London Shopping: 8 Can’t-Miss Markets
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.