The Columbia Road Flower Market is a feast for the senses and our favourite of all London’s markets. We’ve got all the hot tips including important brunch, opening times, parking and tube details.
We can still vividly recall the quiet hum as the market stall holders set out their displays. Smells of fresh earth and herbs mingling with perfumed roses and dried lavender. The sun starting to peek over the buildings as the early birds head home with their blooms and the late rising crowd slowly swells in.
Some of the stall holders here have been transforming the road into a rainbow of colour every Sunday, no matter what the temperamental London weather was doing, for over 40 years. A continuing family affair for many of the spruikers. You can buy everything from roses, dried lavender, arrays of huge hydrangeas in every hue, potting plants, bulbs and herbs to semi-established trees.
What really makes this Sunday market stand out is the independent nature of Columbia Road Flower Market and the sense of community you feel as you browse the forest of foliage. It’s a breath of fresh air to find a little pocket of London that has resisted the creep of chain coffee and fashion retailers, which is something the shop owners are really proud of, and rightly so.
Aside from the oasis on offer, you’ll also find cute cafes for coffee and brunch, art galleries, vintage and antique wares. Make sure to bring some cash along as some traders are still cash only, and ATM’s can be few and far between. The park at the end of the road sometimes has food stalls and is the perfect place to chill out on a sunny Sunday sipping fresh lemonade.
Columbia Road gets a bit hectic after 9am so we highly recommend getting up super early and enjoying it before too many people arrive. Particularly if you are a serious buyer and need the space to browse, barter and carry your goods. Another option is to go late as things are winding down, you might be able to snag a great deal as the traders look to offload stock.
Getting to Columbia Road Flower Market
Address and Postcode
Columbia Road Flower Market, Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG
The Columbia Road Flower Market is open every Sunday from 8am – 3pm, in all weather. Go early to avoid crowds and to stock up. Go late for the best deals.
The two nearest tube stations are Bethnal Green (Central Line) and Old Street Station (Northern Line), both a short 15-20 minute walk.
The Cambridge Heath Overground station is 10 minutes away to connect you to Liverpool Station. Hoxton and Shoreditch stations are both within 10 minutes walk to go south of the Thames.
There are a number of bus routes with stops nearby the market. Route numbers 8, 26, 48, 55, 388, D3 and Night Buses N8, N26, and N55 all service the market. For more information and up to date schedules, consult the Transport for London website.
Parking near Columbia Road
Parking is free for the first 2 hours at Pay & Display car parks surrounding the market. Spaces are very limited and can be competitive, so avoid driving if you can. There are pay options nearby as well but they can be expensive.
Best brunch near Columbia Road Flower Market
A Columbia Road fixture for over 30 years serving up delicious fresh bagels every Sunday. Grab one to go and watch the market bustle by.
The kitchen doesn’t open until midday, but The Royal Oak serves up top-notch gastropub fare and one of the best Sunday roasts around in a cosy pub setting.
Fast becoming a local favourite, this creative little restaurant does a fixed price lunch on Sundays featuring seasonal produce. A little bit higher class but well worth it.
Cake Hole Cafe @ Vintage Heaven
Not exactly brunch, but this is the place if you want to get a cracking coffee and cake whilst you get your vintage shopping done at the same time. The cream tea for one is a must.
Things to do near Columbia Road
After you’ve had your fill of flowers there is plenty to explore in the surrounding areas, including Bethnal Green and Hackney amongst others. There is plenty to offer for a leisurely Sunday in the way of cool pubs, parks and food markets.
Victoria Park Market
Open every Sunday from 10-4pm with lots of great food stalls and plenty of open green space, a playground for kids and heaps of paths for wandering or cruising around on bikes.
Old Spitalfields Market
Head further south to the market in Spitalfields for good food, legit Turkish Delight and plenty of clothing shops. Open every day except Thursdays.
Take a casual stroll down Brick Lane to see some of London’s coolest graffiti and taste some of the best curries in town.
If you’re after a quick way to explore there are heaps of Santander bike stations all around London (Boris’ Bikes). They are easy to use and can be booked on the spot or via an app, just pop in a bank card, get your unlock code, and you’re set to cruise around.
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