Day Trips / London

Day at Columbia Road Flower Market, London

Updated November 7, 2023


Columbia Road flower market

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 is SUNDAYs only 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.

Columbia Road flower market

How to Get to Columbia Road Market

Columbia Road flower market

Exploring Columbia Road and Shoreditch

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!

Columbia Road flower market

Book at stay near Columbia Road

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. This bakery has become super popular and well known so be prepared to grab and go. 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. 

Columbia Road flower market

Walk to 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

Walk to Brick Lane and Petticoat Lane Markets

If you’ve got more shopping to do head on over and check out these two famous street markets.

Once you’ve had enough shopping, head on over to the nearest tube stations,  Aldgate East or Liverpool Street for your ride home.

Find a place to stay nearby so you can be there right when the markets open!

About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.