London Shopping: 8 Can’t-Miss Markets

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No matter how long you plan on staying in London, heading to a market absolutely needs to be on your to-do list. Markets are scattered throughout London, and history permeates every inch of them. Whether it was a favorite haunt of Dickens, or owes a compelling antecedent to the efforts of the local community, markets are a thriving part of London life. Find out what 8 of London’s iconic markets sell, and how to get there.


1. Alfies Antique Market

  • Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sells: Antiques
  • Tube stations: Marylebone, Edgeware Road

Opened in 1976 by Bennie Gray, Alfies took over a space previously occupied by Jordan’s Department Store. Being located on the site of a former big box store gives Alfies a bonus most other London markets miss out on: It is inside — not just covered — so weather cannot affect your shopping trip. Not that long ago, you would not have wanted to make a trip to Alfies. ”The place was semi-derelict,” Gray said on the market’s website, “half the shops were boarded up and there was a terrible problem with vandalism.” Regeneration of the building and its environment is a source of price for Gray.

A self-styled antique market, you’ll find more that old furniture here. Playbills, posters, clothing, perfume bottles, books, and a bevy of other goods fall under the antique umbrella.

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