a VirtualTourist member from Racine asked on Jun 26, 2013
Is there an alternate to the Portobello Road Market on the weekend? We have enjoyed the Portobello Road Market, though in recent visits it is just TOO crowed. I understand that arriving there earlier, say 8:00 am is better though, are there other markets, antique areas or "car boot sale" areas worth a visit? Thanks in advance to all comments. Chuck
There are a lot of markets on the east end that are much less crowded, I can't say that I enjoy them as much although I do understand the crowd issue. If you get to Portobello too early in the morning, a lot of the vendors aren't even set up.
Here's a list of some of the markets in London, if you do decide to try the east end markets, you can visit Brick Lane, Petticoat Lane, Spitalfields and the UpMarket in the same visit as they are all close together. I'd start with Spitalfields as it's probably more of what you are looking for, Petticoat Lane is mostly clothes.
Camden is another alternative, I think Saturday is a little less crowded on Sunday (they actually close the tube station to outgoing passengers on Sundays) but if the crowds at Portobello turn you off, then you may not care for this one either. But it's my favorite market in London, lots of jewelry, clothes, street food, and a lot of the stores along the high street have souvenirs if that's what you are looking for
If you are looking for antiques you might check out Bermondsey (Friday only), it's been a very long time since I've been there so you might want to check current reviews to see if it's still worth going to. Expect that they will know the prices of their good though.
Maybe Old Spitalfields market; see [original VT link]
or perhaps Camden.
I favor Portobello road although things changed there over the years.
I like Greenwich market - there is a tip on my Greenwich page.
Here's another site which lists and details London markets:
and the official tourist info site:
I do like Camden market a lot, though it can get very crowded indeed from lunchtime onwards. And Petticoat Lane clothes market (9-2 Sundays) really is worth exploring (assuming you want to buy clothes). Again, go early to avoid crowds.
Portobello and Camden will both be crowded, but look at this link for Camden Market as it gives an abundance of information.
Battersea Boot Sale may be one to research (Sunday) [original link]
Spitalfields & Brick Lane Markets would also be quite interesting if you like Portobello and open on the weekend.
There are several alternatives to Portobello road market and they all have there pluses and minuses. One of my favourite is Chiswick school car boot sale which takes place on the first Sunday of each month from around 8am until 2pm(this is run for the benefit of the school and community. This is very much a real peoples car boot and is only charging £1 entry unlike Battersea (and Pimlico) where they charge £5 for the first two hours and then £3 and is not of benefit to the community. One great one to go to outside London is the one in Brighton marina every sunday which makes for a nice day out of town.