Markets UK

Columbia Road Flower Market

I’ve waxed poetically (well, maybe not quite poetically) about Columbia Road Flower Market in the past. It’s one of my favourite London “landmark” markets, because who can resist the lure of armfuls of flowers at fairly reasonable prices? It was especially difficult to resist walking by the other weekend because there were stacks of peonies as far as the eye could see. And it might be a basic blogger stereotype, but I adore a peony. 

Columbia Road Flower Market is devoted solely to bunches of flowers; flowers for planting, plants, bushes, shoots and sprouts. And it’s only open Sundays from 8am-3pm. Columbia Market was originally opened in 1869 as a food market and then started making the transition to focus solely on gardening in the 1960s. In the 1980s the road began to garner international press and is world famous today. While some people argue that the flowers are overpriced, I find the deals fairly reasonable. Especially if you go at the end of the day when everyone is trying to get rid of all of their stock. I am not a flower expert at all. All my bouquets come from Sainsburys or Tesco and are usually £1 daffodil bundles or 2 for £3 for tulips. At Columbia Road I spent a total of £10 and took home a bouquet of hyacinth, a bouquet of ranunculus, and a bouquet of anemones, quite the result, I think, and all beautiful.

The surrounding shops are open and are selling equally pretty wares; the smallest of alleys is turned into a temporary bakery – there’s hardly a square inch of space that isn’t being utilised to sell something. Last time we went to Columbia Road we stopped in to Lily Vanilli for delicious brownies. We popped in again, and sadly we must have missed the delicious daily offerings because there were only slim pickings. 

My biggest critique of the flower market is that it is insanely busy. No matter what time you visit, you have to wade through people like a salmon swimming upstream. If you don’t like crowds, Columbia Road might not be for you. 

columbia road flower market flower bushels flower stalls flowers orchids purple flowers sam seller shop front
Columbia Road Flower Market is located on Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG

Have you been in the past? 

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  • You can’t beat the delights of fresh flowers – even with the busy chaos of the market in full swing!

    • Truth. Though I was tempted to throw an elbow or two to fight for a prime photo taking spot 😉 x

  • When I was in London last weekend I really wanted to visit but ran out of time! We did manage to get to the Geffrye museum on your recommendation though!! 😀 I also went to a wedding this weekend and as I didn’t live too far away, I’ve come home with a car literally jam packed with flowers – so much delicious scent, colour and beauty! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • How did you like the Geffrye? Did you end up with a favourite era of home? I’m jealous of you flower haul! x

      • Sadly we only had time and tickets to explore the gardens, but they smelt amazing and I really enjoyed wandering through them! xx

  • It looks totally gorgeous – I wish we had something like this in Leeds! x
    Sophie Cliff

  • Christine Everyday

    Wow those flowers are stunning!

  • Wow I would love this market all those beautiful and amazing flowers

  • Alice Mulhearn

    Beautiful! I’ve rather ashamedly lived in London for five years and have yet to visit Columbia Road Flower Market.
    Fantastic blog by the way – I just stumbled upon it but shall be adding it to my bookmarks bar!
    Alice from tothetable.co.uk x

  • I can’t remember when I bought some flowers:) nice photos!

  • TravelWithNanoB

    So many pretty flowers, loved the hydrangeas!

  • That is so cool! Here I thought it was big when a bunch of farmers came with bunches of flowers haha #smalltowngirl. I love to buy fresh flowers at least every month, brightens the house 🙂