Tuesday 20 March 2018


London in Spring: The Columbia Road Flower Market

We may have had snow in London as recent as this past weekend, but meteorologically speaking spring has already started. Sure, we tend to go by the astronomical calendar but even then it's only another few days until the season of daffodils and blossoms kicks off. With the unseasonably cold weather recently it's been even harder than normal to find spring in London (Wisteria Hysteria is a little while off yet), but there is one London staple that you can visit all year around and looks particularly delightful in spring: The Columbia Road Flower Market.

The Columbia Road Market in London's East End dates back all the way to the mid-19th century, but back then it was a massive food market. Fast forward to the 20th century and the flower market is born. No longer quite the 400+ strong market from back in the heyday, it still packs an impressive amount of stalls considering it stretches across a single street – and they have a huge variety of flowers and plants on offer.

It being nearly spring (or so I've been told) when I visited recently the market was packed in particular with tulips, hyacinths and other springtime flowers, but there were also succulents and cacti, year-round outdoor plants, lavender and herbs, and even flower bulbs on offer. So whether you're looking for some indoor greenery or outdoorsy plants to spruce up the garden now the sun is about to peek out again, you'll be sure to find something of interest among the offerings.

While the prices were already very reasonable, a top tip to score particular bargains is to visit the market between 2-3pm. Official opening hours are between 8am and 3pm every Sunday, and towards the end of the market day there are some right bargains to be had. For example a fresh bouquet of flowers for just a £5 and even beautiful orchids discounted from £15 or £10 to £5. Sweet!

Even if you don't have any particular plans to pick up some greenery for in or around the home, the Columbia Road Flower Market is well worth a visit, simply for a browse along the beautiful bouquets and vibrant plants. If the weather is trying its very best to pretend spring isn't around the corner for London, then you'll just have to find some colour and sunshine somewhere else.

And while you're there, why not check out the delightful independent boutiques and foodie shops along Columbia Rd as well? There are lots of great places to pick up gifts and home ware, as well as a snack or two while you're browsing flowers. Here are some of my favs:

Pavilion Bakery
130 Columbia Road
(their cardamon swirls are out of this world)

152 Columbia Road

Jessie Chorley
158 Columbia Road

Columbia Road is located in the East of London and is just a short 10-minute walk away from Hoxton Station on the overground. If you prefer to travel by tube, the nearest station is Bethnal Green which is about 15 minutes away. 

🎵 Listening to: Jason Mraz – I Won't Give Up
🔹 Mood: Sleepy


  1. Oh Zarina - these photos do me so much good - absolutely beautiful! I bet you came home with armfuls of flowers and goodies... I know where I'll be visiting next time I'm in London! Lxx

    1. So glad to hear that, Laura! It was an absolutely lovely outing and highly recommend! I already had fresh bouquets of flowers at home when I was visiting so I couldn't buy anymore but I did pick up a few plants and am already planning a return to get some tulips!


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