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  • 5.0 star rating
    22/4/2014

    You won't find a more cheerful place in London on a Sunday morning than the happenings along Columbia road. The incredible smell of the fresh flowers together with the banter of the Cockney hagglers will surely have you smiling to yourself when choosing your bunch of flowers.

    Afterwards head to the Lili Vanilli bakery for mountains of layered home-made cake and the homeliest atmosphere.

    Also don't forget to grab a coffee from Climpson and Sons at the bottom of the road before you start perusing the stalls

  • 4.0 star rating
    26/8/2014

    If you're looking for an off-the-beaten path market to take friends to when they're in town consider Columbia Road Flower Market on Sundays.  As the reviews say, it's a packed street in East London where all the flower vendors meet up to sell fresh flowers.  There isn't a tube station nearby (true Londoners take buses) I suggest you take your bike anyway or take a Boris Bike (there are nearby docks).

    It's not just flowers however, you can get seeds and plants as well.  I live in the area and go there every so often to buy fresh flowers for the house.  A dozen roses for £5 isn't a bad deal!  I've gotten several plants from this market including Aloe Vera and Orchids - all cheap.

    Also don't forget to check out the shops behind the vendors long the street.. lots of quaint little shops selling knick knacks, vintage items, garden stuff, etc.  

    Towards the end of the road, on the East side, there is a small little coffee shop which is converted from the ground floor of someone's house!  It's pretty cool, highly recommend to check that out as well.

    My quick tip that hasn't been mentioned is to have lunch at the nearby Sting Ray cafe pub - super cheap extra large pizzas...and they taste great!

  • 4.0 star rating
    21/6/2014

    I finally went to the Columbia Road Flower Market. I had so many people recommend I check it out. It's a small alleyway, PACKED with every flower imaginable, including succulents. Hundreds of people were squeezed down the middle of the alley, single-file in each direction. Be prepared to wait a little if you want to walk the whole thing. It's not a long alley but there are a lot of people, so it's very crowded and slow moving.

    Merchants yell "Sunflowers, best in London, three for a fiver!" or "Luxurious peonies, look at these beauties, two for a tenner!" I was mesmerized by the whole thing. I ended up buying a tiny succulent for friend of mine back home (it was only £2), it's beautiful with red flowers. I wish I could have bought all of the flowers at this market. It was an incredible place.

    There are a lot of cute little shops around the market as well, some serving coffee or ice cream. There are all kinds of brunch specials going on at the restaurants too. This is definitely a must see if you're visiting London and like flowers!

    The reason I gave it 4/5 stars is because it's not very big. When I think of a market, I think of the Rose Bowl flea market that takes an hour or so to check out. But you can see all of the flowers in this market in about 15 minutes. Though each vendor has a wide variety, a lot of the vendors are very similar and are boasting similarly prices deals.

    You can get a "bunch" of sunflowers for £5, or a couple peonies for £10, so the prices are pretty reasonable. It's nice a way to spend a sunday afternoon in my opinion.

    SUNDAYS ONLY.

  • 2.0 star rating
    13/4/2014

    Holy sh!!t. Was it the sunny weather? Was it the hope of Spring? I don't know....but I do know I will never recommend the market.

    And why is that?

    Well, let's do the math.

    Yes, it offers cheaper flowers. But my tube fare overshadows this.

    And I didn't even see flowers. I stared at the back of hundreds of people's heads while walking at a zombie snail pace through the stalls. If I stopped to buy some tulips, I probably would have been trampled. And let the record show that I went at 2, the supposed "less crowded time".

    Save your time. Save your tube fare. Go to a local flower stand. Or Homebase.

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/4/2014
    1 check-in

    Love coming here on a Sunday to find some flowers to brighten my weekend & house!

    Theres always a great selection and prices are reasonable. Whats more, you're supporting small businesses. The only annoying part is trying to make your way from one end to the other which is almost impossible unless you have the patience or force to move swiftly through the crowds.

    My recommendation - go during the afternoon, around 2pm when its slightly less busy and theres usually end of the day specials!

  • 4.0 star rating
    12/2/2014

    I was pleasantly surprised to be taken to this market by a friend of mine from Sheffield..when I have lived in London for nearly two decades and have never heard of this place!

    It is conveniently close by Vietnamese street so we had lunch at one of the many Vietnamese restaurants in town, checked out a Viet/Oriental groceries store and arrived here around 3pm or so.

