Top Markets in London Bridge worth a visit

Top Markets in London Bridge that’s worth a visit

“When exploring London, you will come across lots of excitement by chance, so try to take everything in rather than just rushing around to all of the major tourist haunts.”

London’s markets have been a staple of the city for over a century and continue to thrive today, offering an array of vintage, flea, antiques, and street food markets. Among the numerous options in the London Bridge area, three must-visit markets are Borough Market, Vinegar Yard Flea Market, and Maltby Street Market. A 10-minute walk from London Bridge Station along the South Bank will lead you to over 20 attractions, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye. However, this post will focus on the three markets near London Bridge Station. If you have more time, you can explore additional options with our “31 things to do in South Bank London” guide, but for now, these markets are definitely worth a visit.

How to get there

One of the best things about these markets is their proximity to London Bridge Station, one of the main stations in central London. This makes the markets easily accessible and well-connected to major attractions and accommodations in central London. Additionally, several buses connect to London Bridge from various parts of London. Alternatively, you can take the train from Westminster or Waterloo and be just a short walk from the station.

Borough Market, London
Various crates of vegetables and fruits.

Top Markets in London Bridge worth the visit.

Borough Market

Borough Market, established in 1851, is the oldest market in London and has maintained its iconic Victorian green architecture while remaining a bustling hub of activity. The market’s glass exterior was refurbished in 2001, giving it a more contemporary feel compared to the surrounding 19th-century buildings. As you navigate through the busy, narrow streets of London Bridge, you’ll hear the rumble of trains overhead on the tracks of London Bridge Station. Despite the crowds, you’ll be mesmerized by the vibrant array of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, the scent of fresh fish and seafood, and the pungent aroma of cheese. French, Spanish, and Italian wine sellers offer recommendations, while the scent of freshly baked bread wafts through the air. Borough Market’s street food area is a must-visit, with a mix of cuisines to sample. If you’re lucky, you might find a seat on the wooden staircase, but be prepared to sit close to others. The market also offers a history tour, while nearby Southwark Cathedral provides a serene escape from the bustle of the market. And if you venture to the back alleyway, you’ll discover additional pop-up bars and restaurants. All of this is easily accessible from London Bridge Station, making Borough Market a must-visit destination.

Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL, Opening Times: Monday to Friday 10 am – 5pm, Saturday 8 am – 5 pm, Sunday 10 am – 4 pm. https://boroughmarket.org.uk/visit-us/ 

Insider’s Tips

If you’re planning a visit to Borough Market in London, here are some tips to make the most of your experience:

Go early: Borough Market gets very busy, particularly on Saturdays, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to avoid the crowds and long queues.

Bring cash: Although many vendors accept card payments, it’s a good idea to bring some cash with you, as some vendors may only accept cash.

Try the street food: Borough Market is famous for its delicious street food, with a wide variety of cuisines on offer. Be sure to try some of the tasty treats on offer.

Take a tour: If you’re interested in the history of the market and the surrounding area, consider taking a guided tour to learn more about the market’s fascinating past.

Explore the surrounding area: The area around Borough Market is full of interesting sights and attractions, so be sure to take some time to explore the surrounding streets, including Southwark Cathedral and The Shard.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and delicious food at Borough Market.

If you’re not fond of crowded places, it might not be advisable to visit Borough Market on Saturdays as it can get quite busy. However, if you’re a market enthusiast, you may want to check it out during the weekdays between 10 AM to noon from Wednesdays to Fridays, or between 8 AM to noon on Saturdays. Another option would be to go during off-peak hours, around 4 PM when the crowd is thinner.

If you’re looking for other markets with a similar vibe, Broadway Market or Real Food Market located behind Southbank Centre could be good alternatives. Both offer free food samples, but be mindful that trying everything for free may not be a common practice. Do note that Borough Market tends to be pricier than other markets, so it’s best to be prepared for that before heading there.

Vinegar Yard Flea Market

Vinegar Yard Flea Market

The Vinegar Yard Flea Market is located beside Vinegar Yard and is a charming and quirky marketplace that is only open on weekends. The entrance is marked by a simple yellow “Vinegar Yard” sign, and the market offers a variety of vintage clothing, cashmere products from Nepal, art and crafts, records, handmade goods, candles, and more. At the entrance, you’ll find vintage clothing and colourful knick-knacks. With no more than 15 stalls, the market is small, intimate, and quieter than larger markets like Camden Town and Portobello Market. Visitors usually spend around half an hour browsing.

After exploring the Vinegar Yard Flea Market, you can head up to the Bermondsey Square Antiques Market. Adjacent to the flea market is the Vinegar Yard Food Court, where you can sample street food from around the world. The food court has a variety of fast-food stalls serving burgers, pizzas, fries, beer, wine, and more. Side dishes start from £3, while medium meals are priced at £6, and larger meals cost £12. During the winter months, the Winter Igloo opens in November, where visitors can spend time socializing in a heated igloo with mulled wine and a meal.

72 – 82 St. Thomas Street, London, SE1 3QX. Opening Times: Saturday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm, Monday to Friday closed. https://www.flealondon.com/

Maltby Street Market

Maltby Street Market

Nestled within a small alleyway that is only open on weekends, Maltby Street Market can be easily missed among the quiet residential flats that surround it. However, the bustling crowd of people that fills the market creates a stark contrast to its surroundings. Once inside, you’ll be enveloped in the lively atmosphere created by the street food stalls, gastro pubs, purveyors, and wine bars that are tucked underneath the train tracks.

The market features a wide array of food from around the world, and it’s not uncommon to see people standing and socializing by the entrances, walking through the market with their takeaway boxes. There are also wooden seating areas where you can sit and enjoy your meal. Colorful flags from various countries are strung from one end of the market to the other, adding to the vibrant ambiance.

Similar to the lively energy of Borough Market, Portobello Market, and Camden Town, Maltby Street Market is a great place to grab some food and people-watch, as well as explore the various stalls and shops. If you’re in the area on the weekends, it’s definitely worth a visit, although finding the market can be a challenge due to its discreet location.

Maltby Street Market, Rope Walk, SE1 2HQ. Opening Times: Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5 pm. http://www.maltby.st/

 

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