Borough Market is one of the most popular places to visit in London, especially if you love your food. The market was set up in 1885, in its own magnificent building, and it is one of the capital's most renowned markets for artisan food and fresh organic produce. But its history goes back a thousand years or more!
It smells heavenly, it looks gorgeous, and the foods on display look delicious, especially the piles of super-fresh fruit and veg. You can buy anything there from beautiful pastries and cakes to seafood and fine quality meats, and there are some great places to eat and drink as well.
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How about Borough Market opening times? It's open from 10-5 Monday to Thursday, with a limited market on offer. On Fridays, there's a full market open from 10 – 6, and there's a full market from 10-5 on Saturdays as well. Borough Market is closed on Sundays.
History and trivia on Borough Market
- The market's current revival kicked off in the 1990s thanks to a new interest in artisan foods
- Today, Borough Market is a massive street market with over 4.5 million visitors a year and more than 100 stalls on offer
- Like it hot? If so head for the brilliant Spice Mountain stall, where you can pit your nerves against the world's hottest chillies
- The Bridget Jones movie has sealed the market's fame – much of it was filmed in the area and you can visit her house
- Borough Market in Southwark is one of London's oldest markets. It marked its 1000th anniversary in 2014
- This is probably the site of the city's first post-Roman bridge, dating back to the 990s and built to help protect the city against marauding vikings
- Borough once had two markets, and they both undercut the locals' prices scandalously. In 1270 the City of London’s officials forbade citizens to buy goods at Southwark
- In 1406 Henry IV made Southwark’s market an extension of London, something the residents of Southwark fought hard to stop
- In 1550 King Edward VI sold Southwark to the City for around £1000, and that was that. Southwark was officially part of London
- In 1676 a fire swept through Borough and burned the market building to the ground
- In the 1800s the Market expanded into a national affair devoted to wholesale fruit and veg
- In 1862 the South Eastern Railway built a new railway viaduct right through the centre of the market
- In 1906 the market’s control was placed in the hands of 21 local voluntary trustees
- New Covent Garden market, built in Vauxhall in the 1970s, killed the original market stone dead, helped along by the new trend for supermarkets
- The famous market bell isn't used for crowd control any more. These days it's only rung on special occasions
- Wholesalers start turning up at 2am, but the public aren't let in until a lot later
- Fancy a haircut, gents? Or a beard trim? There's a top class traditional barbers, Hobbs, in Three Crown Square, and you don't need to pre-book
Borough Market holds a regular Cookery Club event, designed to delight everyone who loves good food, great cookbooks and convivial company. Their ‘Young Marketeers Summer Sale’ is all about local school children trading their school-grown fruit and veg. And the market's Demo Kitchen hosts innovative cookery classes and events. The Food Futures event showcases solutions to the world's biggest food challenges. You can even buy tickets for exciting specialties like Gastrotours and Trader Workshops.
Best places to eat and drink in Borough Market
If you'd like a recommendation for an excellent Borough Market restaurant, try the Richard Haward oyster stall in the market or, for superb Indian food, head to Gujarati Rasoi at London Bridge. The best Borough Market pubs and Borough Market bars include Bedales of Borough Market at 5 Bedale Street, sellers of an entire world of wines, charcuterie and cheeses.
There's the Arabica Bar and Kitchen at 3 Rochester Walk, serving exceptional Middle Eastern dishes, and Tapas Brindisa at 18-20 Southwark Street, home of epic tapas. If you're wondering where to eat in Borough Market and you want to keep things casual go for Bread Ahead's awe-inspiring donuts or The Rake pub, owned by the same cool folk who run the massive wine and beer stall in the market itself. Bread Ahead also offers regular bread baking classes.
Getting to Borough Market
How to get to Borough Market? Being central and close to London Bridge it's very easy to get to.
Walking – Head south over London Bridge and enjoy a wonderful stroll taking in some of the city’s most fascinating views. You'll see, hear and smell things you'd never encounter on a bus or tube, and you'll probably be surprised how easy it is to get from A to B on foot.
Underground – Your closest tube stations are London Bridge, Borough and Southwark.
Bus – Bus numbers 43, 141, 149 and 521 take you to Borough Market.
Train – At just 4 minutes' walk away, London Bridge is your nearest mainline railway station.
River – You can take a Thames River Cruise to your favourite markets, including Borough Market.
Bicycle – There are secure bike racks on Jubilee Place and you can hire a Santander bicycle on Southwark Street or Park Street.