No visit to London is complete without a stop to in Covent Garden. Covent Garden Market is one of London’s largest and most famous markets.
The market originally sold fresh produce but now sells a wide variety of items, including flowers, clothes, artisan food, and souvenirs. The market hall is a Grade II listed building built in 1828.
The Markets Of Covent Garden
- Apple Market: once home to world-famous fruit and vegetable market its now home to traders offering handmade crafts and goods.
- East Colonnade Market: stalls selling products such as handmade soap, jewellery, handbags, hand-knitted children’s clothing, a magician’s stall, sweets, artwork and homeware.
- Jubilee Market: offers a range of unique and antique items and collectables from a range of eras. From Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Fine Art, Fine Jewellery, Fine China, Sterling Silver, Antiquarian & Used Books.
A little history of Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden Market can be traced back to 1654 when Charles II founded it. The market was originally located in what is now known as the Piazza and was only open to fruit and vegetable sellers.
In 1730, the market moved to a larger site near St Paul’s Churchyard but was destroyed by fire just two years later. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1732. The current market hall was built in 1828 and has been used as a fruit and vegetable market ever since. In 1974, the Jubilee Market opened adjacent to the main hall and sells a range of goods, including flowers, clothes, books, and bric-a-brac. In 1980, both markets were designated as conservation areas.
In 1998, the London Development Agency purchased Covent Garden Market with the intention of redeveloping it into a mixed-use retail and office space. However, following a public consultation, it was agreed that the market should remain.
In 2003, ownership of the market passed to Transport for London, who still owns it today. In 2017, Covent Garden Market underwent a 19-million pound refurbishment, including new lighting, signage, and improved facilities for stallholders.
What To Expect When Visiting Covent Garden Market
If you love socialising, food, and retail therapy then you will love Covent Garden Market and the surrounding area. If you’re visiting Covent Garden Market, you can expect to find a wide range of stalls selling everything from flowers to clothes to artisan food. The Jubilee Market is particularly well-known for its book stalls which sell both new and second-hand books.
While you’re there, ensure you treat yourself to something to eat from one of the many food stalls or stop for a pint in one of the pubs located around the market hall’s perimeter.
In addition to the market stalls you also have plenty of shops around the market from jewellery shops, clothes and vintage finds, to shoes, bike shops all in this lively small area packed with everything you could possibly need.
Things To Do In Covent Garden
There are so many things to do in Covent Garden which we have covered on the blog. From cute cafes, quiet gardens, pubs, cocktail bars and everything in between. You are also near the heart of London’s theatreland so plenty of amazing Westend shows to check out.
Also near Covent Garden is Trafalgar Square, as well as Soho and Mayfair which all offer a plethora of things to do, from restaurants, to nightlife and entertainment. In addition to that, Covent Garden is within walking distance to Southbank with its many attractions. From London Eye to SEA Life Aquarium, Big Ben and the Southbank Centre Food Market.
How To Get To Covent Garden Market
The simplest way to get to Covent Garden is by public transport. The market is located in Central London and is served by a number of tube stations and bus routes. The nearest tube station is Covent Garden. The Piccadilly line serves this.
It is just a two-minute walk from the market hall. Other nearby tube stations include Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines), Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines), and Holborn (Central and Piccadilly lines).
A number of bus routes also stop near Covent Garden Market. The 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 87, and 91 buses all stop on Covent Garden Piazza, just a minute’s walk from the market hall. If you’re driving to Covent Garden, there are several car parks nearby. The nearest is the NCP Car Park on Drury Lane, just a two-minute walk from the market.
Covent Garden Market is one of London’s most iconic markets. With a history dating back to 1654, it’s easy to see why this market is so popular with locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, flowers, clothes, or books, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for at Covent Garden Market.
Covent Garden Market Parking
I would highly recoment using public transport when visiting Covent Garden. While you may find parking, you might need to hunt for it to find it if you want off street parking. Otherwise paid car parks in Covent Garden are below:
Q-Park Covent Garden – 34-35 Bedfordbury, London WC2N 4DU – Open 24 hours
Just Park: St Martin’s St, London WC2H 7HH – Open 24 hours
NCP London Covent Garden: Parker Mews, London WC2B 5NT – Open 24 hours
Urban Parking Shelton street: 42 Shelton St, London WC2H 9HJ – Open 24 hours
Q-Park Chinatown: Newport Pl, London WC2H 7PU – Open 24 hours