The Columbia Road Flower Market is one of London’s most famous markets and the perfect place to pick up a bargain on a bouquet of flowers or a new houseplant. And although this is one of the most iconic markets in the city, if you’ve ever visited it, you might have been disappointed by the reality of what it really is.
Crowds of people make what should be a relaxing Sunday a stressful one. Often it is impossible to make your way to a stool and when you do it is so crowded after all that is on offer that you lose your bargaining power. Luckily for Londoners, there is another flower market that is relatively undiscovered, meaning there are no crowds and even more choice.
The New Covent Garden Market is open from 4am to 10am Monday to Saturday and is where most florists in London’s main markets get their supplies. It’s located right next to Battersea Power Station and although it’s designed for wholesalers and retailers, it’s open to everyone.
You can expect to find thousands of flowers, plants, foliage, and interior decorations. The market itself is kept at a relatively low temperature to ensure the flowers stay fresh and don’t wilt, so bringing a coat is advisable. It’s not just flowers that are sold here – fruit and vegetables are also brought in massive crates at equally cheap prices.
There’s even a cafe on site that serves bacon butt and hot coffee to keep you well fueled after getting up early in the morning. The market itself dates back originally to medieval times when Westminster Abbey owned ‘Covent Garden’ from which surplus produce was sold to Londoners near The Strand.
It grew in popularity and size and in 1974 the site of the new Covent Garden Market opened with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh attending the official ceremony in 1975.
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