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Old Spitalfields Market
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Old Spitalfields Market, London

Old Spitalfields Market is a huge covered market located in the Spitalfields neighbourhood of East London. The neighbourhood is in a revitalised part of London but retains its old charm with its Victorian-era buildings. Housed in a restored 19th century building, Old Spitalfields Market is a much-loved market in London known to many Londoners but unknown to most tourists.

Old Spitalfields Market is a shopper’s paradise attracting over a million shoppers each year. In 2001, it received the Best Private Market award by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA). The market comprises of numerous stalls inside an expansive hall surrounded by trendy boutiques and restaurants around the periphery. The market opens throughout the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Inside Old Spitalfields Market by el ui

About

There has been a market at the current since the 17th century during the reign of King Charles I. It was initially a produce market until relocated in 1991 to the New Spitalfields Market in Leyton while the old site became the Old Spitalfields Market. Each day of the week is different at the market with its continual daily rotation of nearly half of the stalls. Furthermore, there are themed market days with Thursdays being the best days for vintage items, Fridays for art and fashion and the occasional African themed market. It usually gets busy on weekends and you may prefer the weekdays to avoid the crowd.

Fresh produce at the market by Christine Matthews

Explore

Enter the market through the building’s large arch and you’ll discover over 70 retail and food stalls (100 on Sundays) inside the hall. Old Spitalfields Market is a jumble of stalls offering bargains and upmarket boutiques offering individual creations. There is a bewildering mix of merchandise including fashion, T-shirts, hats, leather goods, arts, crafts, antiques, jewellery, souvenirs, gift items and personal care products. The fashion styles here are from London’s emerging designers ranging from the latest designs to outlandish creations.

Exploring the market by Stephen McKay

Thursdays are special days for vintage items when there are assortments of clothes, leather bags, ceramics, wooden furniture and hard to find vinyl records. Fridays are for art and fashion when talented artists and designers display their creations, which you may not find on the high streets of London. There’s also a record fair on the first and third Friday of every month when about 30 traders set up stalls offering second-hand vinyl records and CDs across a wide music spectrum. The African Market offers a slice of African culture with its clothing, artworks, crafts, jewellery and foods from the continent.

Look no further when it comes to eating at Old Spitalfields Market. There’s a diversity of options ranging from cheap eats from the stalls to the chic restaurants serving cuisines from various corners of the globe. The market is gastronomic paradise with fares that include British, American, Scandinavian, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Ethiopian. The food stalls share a common dining area while the restaurants have their own seating. Whatever your choice, the dishes served here are commendable and value for your money.

Food stalls at Old Spitalfields Market by Stephen McKay

Visiting Spitalfields Market

The nearest London Underground station is Liverpool Street Station (serving the Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan Lines) and just a 5-minute walk from Old Spitalfields Market. Other stations include Aldgate East (serving the Hammersmith & City Line), Moorgate (serving the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern Lines) and Old Street (serving the Bank branch of the Northern Line) Stations. The three stations are about 10, 15 and 20 minutes walk respectively from the market.

Spitalfields Market on the Map

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