    It was near closing time but it was still packed to the brim with people!! This is one long street in a residential area but near many ground floor cafes and bars. The varieties of flowers/plants for purchase are huge, we saw stalls closing and moving their stock into huge lorries. All this while vendors were furiously trying to outdo each other in discounting their remaining stock of the day and sell off as much as they could!

    My bargain buys:- a pot consisting of 3 stems of orchids for a fiver, in any shade you desire - they look really healthy and not yet flowered! This is so much cheaper than buying them in supermarkets or other "posher" shops.

    Mix and match a bunch of flowers for £3! Yes! They were £5 but went down in price, woohoo!

    For brownie points this coming Valentines weekend, come here to bag a few bargains and treat your other half! Bring your mother along and treat her to tea too! What's not to like?

  • 4.0 star rating
    25/1/2014

    Perfect for a relaxing Sunday morning stroll, if you don't mind the crowds!

    Great place to go to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the quaintness of Columbia road. Although only two streets away from Bethnal green road this market feels worlds away.

    The selection of flowers is mesmerising and enough to win considerable brownie points with your girlfriend and at reasonable price.

    There are also loads of places to grab a quick snack. The scampi was amazing and was followed by a lovely salmon and creme cheese bagel. So middle class.

    We stopped off for tea and scones at the end where we were able to warm up and desensitise from all the activity.

    All in all it shaped up to be a lovely English outing.

  • 5.0 star rating
    23/12/2013
    1 check-in

    This place is definitely worth the visit even if you're not into flowers!

    I admit I don't know the first thing about flowers or plants, but this place has a big collection of various types of flowers and plants. It's a bit crowded so you'd better not bring along any children or you'll be risking spending most of your time there looking over them than actually enjoying the flowers on display.

    There's something here for everyone: if you want simple, fresh flowers or a bouquet for a loved one or a missed event, or if you want some cozy potted flowers to bring a lively color into your garden/house or if you want to start from scratch and get seeds to plant! And it's pretty cheap! I got three potted plants (an azalea, a wallflower and a Christmas cactus) for 6 pounds!

    I recommend spending some time exploring the nearby shops, you might find something interesting!

  • 5.0 star rating
    11/9/2013
    8 check-ins

    I'm tempted to dock this floral-scented, endorphin-inducing, chaotic cacophony of a street on Sundays due to the crowds, but I will not.

    Consider the masses the thorns to the rose. A bit of a bother, but by no means should it detract from the beauty of the experience that is the Columbia Road Flower Market.

    Logistically -- it's a disaster. Year 'round. Almost from the time it opens until the last petals are trampled as the vendors make a dash for their Sunday roast at dinnertime. If you don't like crowds, you will not be happy.

    If you can get past that -- it's quite a treat indeed. Besides the flowers being fresh, fragrant, beautiful, plentiful, colorful and inexpensive, it's an experience. Columbia Road crowded from end to end with vendors beckoning you to buy all types of flowery indulgences.

    Tips:
    *bring cash (obviously).
    *wear closed toe shoes.

    *leave dogs/children at home (seriously -- I am not joking about the immensity or proximity of the crowds). You will not have much personal space.  

    *if you are a tourist -- try not to hold up a bunch of people so you can instagram. Actually, this goes for everyone. Enjoy the experience, maybe take some photos of your flowers once you get to the park? Yes, that's better. Move along.

    *If you plan to do quite a haul, bring a nice tote to collect your prizes. Bonus points if it doesn't maim anyone as you walk.

    *Don't miss the shops along Columbia Road! I missed them the first time as the flower market really takes up all of the space, but there are very cute home, art and clothing shops all along the road. Most are only open weekends. Obviously Saturday will be much easier shopping, but I've popped in and out on Sundays and still enjoyed it. I stopped in one shop to pick up long-stemmed vases, score.

    All in all -- if you can battle the crowds, this is a delight. Yes, t'would be great if the road were 4x as wide, but this is London and that is part of the charm. Old street, old rich history, gorgeous flowers and men screaming "3 for a tenner" at you as you babystep your way by...

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/6/2013
    ROTD 21/8/2013

    One of the best ways to spend a Sunday morning. The liveliness of the place is incredible - be it the multitudes of people, the vendors shouting at the top of their lungs, or the vivid colors of the flowers and plants.

