Kathryn Ippolito is a student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in London, England.
London offers many unique markets, selling products from food to flowers, clothes to trinkets, modern pieces to antiques. It is easy to spend a day wandering and bargain shopping at some of the larger markets like Camden Market. Each market offers their own atmosphere and range of products. Here is a list of some of the most interesting shopping markets in London.
One of my favorite markets in London is Portobello Road, which offers a wide array of antiques, clothing, music, and food. I love seeing all the different antiques that the venues offer every week. I have purchased everything from a compass to a pocket watch to silver dishes! There are also several Scottish heritage stores that offer beautiful fair-isle and plaid knit scarves, gloves and hats. Friday and Saturday offers hundreds of antiques and specialist shops that sell books and other collectibles, while Sunday’s market features vintage clothing. The markets open around 9:00 am, but I advise getting there by 11:30 am, before it gets too crowded. Fans of the film Notting Hill will also recognize this market as a filming location and can expect to find merchandise for the movie near Notting Hill Gate station.
Camden Market or Camden Lock is home to eclectic clothes, accessories, art, food and furnishings. It is open everyday and features designer workshops, studios, stalls, shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. The market is extremely popular with London’s youth culture, featuring alternative fashion, art, and clothes. One noteworthy store is Cyberdog, a fun store that looks like it was taken from science fiction with futuristic and fluorescent fashions and accessories. I would recommend checking out Cereal Killer Cafe, a colorful and nostalgic eatery that offers over one hundred different types of cereals!
Covent Garden Market is located in a 19th century piazza and has candy, gifts, jewelry, leather goods and more! It is open every day of the week and sells several handmade items, such as soap, knitted clothing, artwork and homeware. Some popular stores that surround the market include Apple and Disney. As a tea advocate, I highly recommend going to Whittard. They offer samples of their delicious tea and hot chocolate collection.
Spitalfields is another East End Market and is open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The shops offer something different each day. On Thursday, the antiques market offers vintage and antique collectibles. Friday is the best day to go shopping for clothes and art. Every first and third Friday of the month, special record stores come into the market to offer various musical styles and rare vinyls. Saturdays offer a different themed market every week and Sunday stallholders sell practically everything. Everyday independent boutiques and modern stores are open, such as Tiger, which is like a college students dream with cheap trinkets and kitchenware!
Brick Lane is an edgy market in East End London that features the latest designer shops every Sunday. Most of the clothing and accessories are vintage. Brick Lane is famous for its authentic curry restaurants, but the market itself offers several different ethnic foods. It has a lively and fun vibe, with colorful street art, trendy clubs, and a hodgepodge of live music and street performers.
The world awaits…discover it.