Columbia Road Flower Market: A perfect Sunday in London’s East End

airtransat By airtransat / 25 May 2018

Columbia Road Flower Market: A perfect Sunday in London’s East End

airtransat By airtransat

London is impressively green, with almost 50% of the land qualified as green space, and the British are known for their love and skill at gardening. It should be no surprise, therefore, that the Columbia Road Flower Market is one of the liveliest ways to spend a Sunday in the capital.

For Emanuel, a Transat Sales and Services Supervisor and our host to a series of quirky London adventures, the flower market has long been one of his favourite ways to spend a lazy day shopping, eating and soaking in the atmosphere.

Emanuel, Sales & Services Supervisor at Transat, spends a perfect Sunday at the Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market in London

From humble roots

Like many things in London, the history of the East End market is fascinating. In 1869, Angela Burdett-Coutts, a philanthropist known as the “richest heiress in England,” turned the area into a covered food market and was a pioneer in her attempt to create social housing in the downtrodden area.

To accommodate the local Jewish population, the market eventually switched from Saturday to Sunday and, though the trading portion died off, the flower market continued to flourish.

Columbia Road Flower Market

Bustling blocks of bulbs

The market is open every Sundays from 8 am until about 3 pm, but come early if you want to get the very best the place has to offer or if you’re pressed for time: The area, which is only several blocks long, can easily take an hour to get through. Between the lush greens of potted plants, herbs and shrubs and the rainbow colours of the flowers, the road is packed with people and vendors who sell their wares in the loudest and thickest of Cockney accents.

Vendor at the Columbia Road Flower Market in London

Tulips at the Columbia Road Flower Market in London

And if the flowers aren’t enough, there are over sixty stalls that line the street, offering everything from art to cupcakes, vintage clothing and antiques, delis, cafes and a pub called The Birdcage, so named because of the caged songbirds that used to be one of the market’s most popular wares. Even you don’t buy anything, you’ll truly feel like you’ve left with a real slice of London.Tulips at the Columbia Road Flower Market in London

Columbia Road Flower Market, off of Hackney Road in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Every Sunday from 8 am until about 3 pm

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

You might also like


Samana 4 ways

Article published in the December 2017-April 2018 edition of the Atmosphere magazine. Read the latest edition here. The Dominican eco-paradise of Samana has...

#Activities, #DominicanRepublic, #South

4 Ways to Make the Best of your All-Inclusive Vacation to Panama

Susan, a senior business development representative at Transat and our guide for a series of excursions in Panama, has been an avid traveler since childhood...

#Panama, #South

Arts and culture

Art and culture in three of Andalusia’s top cities

By Mayssam Samaha

Spain’s Andalusia region is literally and figuratively one of the hottest regions of Europe. Coveted for its position as a gateway between Africa and...

#Artsetculture, #Europe, #Spain


5 reasons to visit Portugal this winter 

By Catherine Maisonneuve

It is almost no secret anymore: Portugal is trendier than ever. Recent data shared by the Portugal Tourist Board show that the number of Canadians...

#Discoveries, #Europe, #Portugal

Discoveries Food and Drink

Food Tour of Casco Viejo

  Susan, a senior business development representative at Transat, is an experienced traveller who was happy to spend the day in the Casco Viejo area...

#Discoveries, #FoodAndDrink, #Panama, #South

Activities Discoveries

Daytrip to Antón Valley, Panama

Located within the second largest volcano crater in the world, Antón Valley is a natural oasis West of Panama City. With its crisp micro...

#Activities, #Discoveries, #Panama, #South

Our travellers’ most unforgettable moments.