    Bargaining is a fun exchange as opposed to an all-out war here, and if you don't like the prices, just walk down to the next vendor and try your luck there. Everyone is nice and the flowers all seem freshly cut and are definitely worth the money that you spend.

    The shops behind the vendors are open as well, so if you're tired and want a coffee or bagel, make your way behind the vendors and enjoy the cafe's. Overall, this is a market that I will be returning to many times.

  • 5.0 star rating
    4/8/2013

    Luckily, the year of the snake has brought me East and this is now my neighbourhood so I don't have any excuses not to come here as despite my best intentions since before smartphones existed, I've just never made the trek.

    It's an experience, I'll give you that. You'll get the full spectrum of tourists toting cameras and instagramming EVERYTHING, the locals that show up either early or late when it's a bit dead to have a stroll, couples trying to be romantic and unfortunately yes, that woman with the determination of a thousand suns to push her pram into your ankles.

    She's everywhere, isn't she? Someone should tell her to stay home.

    Since you have to accept the things you cannot change, just go early or late (and try to get a bargain) and avoid the most busy times when she'll be looking at your ankles with a hunger for blood.

    The cafes and shops that line the street are also lovely, you can pick up some pottery, oysters, lots of things other than flowers... so take a look behind the stalls.

    Have a stroll through before purchasing to make sure you're getting a fair price for your peonies (and don't buy all open ones, get some closed ones so they can make your bouquet last longer... I'm digressing..) and then you'll be able to instagram your goods along with the rest of East London and its visitors.

  • 5.0 star rating
    10/2/2013
    1 check-in

    If you want flowers, or just feel like channelling your inner Eliza Doolittle, this is the place to go.

    There are so many different varieties and colours of flowers, plants and herbs on show that you're spoilt for choice, and with the typical sales banter of the stall holders ringing through the air, it's lively, bustling and joyful, even managing to cheer up a grey and drizzly day.

    The flowers all look fresh and healthy and you can't really go wrong at 3 bunches for £10. It's a lovely feeling walking away with your arms full of blooms, taking a little bit of the joy home with you.

  • 5.0 star rating
    28/5/2013 Updated review

    I have to confess that I have never bought any flowers from the flower market
    That being said I just enjoy the experience of walking through the market. We have gone a few times both when it was sunny and when it was raining and it is a great place for a morning/afternoon stroll. They have tons of variety and at very reasonable prices. It's also fun hearing the various vendors shouting out their deals and people bargaining.

    5.0 star rating
    28/5/2013 Previous review
    I have to confess that I have never bought any flowers from the flower market...

    That being said I…
    Read more
  • 5.0 star rating
    12/11/2012
    ROTD 1/1/2013

    If like me you sometimes find yourself hungover on a sunday morning, there is literally no better cure then the Columbia Road flower market. The tourists from Brick Lane melt away as you walk up into Hoxton/Bethnal Green and emerge into a scene reminiscent of a London that is increasingly hard to find.

    The crowd feels vaguely bohemian, a mix of aging hipsters accompanied by their absurdly dressed babies and toddlers and the true East Londoners selling beautiful flowers and plants for reasonable prices.

    My recipe for success:
    Battered prawns from: yelp.com/biz/lees-seafoo…
    Flat white from: yelp.com/biz/lily-vanill…

    Sit on the curb and people watch. There are almost always really great musicians busking and there are a huge number of great independent shops both on Columbia Road and in the surrounding area.

    ps. If you're walking up from Bethnal Green Road make sure you stop at Unto This Last (yelp.com/biz/unto-this-l…)  a really wonderful modernist design furniture shop.

  • 5.0 star rating
    25/11/2013

    Crowded on weekends, but worth to be there. Various of flowers .

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/3/2009
    3 check-ins

    Beware the ides of March? More like beware the EYES in March -- at least in the Columbia Road Flower Market!  "An allergists nightmare" is the understatement of the year as the entire block is filled with a florabunda of, well, floral abundance. It's magical.

    However, I wish I'd read Evelyn's near-eye-outting experience prior to my visit because Lord all mighty, I had one too many rogue cherry blossoms, pussy willows and yes, ornamental twigs, swinging perilously close to my peepers.

    But you know what? It was completely worth it. This is an absolutely perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday morning; sipping perfectly pulled espresso, browsing unique vintage shops, sampling treats from sweets vendors and meeting shopkeepers who are living their once-a-week secret life as an antique furniture dealer or curtain maker.

