Columbia Road Market

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Buzzy and beautiful outdoor flower and plant market
This may not be a typical tourist destination — owing to the fact that fresh flowers and plants are not recommended for international travel — but Columbia Road Market provides a very London experience for those interested in seeing what the city's residents — many of them gay — get up to on a Sunday morning. Most are rise-and-shine types; others are on their way home from Saturday night. This often very crowded linear market is great for people-watching, and the aesthetically pleasing low-level Victorian street is lined with quaint one-off shops, selling everything from bagels and cakes to vintage clothing, art, antiques and, of minimal use to the casual traveller, garden implements. Plus pubs and various food outlets. Tube station: Old Street, then a six-minute walk east via arty/trendy Hoxton/Shoreditch, though most galleries will be shut on a Sunday. Consider getting to the market early- to mid-morning then walking ten minutes to Spitalfields via colourful Brick Lane. Exquisite bacon sandwiches are to be had until 11am at St John Bread & Wine in Commercial St [see St John entry]. While you're there look at olde-worlde Fourner St and Princelet St and Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christ Church Spitalfields. Around the corner is gay-owned foodie establishment Verde & Company [see entry].