Markets in Tower Hamlets

No other London borough offers such a choice of vibrant and contrasting markets for 364 days a year. Each one is an open air theatre, a sight and taste of genuine East End London, where bargains and surprises can be found in abundance. From traditional wares to authentic street food, there is choice for both residents and visitors to enjoy.

With the exception of the renowned Columbia road Sunday flower market, the full range of commodities are sold in all our other markets.

Explore each individual Tower Hamlets markets:

Brick Lane market

Located in the heart of East London's Bangladeshi community, the world famous and immensely popular Brick Lane market is a traditional bustling flea-market affair offering a wealth of diversity, including authentic ethnic street food, clothes, jewellery and household goods.

A firm favourite with bargain hunters, this vibrant market spills across several streets and includes a number of privately operated markets. For example, the Sunday Upmarket, the Vintage market, the Backyard market, the Tea Rooms and the Boiler House Food Hall are all located within the confines of the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. Other nearby private markets include Spitalfields and Old Spitalfields market.

Opening hours: Sundays (8am to 3pm)
Location: Brick Lane, E1
Nearest underground stations: Aldgate East, Shoreditch, Liverpool Street.

Columbia Road Flower market

Columbia Road is the East End's famous plants and flower market and is just a short walk from Brick Lane market. On Sunday, this tiny street is transformed into a blaze of colour when plants and flowers fill the area come rain or shine.  Locals and tourists alike are drawn to this bustling market where the majority of the flower sellers grow their own plants and others import their flowers in from around the world.

If, however, the sight of thousands of flowers and exotic plants in full bloom don't capture your interest, one of the sixty independent shops is bound to. Small art galleries sit next to antique shops, vintage clothes stores and even quaint little cupcake shops. There are also plenty of places to eat nearby including seafood, English breakfast and Spanish tapas.

For further details of the local retail offering, please visit www.columbiaroad.info

Opening hours: Sundays (8am to 2pm)
Location: Columbia Road, E2
Nearest underground stations:  Aldgate East, Bethnal Green, Liverpool Street

Petticoat Lane (Sunday) market

Petticoat Lane market continues to be one of Britain's oldest surviving markets and an international tourist attraction on a Sunday.  Operating since the 1750s, it's named after the petticoats and lace once sold there by the Huguenots who came to London from France, cementing the East End's association with the textiles industry.

Located just a short walk from Brick Lane market along the streets around Middlesex Street - apparently the Victorians deemed the road's original name a touch too saucy - it is renowned for clothing and leather goods.  Behind the stalls you can also find numerous African and Asian fabric shops selling fantastically bright and patterned cloth. Located in close proximity to the equally popular Old Spitalfields market.

Opening hours: Sundays (9am to 2pm)
Location: Middlesex Street, E1*
Nearest underground stations:  Aldgate East, Aldgate, Liverpool Street

* Petticoat Lane market consists of Middlesex Street, Cobb Street, Leyden Street, New Goulston Street, Old Castle Street, Strype Street, Toynbee Street, Goulston Street and Wentworth Street.

Bethnal Green market

Bethnal Green is perhaps better known for its on-going association with boxing, but it is also a major local shopping area and an important social meeting place for the community. The market is just a stone's throw away from the internationally renowned York Hall, and within walking distance from the trendy Shoreditch, and sells a wide range of items from clothes to fruit and vegetables.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (8am to 6pm)
Location: Bethnal Green Road, E2
Nearest underground stations:  Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, Whitechapel

Chrisp Street market

Originally a Victorian street market, Chrisp Street market was the first purpose designed, covered and pedestrianised shopping centre. This community focussed vibrant hub has a strong sense of identity, with renowned selection of fruit and vegetables stalls, supported by a variety of traders offering clothing, linens and household essentials. Conveniently located by All Saints DLR station, Chrisp Street market is only a few stops from Canary Wharf.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (8am to 6pm)
Location: Chrisp Street, E14
Nearest underground stations:  All Saints DLR, Langdon Park DLR.

