Blooms as far as the eye can see at Columbia Road Flower Market.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is nothing prettier in life than a bouquet of colourful flowers. No, scratch that. There’s nothing prettier in life than an huge market, bursting at the seams with colourful flowers. This is the scene that awaits you at Columbia Road Flower Market. Frankly, there’s no better place to be on a Sunday. (Photo: Londres Avanzado)
Columbia Road Flower Market reigns supreme as the prettiest of all London markets by virtue of how colourful it is. Breaking up the greenery is every colour of the rainbow, from hot red roses, to mellow yellow tulips. Naturally, the whole market smells pretty amazing too.
The offerings change depending on the season, so March will have different blooms to October. Whilst flowers rightfully take pride of place, there are also herbs, shrubs, pot plants, and even banana trees up for sale here. Cacti (the millennial catnip) can be found in plentiful supply, and there are garden ornaments and tools to properly kit out your yard.
To be honest, Columbia Road Flower Market isn’t the best spot for anyone with a Sunday morning hangover. Namely because this place gets rather busy, especially towards the 3pm closing time. Wander around in the last hour, and you’ll find vendors dropping their prices and offering deals – usually in a rather strong East Landannn accent. They’re happy to barter back and forth, so this is your best time to nab a bargain.
As with any place selling beautiful things, there’s a severe danger of overindulging. Like poor Pip here, who’s clearly devastated by her lack of self-control…
Away from the flowers, every shop on Columbia Road is an independent store. Make your way through waterfalls of camellias and lilies, and you’ll find cute craft stores and the most precious stationery shops. On adjoining Ezra Street, summer Sundays see people spilling out of Timber Yard bar and onto the pavements, whilst brilliant bakery Lily Vanilli is only open on Sunday, serving up devilishly tempting treats. Of course, these options only really work if you haven’t bankrupted yourself on flowers already…
Location: Columbia Road, E2 7RG. Nearest station is Hoxton. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 8am to 3ish, on Sundays only. Columbia Road Flower Market runs whatever the weather.
Entry: free! (See more free things to do in London.)
More information: on their website.