In London on Sunday? You’ve got to discover the gorgeous flower market at Columbia Road.
The street market is tucked into Columbia Road in Londons’ East End area called Bethnal Green. The neighborhood is full of quaint Victorian houses and homeware shops and worth exploring all on it’s own but on Sundays it turns into a plant lovers paradise.
You’ll be tempted to scoop up all the fabulous fresh bouquets and potted plants if you’re a plant or flower aficionado as I am! The street erupts in a riot of color and is lined with everything from house plants, bouquets of fresh flowers and garden plants. Very tempting to want to take it all home!
Columbia Road market runs SUNDAYs only from 8 to 3ish.
Plan on several hours to browse not only the market but also nearby shops and pubs. Go as early as you can to avoid the massive crowds. If you’re looking for a very uniquely English street market you must visit Columbia Road.
How to Get to Columbia Road Market
The closest tube station is Bethnal Green on the Central Line – 17 minute walk to Columbia Road
The closest Overground train station is Hoxton – 10 minute walk to Columbia Road
TIP: Double check your preferred route runs on Sunday!
Exploring Columbia Road and the Shoreditch Neighborhood
Shoreditch is the area around Columbia Rd. and full of interesting little shops. The flower market itself runs for several blocks. Flower vendors are lined up on either side of the street and with such a narrow street, it quickly gets packed with flower lovers, so aim to get there as early as you can.
This is no ordinary “flower” market but an opportunity to find interesting house plants, bedding plants, herbs and blooms all as fresh as daisies. If you’re a plant lover like I am, the Columbia Road flower market will dazzle you with it’s plantiful abundance.
Gorgeous high quality blooms at very reasonable prices. As much as I wanted to scoop up ALL the flowers, traveling around for the rest of the day meant it wasn’t an option. Instead I settled for a nice fragrant bag of lavender at £2.50.
Where to eat and drink on Columbia Road
In the mood for a glass or cup of something? Ready to put your feet up for an break from the market buzz. Try these local favorites.
Restaurant at the Royal Oak 73 Columbia Road.
Smack in the heart of the market, you’ll find this shambolically convivial place to rest your weary legs and those of any of your four legged friends. If you need something stronger than tea or coffee, this is where you’ll want to grab a table. Sunday hours are 12-4 and 5-9 PM.
Lily Vanilli Bakery 18 Ezra St. The Courtyard
Small bakery where you can grab a coffee and pastry or snack. The day we went there was limited seating inside as it had just rained, so we wiped off outside bench seats. My freshly baked power granola bar was delicious washed down with a strong coffee. Open Sundays 8:30-3:30 or til sold out.
The Cake Hole Cafe at Vintage Heaven: 82 Columbia Rd.
Quirky vintage shop and cafe bursting with homemade cakes and goodies. Put your feet up and settle into a scrumptious afternoon tea or just browse, sip and snack. Open 8:30-5:30 Sunday and 12-6 on Saturdays only.
Make a day of it and hit Spitalfields Market:
Your visit to the Columbia Flower Market can easily be combined with a visit to Spitalfields Market, a 15-20 minute walk away.
Spitalfields is an indoor venue set up as a permanent flea market with lots of individual sellers of clothing, jewelry, accessories, etc. First impressions were it catered to a more youthful market, but go find out for yourself. You may enjoy browsing and looking through this historic building.
Some type of market has been held here for over 300 years!
Spitalfields Market Days: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Once you’ve browsed Spitalfields Market you can walk to either Aldgate East or Liverpool Street tube station.