
The market is at a distance from London Liverpool Street, Bethnal Green and Old Street tube; but you can opt for the bus lines 26, 48 and 55.
You cannot park near the market, but about a 10 minute walk away there are two parking options (Sclater Street Car Park or Great Eastern Street NCP).
Other markets nearby
The visit to Columbia Road is easily combined with other markets, especially relevant on Sundays, as nearby is Brick Lane (about a 10 minute walk) and a covered market in Spitalfields (about a 20 minute walk from Columbia).
Brick Lane, which is a colorful street market, is perfect for buying second-hand furniture, out of print magazines, vintage clothing, cooking utensils, sweets, electronics, bicycles and Bengali clothes. It is usually lively with noisy bands and improvised performances.
In the Spitalfields Market, which features a variety of stalls and goods, you will find everything: food (bread, cheese cakes, organic produce, vegetarian, Asian and Turkish ingredients), clothing, crafts, toys, books, antiques, jewelry and DIY tools. And although it is open every day of the week, Sunday is the most exciting day.Read complete article....