    And have I mentioned the flowers? Cause they have some here.

    • Qype User degixu…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 6 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    28/8/2013

    There are also
    some pretty boutiques and cafes covering the sides of the street that are only
    open every Sunday. The market is very busy and you need to go here early. I like the flowers its very awesome!

    • Qype User monj52…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 4 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    28/8/2013

    This is the best place to
    pick up plants, flowers and gardening. Check some eccentric little shops
    selling vintage clothes, jewellery, and even cupcakes. There are some food
    outlets. The variety of plants that they sell is fantastic! And they also sell
    herbs.

  • 5.0 star rating
    21/1/2010

    There are only two reasons not to like Columbia Road Flower market:

    1) you are terrified of crowds; or
    2) you are defective.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/4/2011

    Eliza, forget Covent Garden, this is where you'll find all your flowery needs met. Yup, the flower market is a historic part of London and if you want to see a bit of real working London this is a good a place as any. You'll see Pearly Kings and Queens there too! Since I've moved into the area the market has been my go-to for a Sunday afternoon wander. Get here about 3.30pm and you'll get all the bargains too.

    But that's not all, I love this market because it  is on a fabulous street with over 60 independent shops and cafes on it. It smells amazing in the afternoon, when the flowers have been out all morning - making it just wonderful. Yes you'll find bigger flower markets in other cities but this one is our and it makes me proud. I'd choose this gem over any other commercial flower show.

  • 5.0 star rating
    15/8/2009

    At about 4 or 5 am .... after drinking HARD all night on the Shoreditch pub crawl and wobbling back from my first Brick Lane dinning experience, Yelpers Laura N. and Chris O. are telling this Miami Beach Boy that we are going to a Flower Market in the morning ... WTF ?!?!?!
    Why the hell would I want to go to flower market ?

    Why ? Because its awesome !!! The rush of the experience of what seems like New York's Time Square crowd on New Years' Eve jammed down an alley filled with flowers colored so brightly the scene looks Gangs of New York but directed by Tim Burton .

    Some mean Guy Ritchie Film Gangster types that seems like they would put a cigarette out in your eye are selling flower barking out  " THREE FORRA FYVAH "  and the lady vendors are also chirping in deals and bargains.

    I was not going to buy anything - but I enjoyed the insanity of being there - plus the had a cool little shop at the end of the road where I escaped for a few moments, had a chocolate beer and rejoined the fray..... It does not sound very cool but trust another Yelper like I did ... it is very cool.

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/9/2012

    I bloody love a market.  It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.  I like them small and large, bustling and empty, in far-flung foreign climes and in me old stomping ground of Laandan Taaaaaaahn.  That's how they speak in the east end.

    I mean they're all just so spiffingly marvellous.  (That's how we speak in the west).

    It does what it says on the tin.  They sell flowers - lots of them.  Take your time to look at all the stalls before making a purchase because you will see the same stuff at different prices - but bear in mind that they're perishable goods so if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and they'll likely die the next day.  The place is small, but hugely popular, so don't go if you're not a fan of crowds (or in a rush).  Downside is that it's hard to bargain - even though everyone tells you to - because they know they don't need to knock the prices until the end of the day, and by that point most of the good stuff has gone.  Regardless, even the most expensive blooms on offer are still dirt cheap compared to what you'd pay in a proper shop, and the choice is massive too.

    I bought so many flowers that I actually hurt my shoulder carrying them all home.  Miraculously I spent a mere £35, which seemed a lot at the time but is actually jaw-droppingly bargainous.  I took some into work and now my colleagues love me.  I put others on the kitchen table and my new flatmate thinks I'm well classy and that.  I also have 20 long-stemmed pink and orange roses (for £10!!!!! That appeals to my inner Jewish princess on so many levels) in the sitting room which are JUST SO BEAUTIFUL that I keep telling everybody about my purchase.  I mean seriously, I took photos of the arrangement on my phone and showed it to my head of department as if it were a human child to which I had recently given birth. I am THAT PROUD.  Of flowers.  Thank god I live on the other side of the city or my flat would spend its entire life looking like Kew Gardens puked up in a sick ward.

