Markets in Bermondsey and Greenwich
Bermondsey Antiques Market, also known as the New Caledonian Antiques Market, originated in North London in 1855 and is now London's most important weekly antiques market.
It's a favourite amongst early risers from the UK and dealers in Europe seeking antiques at very competitive prices.
Traders – over 500 of them – start arriving about 4am and set up their stalls on the square or in the covered Bath Antiques Market, a series of warehouses lodged between Bermondsey Street and Long Lane.
By 6am the market, including the furniture warehouse, is in full business. The entire market trades mostly in English antiques, from candlesticks and ship equipment to books and scientific instruments.
Bermondsey used to have a terrible reputation. A medieval licence used to allow stolen goods to be bought here with impunity. Nowadays, however, this wholesale market sells only legitimate treasures.
Open: Fri 5am-2pm
Address: Bermondsey Sq and Long Lane, SE1.
Tube: London Bridge/Bermondsey
Greenwich Market, dating back to 1831, was originally a general market selling fruit and vegetables which was on the verge of dying out.
It has since become a dynamic market selling a wide range of hand-made goods and artwork. On Greenwich High Road, another market specialises in antiques. It kicks off at 9am.
What makes this market stand out compared to other competitors in London is its unique setting steeped in history. Visitors come to Greenwich for its architecture and many sites.
Greenwich boasts many famous buildings created by the 17th century architects Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. The Cutty Sark also draws crowds keen to see the last surviving tea-clipper docked on the banks of the River Thames.
Last but not least, people flock to Greenwich's Observatory to stand on the Meridian line – a green laser beam projected into space tells you exactly where the line is. Synchronise your watch to the exact time and place one foot in the east and one in the west.
The weekend is the best time to see Greenwich's markets and sights.
Open: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm.
Address: College Approach, Stockwell St, Greenwich High Rd and Greenwich Church St.
Tube: North Greenwich. Rail station: Greenwich Docklands Light Railway station. Boat: From Westminster Pier (Tube: Westminster) take a river boat trip to Greenwich Pier.
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