One of my favorite weekend activities in London was visiting the different markets. Even if you’re visiting London for only a short time, I recommend going out to one of these markets. But before you go, you should know what to expect.
The markets here are my favorite. Even though some of the items (especially the clothes) seem to be available in every other booth, there are some awesome hidden gems. My best find was a set of four marble coasters with old Everton FC tickets (plus the score of the game) as the design. Everton FC memorabilia isn’t really available in London — the only other thing I had seen was a cheap beach towel — so to just stumble across these in Camden was fantastic. Plus, the atmosphere of Camden is incredible. The people who visit it are so diverse — from tourists to tatted-up sign holders to famous musicians (some friends ran into one of the guys from Mumford & Sons at a bar in Camden). You can also visit my friend’s juggling shop, Oddballs!
This is a crazy awesome food market. Seriously. Go hungry and you’ll leave wishing you had four stomachs to keep eating the delicious food available here. There are gorgeous bakery treats, fresh fruits, organic teas and homemade mozzerella. And this is just a small sampling of the buffet of wonder that awaits you. As a group, our favorite item were these giant, beautiful hamburgers with lovely cheese, carmalized onions and fresh toppings. Just writing about it makes me wish I could have one right now…
Many people love this market. I will admit I am one of the few who avoided it at all costs. While Camden and Borough both have tons of people wandering about, those locations are at least spread out — Portebello is along a road, which funnels everyone in the giant crowd along in the same straight line. The vendors here offer a wider selection of items for sale; unfortunately, the only thing I could think as I looked at everything was “trinkets.”
Personally, I would recommend you save yourself the trip to Portebello and stick to Camden and Borough markets.