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.
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
- Columbia Road Map
- Directions from Victoria Station
- TIP: Double check your preferred route runs on Sunday!
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 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. 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.
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.