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London Markets

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One of the best things about London is the shopping. However, as well as the major high street retailers and big brand names there is a large community of independent traders.

Located all around the capital visiting London markets is a great way to get in touch with the history and feeling of the city.

Most London markets come alive at the weekend and can be a great place for keen shoppers to pick up some unique items as well as some real bargains.

Camden Market

One of the more popular places in the city to visit, Camden market is one of the most popular haunts among London's large youth population.

However, these days the market attracts a more mixed crowd, with many drawn in by its reputation for arts, crafts, jewellery and clothing.

The original Camden Lock market next to the Grand Union Canal has three open yards surrounding the Victorian Market Hall.

Here you will be presented with a cavernous amount of vintage clothing, textiles, hand-carved sculptures and jewellery.

There are also plenty of food stalls selling produce from all over the world.

Open: Mon - Sun 10am-6pm. Camden Lock Place, Camden, NW1.

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Portobello Market

Visitors to Portobello will find that the best time to come is on a Saturday, located in the trendy Notting Hill area of the city, shoppers can get lost in the vast array of items on sale.

It's a great place to browse for antique and beautiful jewellery, and there are loads of cheap and second-hand clothes, with handmade designer garments and lots of vintage denim and leather on offer.

For more exclusive buys, the shopping arcade on Portobello Green has some funky little boutiques, and there are some great food stalls in the area that are brilliant for fruit and vegetables, bread and cheeses.

Open: Saturdays 8am-5pm some stalls are open all week. Portobello Road & Portobello Green, W11

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Spitalfields Market

Firmly established on the must visit list of destinations for Londoners and tourists alike, Spitalfields offers a fusion of Victorian splendour and contemporary architecture.

Boasting the title of London's oldest market, Spitalfields market is now open most days apart from Mondays and Saturdays.

It offers a number of shops delivering cutting edge fashion and interiors, original artworks as well as food.

Spitalfields market is surrounded by independent shops, cafes, bars and awarding winning restaurants, making it a great all-day destination.

For visitors on Fridays or Sundays, there is also an organic food market running.

Open: Mon - Fri 11am - 3:30pm; Sun 10am-3pm. Commercial Street, E1.

Colombia Road Flower Market

You can head to Colombia Road on a Sunday morning to witness the full splendour and fragrance of this fantastic flower market.

With a vast array of plants, pots and pieces for your garden, it is an interesting mix of traditional east end London and the modern and trendy Hoxton.

Visitors are sure to enjoy the time they spend at this London market, while those who opt to go near closing time are sure to pick up a great floral bargain.

Open: Sundays, 8am - 2pm. Columbia Rd, E2

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Borough Market

Located under the railway, this covered food market is one of the city's largest and oldest.

For those that visit on Saturdays, there's a bustling farmer's market which boasts much fresh and organic produce - as well as the kind of home-made food that's difficult to come by in your local supermarket.

Organic seasonal fruit, confectionery, mushrooms, chutneys, jams, and an array of different breads and cheeses are just some of the items you can pick up.

Film buffs may also recognise Borough Market's surrounding Victorian architecture from a number of British films including Bridget Jones' Diary and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.

Open: Friday 12pm-6pm Saturday 9pm-4pm. Borough High Street, SE1

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