Roman Road market

A little further east than some of the more well-known markets, Roman Road is filled with local charm.  While the market is busy on Tuesdays and Thursdays, visit on a Saturday to find over 200 market stalls lining the street.  "The Roman" - as it is affectionately known by locals - is situated on the oldest known trade route in Britain and is in the heart of the East End.

Featured on Channel 4's "Mary, Queen of the High Street" in May 2013, Roman Road has long been considered the East End's "West End" and is an old-style market selling a whole range of items, including clothing, household items, toys, make up and jewellery at a real bargain. With a food court area on St. Stephen's Road serving fresh bread, cake/pastries and hot food, Roman Road market is loved by locals and visitors alike.

Visitors may park in designated Pay & Display bays around the market for £2 for the first two hours.

Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (8am to 6pm)
Location: Roman Road, E3
Nearest underground stations:  Mile End, Bow Road DLR

Roman Road Square market

Roman Road Square market is only a stone's throw away from the more well-known Roman Road market and just down the road from Bethnal Green.  Also known by locals as Globe Town market, the area was established in 1800 to provide for the growing amount of silk weavers living in Bethnal Green.

Despite there being fewer stalls than in previous years, the fresh fish, fruit and vegetables continue to act as a strong attraction for the local community. As former East Enders have moved out and newcomers have taken their place, the continued culture of home cooking coupled with prices that the regular customers can afford mean that this small market remains busy with many traders being in business for generations.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (8am to 6pm)
Location: Roman Road Square, E3
Nearest underground stations:  Bethnal Green, Stepney Green, Mile End

Petticoat Lane (weekday) market

As one of the UKs oldest surviving markets, the midweek offering is condensed to Wentworth Street, Bell Lane and Goulston Street. Offering a bargain filled fashion selection and mouth-watering street food. Drop in at lunch times to browse

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (8am to 4pm)
Location: Wentworth Street, E1*
Nearest underground stations:  Aldgate East, Shoreditch, Liverpool Street

Stroudley Walk market

Stroudley Walk market lies in the heart of Bow, an area which was immortalised by Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales.  Situated within the East End, people often believe that to be a true Cockney you need to be born within earshot of the sound of the Bow Bells.

Serving the local community as a small local market providing fresh fruit and vegetables, Stroudley Walk market supplements the other local provisions in the square, such as the post office, dry cleaner and health centre.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (8am to 6pm)
Location: Stroudley Walk, E3
Nearest underground stations:  Bromley by Bow, Bow Church DLR, Bow Road

Watney Street market

Watney Street market is within easy walking distance of Whitechapel and the focal point of the local community in the south of Tower Hamlets. With council housing sitting side-by-side with ultra-modern high rise flats, the market plays an essential role in bringing together a diverse community. 

A community focussed market, Watney Street full every day of the week selling a diverse mix of fruit & vegetables, fashion and ethnic wear, household essentials and gadgets, The market also sits next to a newly built Idea Store, which includes as integrated One Stop Shop where residents can access council services and advice.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (8.30am to 6pm)
Location: Watney Street, E1
Nearest underground stations:  Shadwell, Shadwell DLR, Whitechapel

Whitechapel Road market

Whitechapel market is a long-established historic local market and has developed into a prosperous social and economic hub. With the forthcoming Crossrail station due to open in 2018, Whitechapel is set to become important interchange 40 minutes from Heathrow Airport and 3 minutes away from Canary Wharf. In addition, the recently developed Royal London Hospital, a proposed new Town Hall and Civic Centre, plus ambitions retail developments will increase footfall in the area to new level.

Currently selling a huge array of commodities 6 days per week, the bustling market has been best known as traders of fresh fruit, exotic vegetables, spices, fashion, cultural wear, jewellery.

Nearby attractions include the prominent Whitechapel Art Gallery, Britains oldest Manufacturing company the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, and the colourful Victorian and East End history linked to this area.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday (8am to 6pm)
Location: Whitechapel Road, E1
Nearest underground stations:  Whitechapel, Aldgate East

More information

For further information on markets or street trading in the borough, please email streetmarkets@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Related services