Earlier this month we took a visit to the Columbia Road Flower Market on a pristine Sunday. We toured our friend through London’s iconic market that was started in the mid-1800s and flourishing today is an understatement. This East London market is quite possibly one of our urban favourites in the capitol. Nestled next to the trendy Shoreditch area, Columbia Road is a little cobblestone street that transports you to another era of the city’s past- even on a normal day. Over 60 shops and art galleries that are independently owned line the streets. Then there’s the vintage markets that have found their own nook in the surrounding side streets.
The history of this market is deep and like any good story- has loads of characters and many ups and downs in its evolution to becoming what is today. It is believed that Charles Dickens hung out here and was a friend with the woman who we can thank for this legendary market- Angela Burdett-Coutts. In case you want to read more about her and the rich history behind the famous market- a recent book by Linda Wilkinson called Columbia Road- A Strange Kind of Paradise is now on my summer reading list. It takes us back into the dark and delightful past of this famous market.
However it’s not the history that drew us on this visit- but to see the flowers and the many urbanites that visit it. And of course take a bundle home for the flat. The market usually opens around 8am until late afternoon-rain or shine- and apparently even on Easter Sunday. These flower enthusiasts are serious.
Along with the colourful market auctioneers selling their goods- talented musicians line up to get their busking spot and there is certainly no shortage of people. It’s VERY crowded so prepare to get close to many humans- or have your iPhone ready for the eclectic local characters that will fill your frame. For someone who loves to people watch- this is a goldmine! Here is our podcast with some our own images that caught our eye- flowers, garden herbs and of course some beautiful humans that came to partake as well. Enjoy and Happy Sunday!