  • 2.0 star rating
    2/4/2011

    I just didn't find this market all that special.  Most cities have a major flower market but this market is considerably smaller than ones I've visited in LA and San Francisco. It's actually sort of a mini version of a typical California Farmer's Market.  So it was cool, but nothing really to write home about.  Also, the location is kind of hard to find.

    There are a few shops along the sides of the market that you can visit for coffee, pastries, gifts, etc.

    So in all not a wasted trip, but I wouldn't bother in the future.

  • 4.0 star rating
    27/1/2012

    Being in London for a while I was looking for a nice walk to do on a sunny Sunday morning and I decided to go around Shoreditch. While walking in Shoreditch High Street I start to see people carrying flowers, plants and pots in every direction and this make me though I was approaching my goal...

    After few meters I found the street where the market takes place. It's quite narrow and the stalls are just one after the other, making few space for the people to carry their discovery. Some have classic flowers and plants but you can find really exotic one, small trees and everything that can grow in both a house or a garden. It's really relaxing to walk around even you don't have any intention to buy something, full of color and different smells. There are plenty of decorative shops around where you can buy usefull or just decorative and design items for the house.

    The area is really charming with paved streets, a couple of nice bars and restaurants - even quite expensive - and people everywhere chating. You feel like they all know each other and used to hang around in the neighbourood. They sit on the sildewalk while drinking a coffee or a beer depending how early or late you'll be in the area.

    It's not so touristy and most of the people come here on purpose to buy something they need for their house so it's a great way to be in contact with locals then.

  • 5.0 star rating
    18/8/2009

    This a great place to pick up great plants, flowers and all things gardening.  Also peruse some fantastic little shops selling all sorts from vintage clothes, jewellery, prints, haberdashery and cupcakes. There are  various food outlets dotted about, my personal favourite are the breakfast baps that can be found in the little courtyard behind Columbia Road.

    As it's a market cash is adviseable there are various banks along Bethnal Green Road and there's a Post Office cash machine near the Barnet Grove bus stop. There's another one in the Cost Cutter on Hackney Road but you have to pay to use that one!

    You can find all sorts down here and it's a great day if you love people watching and finding inspiration.

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/6/2009

    I *heart* Columbia road. The Market is a bit hard to find but when you see a wall of plants walking toward you. You know that you are nearby... If you can get up early try to get there early as by noon, the Market is jammed!

    The selection of plants is fantastic. I'm sure you will have your favourites but I love the stall that sells only herbs. There is a good deal for four small pot for just a fiver. There are the usual varieties but this stall has some unusual varieties such as Vietnamese coriander or lemon basil.

    While browsing snack on fried calamari for just £1.50. Prawns are an extra pound more. But I always save room for a cupcake from treacle. They come in all colours and even in sparkly glitter

  • 5.0 star rating
    8/3/2010

    Definitely an experience!  After getting lost on the way, I was fairly proud of myself when I finally found it.

    It was just as crowded as everyone says, and I felt a little bit like a salmon swimming upstream as I made my way through.  I got hit in the face with some orchids a few times, but I figured their new owner got a good enough deal on them they deserved to flaunt their flowers about.

    I ended up buying some herb plants (rosemary, lavender, mint, and oregano, total £5) since I was a bit too nervous about buying and subsequently accidentally killing any prettier flowers, but I had a few walks up and down the rows of carts just admiring the selection.  I absolutely wish I had space for one of the fruit trees!  

    My vendor quote of the day:  After a woman commented on the size of one of the plants he was offering, "That's the first time a lady's ever said to me 'That's enormous!'"

  • 3.0 star rating
    21/3/2010

    The Columbia Road Flower Market was an interesting experience to say the least.  Very crowded and filled with old men with croaky voices you'd rather expect to hear them selling steaks or cigars instead of yelling at the top of their lungs "tulips, tulips two for a fiver!".

    I think it's something everyone needs to do once BUT I didn't find it to be that special.  I got some good deals on a few potted plants and some cut roses (it's true you can get great deals if you go just before closing) but since I don't need them every day or every month, I won't be a regular.  And with the crowd, clearly it not appealing to all and nothing is so great a deal that it would be worth it for those who don't like crowds instead of heading to their local plant shop/B&Q/Homebase. Amusing too that this market is pretty much in the middle of nowhere London, and you can see the influence this market has made on this tiny street (lots of bright color houses, shops and places to grab a bite to eat).

