Free Things To Do In London: Borough Market

If you’re looking for a great place to sample delicious and inventive culinary flavours, look no further. Borough Market, just by the Thames in Southwark, has been wooing and satisfying buyers and diners for hundreds of years.

London Christmas market
Getting warm at the fire

London, are you ready for Christmas?

The original market goes back at least to the 13th century, and perhaps further, but it has had several incarnations during this lengthy period, having moved, been abolished, reinvented itself and reopened.

Christmas candles
Lovely Christmas candles
Poppy-seed cake
Poppy-seed cake

The market on its present site was opened in 1756, and it quickly became one of the capital’s most important food markets due to its central location near the Thames and the Port of London.

Christmas pretzels
Christmas bread and pretzels

The buildings date from the mid-19th century, with Art Deco additions dating from the early 20th century and early-21st-century refurbishments.

Local candies London Christmas market
Local candies

Though it started as a general fruit and vegetable market and existed in this form for several centuries, today the market also acts as a fine food retail market and has numerous cafes and eateries. There is a wide range of fresh and delicious food from all over the UK.


Borough Market is a magnet for visitors to the capital and has featured in several films, such as Bridget Jones Diary and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It has won awards including the Evening Standard London’s Best Market and London’s Best Shopping Experience and regularly features kitchen demonstrations, pop-up shops and other special events.

pineaaple pie
Local delicacies – hot pineapple pie.

So what are you waiting for? Get on down to the Borough and sample some of the capital’s finest food.

Christmas decoration
Lovely Christmas decorations

What is your favourite Christmas market in Europe?


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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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41 thoughts on “Free Things To Do In London: Borough Market”

  1. I went to London so many times but never this time of the year, I’ve never been to this market which admittedly looks pretty good like that poppy-seed cake, yummy! This year I discovered many Germans and Swiss Christmas Markets and loved them, I think the one in Munich was my favorite!

    1. Never been to Munich :(, but I gotta catch up with Germany this summer. Love Berlin Christmas market last year! Hope you and Dale are having a great time in Germany! Merry Christmas!

  2. Touring the markets can be a blast and a great way to discover neighborhoods you might otherwise miss. Will Google this for a map and underground stops.

  3. Kathryn Burrington

    My favourite Christmas market is Winchester (which is just a hour on the train from London) although Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is right up there too. They’re both far better than other European markets I’ve been to.

  4. Pedro @ Travel with Pedro

    Borough Market is really amazing! It is actually my local market and one of the first places I take any visitors from overseas. Nice to see everyone is in a Christmas mood! :-)

  5. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans

    I will definitely have to check out this market the next time I’m in London. But oh, those poor geese!

  6. I’ve lived in London for 3 years but I’ve never been interested in the markets out there. Good, because the duck thing….probably not the biggest place of interest for a vegetarian.

    My favorite market has to be the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, it makes all your 5 senses wake up at the same time! The colors the fragrances….

    The little market which left a lot of nice memories around Christmas time, was the Christmas street market at Bydgoszcz.

    1. Are you a vegetarian? So great to hear that. I’m trying to eat clean and healthy, but could not give up the salmon which is my favourite food in the world!
      I’ve never been to the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, but I can only imagine how great it must smell!! All of these herbs and spices…..!!!
      I have to make it to Bydgoszcz one day!

  7. Oh my gosh how could those geese be so distraught in their lives to take such drastic measures! I’m sure there is Geese Anonymous, isn’t there? Just a little macabre humor :) Phoenix just slapped me upside the forehead, “You’re a dork, Daddy!” That is amazing that the Borough Market has been opened for some 250 years now. Wow! Umm…could you please send me one of those pretzels and a poppy seed cake, Agness?? Thank you! Loved the post as always, our friend :)

    1. I know, my heart was bleeding when I saw those geese :(.
      I’m afraid it’s too late Mike… I have already eaten those pretzels and poppy seed cakes… maybe next time! When you come to Poland, I’ll welcome you with a cheesecake and traditional croissant cookies filled with jam!

  8. This market looks so atmospheric! I love it! It’s a far cry from the Walled City of Lahore which we were discussing earlier this week, but it looks equally exciting!!

  9. Bridget @ A Traveling B

    Great recommendation! I am hoping to get to London next year so will have to try it! After seeing your photos, I would love to coordinate it to be at Christmastime!

  10. Marisol@TravelingSolemates

    Hi Agness, I’ve been to London twice but have not made it to Borough Market. I’d definitely like to viist when I return. The food offering looks amazing .
    Merry Christmas to you, Agness and Cez!

    1. Yes, the food was so yummy! Hope you can make it there next time. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

  11. Oh, those pretzels… they get me every time.
    I have to say, one of my favourite European Christmas markets has to be in Edinburgh!

  12. whywasteannualleave

    I don’t live too far away from this market so come here quite often and you have photographed it so beautifully!! My favourites here include the ostrich burger, chocolate brownies and Comte cheese – not exactly healthy eating!!

  13. I’m just so excited to see this market when I visit London on April. Thanks for sharing the free things ideas. :D

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