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Visiting London Markets

At the Market

1 day, 4 London Markets. Nicki from Pedddle explored them all!

Crafty Fox Market, Pedddle

We love visiting London markets. Our beautiful capital city is home to some brilliant markets, from long-standing traditional ones to quirky pop-ups. They are colourful, engaging, fun, sociable and often smell amazing!

Pedddle Founder Nicki founded Pedddle based on her love of markets. On her recent trip to London, she decided to visit as many as she could in just one day – because how could you possibly pick just one!? Read all about her trip and visiting London Markets below.

My trip to London

I knew I had to visit London and experience some of the events on offer – and I was not disappointed.

The very first thing I noticed, without realising, is that all of the events I’d planned to visit were held indoors. Is this the norm in London? Definitely not – there’s some fantastic street markets too, but I loved it. Being from the mostly wet and windy North of England, a market visit often includes a ‘war of the woollens’; finding an efficient number of layers to keep warm whilst still being able to move, pick up products and most importantly bend your arm to eat the gorgeous halloumi fries you just purchased – these are real life market challenges!

However, not this time. London has much better weather down South – in fact, the sun glasses were packed AND even used!

Our capital city is the diverse, multi-cultural epicentre of England, and clearly a wonderfully creative hub for small businesses to grow, ‘Pedddle their wares’ and thrive. What a delight to see and experience the hustle and bustle of the market first hand.

Visiting London Markets

Having used the Timeout Guide ’12 must-visit london Markets’ to help me, I had planned to visit Old Spitalfields market, where Urban Makers have a small selection of stalls, The Crafty Fox Market at Mercarto Metropolitano and The Collective Market at Street Feast in Hawker House. I managed to visit all of them and even add a quick dash round The Backyard Market too!

This couldn’t have been achieved without the help of some fab advice from contributors on the ‘Rollercoaster of running an Indie Biz’ Facebook group (check it out if you are a small business owner), the ‘CityMapper’ App, plus my friend and chief timekeeper Riva, who carried out her ‘mum’ role perfectly. Like a small child, I was given 15 minutes and 5 minute warning on when we had to leave each market! It’s always hard to tear myself away from a great market, but all of these things helped to make it a super successful trip.

My market diary of the day

Here goes! This is the itinerary I stuck to when visiting London Markets.

7.50 – My Virgin Train leaves platform 1 from Stoke-on-Trent. I love living in the Midlands but the weather is definitely better down south! Coffee in hand and my ‘Hashtag Authentic‘ book in my bag, I set off for London.

9.21 – Arrive at London’s Euston station. Phone in hand and ‘CityMapper’ loaded, I got to work.

We headed over to Old Spitalfields. The whole area is just beautiful and, having recently visited New York, it reminded me of the West Village – which I loved. Not sure if you want all the details but we nipped into Anthropologie too – yay! It’s such a lovely shop. We only had time for window shopping though, as time was limited and pennies needed to stay in my purse for the markets!

9.30 – Arrive at Urban Makers in Old Spitalfields. My initial thoughts were:

  • What a gorgeous venue
  • It’s both dry and bright
  • There’s a big space for traders – almost like a stand at an event. The makers varied their layouts from tables at the front and some allowed you to walk in like a mini shop. Both styles of stall worked great.
  • The quality of the stalls were fab. So many amazing products!

I met Emma from ‘Stitching Me Softly’, who had chosen to run a workshop instead of having a stall on this occasion. What a great idea! In an elevated position overlooking the market, drinking tea whilst learning a new skill and chatting to others. Had I not been on a market mission, I would have loved to join in. Definitely give her a visit if you’re in or around London!

I then met with Julia, one of the ‘Urban Makers’ founders, who explained about their hosting of Urban Makers at Old Spitalfields – roughly every 2 weeks (with some exceptions) they take over the space, and their larger events and pop-ups were great to hear about too. 

I had a lovely wander around the stalls and met so many talented people. It was great to see so many happy customers too! Click here to link to Urban Makers events page to apply for a stall.

11.30 – Leave Spitalfields and walk over to Brick Lane. Visited the Backyard Market – possibly a bit early for them as they were still setting up.

12.00 – Arrive at Elephant & Castle. Walked over to Mercato Metropolitano and discovered the Crafty Fox Market.  

They were having a ‘Sample & Seconds’ sale. It was amazing! The prices were super reasonable and the quality was phenomenal. I love the feel in here. It was super busy while I was there. Again – great smells but that was thanks to all the food stalls around the outside.

The market offer either a half table and full table option for stallholders – I love this idea, because depending on your product and budget, it means you still get to have opportunity to trade at this space with a fab company.

I met up with one of our Pedddle stallholders, Victoria Williams Jewellery. We chatted and grabbed some pictures then I met with Sinead, the Crafty Fox event organiser. Sinead is so lovely and the whole event felt very well put together, and in a great location too.

My main thoughts on the Crafty Fox market were:

  • There’s no doubling up – every stall was very different. This means customers don’t just see the same type of thing over and over, but also gives stallholders more freedom.
  • Very busy – great to see a bustling market though.
  • Customers were aged between 20-50 and were all spending money.
  • Organisation was on point – everything was running smoothly.
  • Half and full table options available, meaning it suits every stallholder budget.
  • You get a FREE Gelato ticket with your stall! Does anything really beat free gelato?!

Click here to link to Crafty Fox events page to apply for a stall.

1.30 – Dinner time (aka lunch – location dependent). Visiting London Markets Is hungry work!

We sat and ate a fantastic chicken, falafel and halloumi platter from the Lebanese Canteen. It was stunning and we grabbed a couple of cheeky passion fruit mojitos too. Tummies filled and ready to move on, I nearly forgot to visit another lovely lady who had mentioned she would be there – Bec from Dakota Rae Dust.

2.10pm – We left Crafty Fox Market and headed over to Canada Water for The Collective Market.

2.30pm – Arrive at The Collective Market and chatted with Jane, the organiser. She is very proud of what they have achieved and rightly so. The Collective Market have grown their markets in recent years, and are now exploring new venues at which to host, so keep watching out for that. The variety of amazing makers was clear at this event too.

My main take-aways:

  • High quality market – great products too
  • A little bit further out of London
  • Lots of space to browse and for customers to move around
  • A family demographic at the time I was there – lots of young families
  • Another great venue, based around some permanent food stalls

Click here to link to The Collective Market events page to apply for a stall.

3.30pm – Left The Collective Market.

We arrived at Euston station just 5 minutes before the train left!

6pm – Arrived back home in Stoke-on-Trent. Visiting London Markets was so, so worth it – and it’s not even a late night!

My thoughts on the day

I was really pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t totally dead on my feet – far from it! On the train home, I was already planning my next visit. Visiting London Markets – 4 in a day – actually didn’t tire me as I thought it would have.

I will definitely be visiting the Green Rooms Markets very soon and also quite fancy the Columbia Road Flower Market. Any other suggestions are always welcomed.

I loved the variety of makers I saw. And as with most markets, the stallholders were all really friendly and very keen to tell me about their products and their business ethos.

Click here to discover great indie markets in London – I’ll be back soon!

Thinking of visiting London Markets yourself soon?

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