On Sundays between 8am and 2pm the Victorian cobble stoned Columbia Road, off Hackney Road, is transformed into an oasis of foliage and flowers. Everything from bedding plants to roses to 10-foot banana trees are up for grabs and the air is intense with the scent of flowers and the chant of the barrow boys “everthin’ a fiver”. This in itself seems quite strange to me since not many people actually have a garden in central London!
Many traders at the Columbia Road Flower Markets are the second or third generation of their family to sell at the market, which can trace its origins back to 1869! The best deals are promoted towards the end of lunch time when some of the stalls start to pack up. There are also many stalls and boutique stores near by selling anything from cheeses, antiques, garden accessories, furniture and your morning coffee.
How to get to the Columbia Road Flower Markets
The Columbia Road Flower Markets are located in the east of London, north of the City of London (Zone 2).
Tube – The closest tube stations are Bethnal Green (Central line) 17 minute walk away and Old Street (Northern line) which is a 20 minute walk away. Liverpool Street Station (Metropolitan Line, Circle Line, Hammersmith & City line and Central line) is a 25 minute walk away.
Overground – Hoxton overground station is a 12 minute walk and the closest overground station on the New Cross Highbury/Islington overground line. Shoreditch High Street overground station is only a 15 minute walk.
Cycle – There are many Barclays Cycle Hire Docks in East London (see map below). There are several cycle routes nearby and also several locations to park your own bike.
Bus –8, 388, 46, 67, 78, 26, 35, 47, 149, 242, 135, 45, and 55 are the buses that pass close to the markets. Please see the Transport for London website for further information.
Car – parking is very limited but free for up to 2 hours in the pay and display areas around the areas surrounding the market. You can park also at Haggerstone School for £4 per day.
Columbia Road Shops & Flower Market – http://www.columbiaroad.info/home.html
Transport for London – http://www.tfl.gov.uk/