Image by Graham Robson
The countryside and the city are only ever seen as opposites. The city is concrete and enclosed, whereas the countryside is wide open. But London Farmer’s Markets show how the countryside can coexist with the hustle and bustle of city life.
Location: Southwark Street, Bankside, London.
Full Market Opening Times: Thurs 11:00 – 17:00, Fri 12:00 – 18:00, Sat 9:00 – 16:00
Travel: Conveniently located just down the road from London Bridge station.
Why you should go: This could very well be the best located Farmer’s Market. The nearby attractions make this a wonderful location for a fun-packed day out. Not only is Borough Market within walking distance from the iconic London Bridge, it is also surrounded by other tourist attractions such as the London Dungeon and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. If you’re feeling hungry, Borough Market is conveniently close to a number of restaurants and the Vinopolis Wine Bar.
The Farmer’s Market itself is nothing to scoff at. It is the oldest market in London, dating as far back as 1014, or maybe even earlier. The centuries’ worth of experience has paid off, making it a truly delicious day out
All the traders bring something special to their stalls, from the exotic meats, to the cheese-lovers’ haven, to the many varieties of fruit and vegetables. The stalls are a combination of exotic foods and locally sourced produce. All this food means that the market is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the nose and taste buds.
There is never a shortage of interesting produce – be sure to exercise some self-restraint, otherwise you’ll leave with an entire farm’s worth of goodies!
Dulwich Farmer’s Market
Location: Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, London.
Full Market Opening Times: Every fourth Sunday of the month, 9:00 – 13:00
Travel: A rail can be taken to West Dulwich. The college is located nearby, along College Road.
Why you should go: Unlike Borough Market, the Dulwich Farmer’s Market is a bit out of the way from Dulwich’s main shopping areas; it’s less for the casual shoppers and more for people looking to sample farm grown produce – and they certainly won’t be disappointed.
The fruit and vegetables are sourced from Kent – the Garden of England – and there are stalls of locally made baked goods, locally sourced meat and fresh fruit juice, plus loads more!
Not content with just selling food, there is an arts & crafts fair held inside the college cloisters. Here, vendors will sell jewellery, paintings and even handmade skincare products. Dulwich Farmer’s Market would be ideal if you’re searching for a calm morning of browsing and sampling fresh produce.
Notting Hill Gate Farmer’s Market
Location: Car park behind Waterstones, Kensington Place, London.
Full Market Opening Times: Sat 9:00 – 13:00
Travel: 1 minute walk away from the Notting Hill Gate tube service.
Why you should go: Like at Dulwich, Notting Hill Gate Farmer’s Market is pretty out of the way. In fact, it’s so out of the way that its location is a local well-kept secret. This is such a shame considering the amount of farmers who attend this market on an almost weekly basis.
Since the market was first run in September, it has slowly been gaining popularity – much like its neighbouring market, Portobello Road Market – and farmers come from Bath, Glastonbury, and all over Britain to sell their produce.
With such a wide range of cheeses, meats, wines, breads and herbs available (to name but a few), you can easily be tempted to splurge on foodie delights. So if you fancy a day out in Notting Hill, consider veering off the beaten path of coffee shops and clothes sales and see what the Farmer’s Market has to offer. It’s worth checking it out before the secret gets out!
Hopefully this has inspired you to seek out the country life in London’s urban sprawl. Have you been to any of these farmer’s markets? Or do you know a hidden gem not mentioned here? Share your thoughts below.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Sara grew up living close enough to London to appreciate all that city life has to offer. She would recommend BHRC for planning the ideal weekend in London.