Once you have settled down into your London flat, and you have seen most of the tourist sights, braved the crowds on Oxford Street on a Saturday morning, you can start moving further afield and begin exploring the fascinating markets that London is famous for. Moving to London should be all about making this city your home while having as much fun as possible and there is nothing more interesting that the London flea markets, each of which has its own character and identity.
Portobello Road is found in the Notting Hill area of London, made famous by the film Four Weddings and A Funeral. Fruit and vegetable stalls are open all week but the main market is open on Saturdays from 8am -5pm and specialises in antiques of all descriptions, and the second hand market runs on a Friday at the same time. The market is based along two miles of Portobello Road, which is lined with a variety of independent boutiques and antique shops. If you are interested in antiques look out for the PADA sign on shops and stalls. This stands for the Portobello Antiques Dealers Association and ensures prices are always displayed and good accurately described. The Association also has a stand where you can get maps and up to date information and suggestions about where to find that elusive antique you’ve been searching for. Speciality stalls include vintage clothing, handbags, sports equipment, books and jewellery. Grab a bite to eat from one of the food stalls in the middle of the market, which feature fine foods from around the world. Portobello gets very busy and is best visited in the morning as many of the stallholders start packing away at 4pm. The nearest tube station to the antiques end of Portobello road is Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove.
Petticoat Lane is the scene of one of London’s biggest clothing markets, in the Tower Hamlets area of London. It is open on Monday-Fridayfrom10:00am-2:30pm and on Sunday from 09:00am-2pm. Although Petticoat Lane itself has been renamed(Middlesex St), the Petticoat Lane market is still devoted to clothing of all varieties from designer to outré club and street wear, leather goods and bargain buys of all varieties. The market specialises most in women’s clothing, and there are a variety of fabric shops and stalls selling CDs, luggage and electrical goods. Most of the clothes are at knockdown prices, and this is a genuine market for locals, not just a show for tourists! Bear in mind that you may struggle to find a stall where you can try clothes on. The top end of the market, near Aldgate East is where the leather jackets and other leather goods can be found. There are some traditional Jewish food places around here, and the ties to the local Jewish community explain why the market is closed on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Main tube stations are Aldgate, Aldgate East and Liverpool St, and this market is fairly close to the markets at Brick Lane and Spitalfields.