    Good experience, definitely something to do with a friend on a warm lazy Sunday!

  • 5.0 star rating
    30/9/2009

    I love love love the Columbia Road Flower Market. It's always an experience, and it's a great place to pick up affordable cut flowers (3 bunches/5 pounds) or plants. Usually the flowers get more affordable the further you go down the street so make sure to walk the entire length before making your purchases. I also love the little shops and cafes tucked into the side streets. There's a really good bagel shop, fried seafood shop and cupcake heaven along the main street hidden behind the flower sellers that you guys should check out.
    Beware though, the market is often really crowded to the point where everyone is just moving at a crawl. Also, watch your wallets and purses. There are pickpockets.

  • 4.0 star rating
    12/10/2010

    You really have to be looking to find this market tucked away on some inner streets about a 15-minute walk west from Bethnal Green tube station. But you turn the corner and suddenly there appears this lively atmosphere with street music and yuppie hipsters milling about.

    Some of the flower vendors are pretty funny with what they yell out, so you end up cracking a smile along with strangers at some of the jokes. The potted plants looked beautiful although some of the cut flowers were of below average quality especially by early afternoon. Extremely crowded though which makes it a bit difficult to relax, get a good look at the plants and browse the cute shops. And should be no huge surprise with a crowd like that, there are especially long lines anywhere you can buy coffee. :-P

  • 5.0 star rating
    28/7/2009

    I carried an 8-foot bamboo tree from this place  through Brick Lane, to Liverpool street station. £15.

    I bought herbs -- moroccan mint, sweet basil, and chives for home cooking. £1.50 each.

    I also picked up a bag of 8 baguettes being given away by a bakery by Columbia road, for free. Tried handing them out to homeless people or offering it to passerby's, but to no avail.

    If you really want a steal, go around 3:30 - 4:00 when it starts closing.

    I love this market. Lined with adorable little shops, deli's, cafes. Perfect Sunday -- bamboo tree, baguettes, and many stares all included.

  • 5.0 star rating
    30/5/2009

    THREE FORRA FYVAH. I'm one of those people who thinks flowers are frivolous - sure they're bright and colorful, but they shrivel and die so quickly. I'm sure my team of therapists would agree that's a metaphor for my libido or mortality or something.

    My incipient depression/insanity aside, there is NO better start to a Sunday than rolling out of bed and heading straight to Columbia Road. I love that you can buy gorgeous plants (not just flowers) for so little! Plus the place is so full of energy - the vendors are actually hustling for your business, there is amazing coffee from a small cart off to the side and there's even a guy with an accordion singing Irish drinking songs (weather permitting of course).

    It's also super convenient to Brick Lane so as the market winds down you can head straight to the Sunday Up Market at the Old Truman Brewery and close out a perfect Sunday.

  • 5.0 star rating
    16/11/2008

    Flowers, coffees, little boutiques, and a stroll is the perfect reason to get out of bed on a Sunday morning.  Columbia flower market is a great destination for Londoners and tourists discovering the East End.  From exotic bouquets to a whole tree, the market offers options for professional gardeners to the average home owner looking for a bunch of flowers to set on a dining room table.  

    There are also some very cute boutiques and cafes lining the sides of the street that are only open on a Sunday.  The market gets very busy and it is probably best to get there really early.  Otherwise you can do what I do, which is have a lie in and head over there for 13:30 pm, when the crowds are starting to leave and the vendors are desperate to sell and offer some great bargains.  3 orchids for a fiver!

  • 4.0 star rating
    5/12/2008

    As lying in bed on a Sunday morning is a thing of the past, I suggest visiting the Columbia Road Flower Market. Also, In case you haven't heard, going to bed early on Saturday night and getting up early on Sunday is the new cool thing to do. So take my advice and get down to the market early to avoid the crowd.

    The market is narrow, and avoiding the load shouting from the flower sellers is virtually impossible, so just embrace the market vibe. Once you have your floral supplies, I suggest heading down to the coffee cart at the end of the market. The baristas are great, and there is nothing better than a Square Mile coffee on a Sunday morning. If it is late enough, I'll let you decide what time that is, pop in to the Royal Oak for a beer.

