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Markets in England

Markets in England are great fun. Originally a trading method going back to Roman times, in the mid-20th century many English markets almost became extinct due to the pressures of supermarket developments and out-of-town malls. Fortunately, over the last 20-30 years, that trend has reversed and many markets have developed a new vibrancy and they’re very popular with locals. Most English cities, towns and some villages will have a weekly market or markets. Market food ingredients, particularly on farmer’s markets, is now very popular. Clothing and other items are also commonly found on stalls though due to strict animal protection laws, livestock is rare. Several of the London markets are nationally and internationally famous. Market prices for food products may be higher than those in the supermarkets though manufactured items perhaps slightly cheaper than in the shops. Haggling is not an English custom and is never practiced on foodstuffs but antiques, car boot sales, bric-a-brac and some clothing on London market stalls are usually an exception to that. Watch out for poor quality manufactured items, counterfeits and fakes. As everywhere now, they are commonplace but a Withlocals tour expert should help you find the genuine stall and vendors and avoid some of the tourist traps.

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Top 10 Markets in England

  • Portobello Road, London. Famous for its vast selection of antiques and collectables, there are hundreds if not thousands of stalls and shops to choose from.
  • Petticoat Lane, London. Several streets dedicated to selling just about everything! Can be very crowded, so do watch your personal belongings.
  • St Nicholas Market, Bristol. A traditional glass covered arcade with daily themes – look out for local produce at the farmers’ market, and arts and crafts at the Nails market. .
  • Catterick Market. Held on a Sunday on the town’s racecourse. There’s a wide range of stalls plus entertainment and catering on site.
  • Bury Market. In and around the Market Hall you’ll find stalls specialising in just about everything you can think of including fish and meat specialities.
  • Camden Lock market London. There are over 100 shops and stalls, including designer workshops and studios as well as a wide range of original art, foods and furnishings.
  • Greenwich Market London. From sushi to up-and-coming local designer talent to organic food and beyond.
  • Borough Market London. This is a foodie paradise with stalls selling street food as well as fresh fruit, veg, cheese and meat, spices and other condiments, bread, cakes and pastries.
  • Brick Lane Market London. Lots of bric-a-brac, second hand furniture stalls, spices, saris, vintage clothes and shoes.
  • Brixton Market London. If you are looking for Afro-Caribbean specialties if food music and clothes - this is the place.

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3 Great Markets England

  • Portobello Road, London. This market claims to be the biggest antiques market in the world and few would disagree with that. It is at its busiest one or two days per week and at some times of the week also deals with food and flowers. Remember, most antique dealers will have built in about 10- 15% in their pricing that they’re willing to ‘negotiate away’ albeit with phony tears! Never be afraid to walk away.
  • Covent Garden. Once London’s major fruit and flowers market, today it’s dedicated to specialist local produce of the ‘arts and crafts’ variety. Great fun and some lovely items though not cheap.
  • Petticoat Lane. A Sunday market this, due to the fact it has its origins in Jewish communities and their observance of the Saturday Sabbath. Today it is closer to a bazaar and you’ll find almost anything on the 1000+ stalls here. Haggling here is acceptable by and large.