Unfortunately, with the inexorable spread of megastores, outdoor markets that have been feeding Central Londoners since the Dark Ages are finding themselves extinguished. The following markets soldier on. Not every market sells something you can take home, unless you count memories: For example, the Columbia Road Flower Market (Sun at 8am; Tube: Old Street), is an Eden for English blooms, which get cheaper around 2pm, near closing time. Borough Market is all about prepared foods or things you can’t get past Customs. Even if you aren’t keen to buy anything, stroll down one of these market lanes. Whether for gourmets, tourists, or locals, it’s like a front-row seat to the ongoing opera of everyday life, and a taste of London as it once was.
Unless otherwise noted, markets are mostly outdoors and generally kick off at around 8 or 9am in the morning and start packing up at around 3pm.