    Columbia Rd. is easy to find as there are street signs that tell you how to get to there. I urge everyone to take my advice, the smell of flowers and coffee is much nicer than lying in bed feeling sorry for yourself.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/12/2008

    Walking through Columbia Road Flower Market feels like you are visiting a proper Londoners market. Although I do love the farmers fare of Borough or Marylebone, they don't have the old fashioned charm of this place- I especially love listening to the stall holders trying to out shout each other in their cries of 'Two dozen tulips, four quid!'.

    The flowers here are beautiful and they reflect the seasons perfectly. During the Autumn months you can't move for sunflowers and then winter arrives and the market is covered in holy and mistletoe. It's also worth mentioning that there is always a great selection of herbs and fruit trees too. I'm not sure how great a lemon off one of these small trees actually tastes but I'm sure it would look very pretty in a sunny living room somewhere. A chilli plant is a nice novelty too and it makes a more personal house warming gift.

    My only complaint about Columbia Road Flower Market is how busy it gets in the later hours. Some times you can't move for people and I almost lost an eye once to someone swinging some ornamental twigs around like they were maraca's. This shuffling pace can get a bit frustrating so I urge you to time your visit nice and early. Otherwise, Columbia Road Market makes a great day out and it's well recommended!

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/3/2011

    The only issue I have with these markets is that A. It's super crowded (but then again what good markets in London aren't on a weekend) and B. It's so far from home... Although issue B is probably a blessing in disguise, as Du Hy T and myself will quite quickly go broke if we lived nearer! Two trips there and we haven't managed to walk away with less than 6 big bunches of flowers between us!

    The markets aren't super long, but is crammed with people and flowers, both fresh cut and in pots. It has a wonderful vibe, especially on a nice spring day with stallholders shouting out their wares, little shops on the sides selling quirky goods and vibrant flowers everywhere! Tip is to arrive around noon - 1pm, walk down the length of the market to work out what you want and then by the time you walk back down to make your purchases, the prices would've hopefully dropped (or rather as we found, the prices doesn't change, but the amount of flowers you get increase!) as the markets are about to close.

    If you've bought too much and remembered that all you have is a tiny little vase, there is a shop that sells glassware and ceramics cheaply so that you can have somewhere to keep your flowers! The shop is at the Old St end, just before the flower markets start. Enjoy!

  • 4.0 star rating
    15/1/2012
    1 check-in
    Listed in Super Market Sweep

    I bought a potted mini cactus in January for £1.

    You can't really argue with that.

  • 5.0 star rating
    3/2/2011

    DON'T be naive when they tell you that your money will go to their children's education, save them from eviction, or save someone's life.

    DO, however, buy their flowers, anyway, as they as are beautiful, fragrant, and so stinkin' cheap!

  • 1.0 star rating
    2/5/2011

    Ok, this could be a nice flower market but, it fails miserably.

    Think about it:

    1. A narrow street, one block long, not close to tube station.

    2.  Imagine, as the website states, 60 merchants selling flowers, plants, etc., and permanent shops as well.  The people selling plants line both side of the street with their racks and tables of plants.

    3.  With vendors on both sides of the street, this leaves a 3 foot wide path in the middle of the street for the customers.

    4.  The pavement between the permanent stores and the back of the plant vendor racks is about 1.5 feet wide.

    5.  Imagine each of the vendors has about 1 person selling.

    6.   The vendors have to replenish their stocks rolling racks through the crowd.

    7.  Imagine stressed out mom pushing a pram screaming at an old lady that she did say, "excuse me."

    8.  Vomit, dog poop, and trash on the pavement and guys drinking at 10 a.m. in the 'hood.

    9.  Now add about 10,000 people to that one block, so many people that you can't walk or even go into any of the stores.

    I saw some nice plants, but it's impossible to buy anything without major frustration.  Consider just going to your local market where you can find plants.  After the above nightmare, I found much cheaper herbs and flowers at a another street market.

    It's disappointing.  They could make this market so much better.

  • 3.0 star rating
    9/6/2011

    Fun, nice, and cheap? Yes.

    I must be missing something though, judging by the five-star madness around me.

    They are beautiful flowers, and they are cheap. There is a good-ish variety. The sellers are friendly. Getting a morning pint and listening to musicians on the sidewalk is a great start to a Sunday. The bagel shop is also nice, but nothing extraordinary.

    It's a packed crowd, it can be absurdly noisy, and frankly, I was overwhelmed by a sense of "all of these customers - this could be so much more than a street of flower vendors, four shops, and an ice-cream van"

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