It’s a quiet morning at London’s Columbia Road Flower Market. The traders have finished setting up their stalls and the blossoms are warming in the morning sun. Most shops have yet to open, but the scent of coffee drifts from a cafe window. I wander the street, taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the calm. This is how I start my perfect Sunday in London.
Sunday in London
I like getting to the Columbia Road Flower Market before 9am to enjoy the peace before the crowds descend. It’s easy to walk around, take pictures, get a bite, and buy some blooms, and it sets me up for a day of exploration.
As the market comes to life, I duck into the courtyards behind it to browse the vintage wares and food stalls. I walk down little lanes and duck my head into passageways, taking in the colors and sounds as I go.
And when the throng materializes, I make my way back out before I get lost in the chaos. From Columbia Road it’s a short walk to Spitalfields, where it’s also market day.
Brick Lane is alive with more markets than I’ve ever seen, each one specializing in something unique. From world food to vintage treasures, there’s enough to keep me entertained all morning.
And that’s to say nothing of Old Spitalfields Market, where there’s always something new. From the stalls that fill the covered space to the restaurants lining it, the offerings get better all the time. I stop here for lunch at one of the many food vendors, savoring oysters one Sunday and tacos the next.
From here I walk to Moorgate and take the Northern Line up to Hampstead. This village is my favorite place in the city, and no perfect Sunday in London would be complete without a visit.
I start on the High Street and Heath Street, walking up and down and ducking into the alleys in between. Then I’m off to Flask Walk, where there are always antiques and flowers spilling out into the alley. It’s a straight walk from here to Hampstead Heath, one of London’s largest and wildest parks.
I walk around for as long as I have energy, then head north to the Pergola Garden. This secret garden is one of the prettiest places in London, what with its raised walkways and columns hugged by vines.
After taking in the garden and reflecting pool, I head back to the village. If it’s dinner time, I stop at one of the restaurants in Hampstead, and if not, I hop on the tube and head home. Either way, it’s been a perfect Sunday in London.
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