Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane and Shoreditch

MAY 20,2013 - MAY 20,2013 (1 DAYS)

Citywalk

Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane and Shoreditch - funny, peculiar and authentic: A rainy half-a-day activity !:

Do this itinerary on a Sunday and then continue to Sunday Up market at Brick Lane and then walk your way up to Shoreditch area and you will find great fashion shops on your way that's better then the market itself.

WELL WORTH a visit even when it's raining as Old Spitalfields Market is all under cover...  Located just five minutes’ walk from , Liverpool Street Station. Head east on Liverpool St toward Bishopsgate. Turn left onto Bishopsgate. Slight right to stay on Bishopsgate. Turn right onto Brushfield St. Turn left onto Commercial St.

There has been a market on the site since 1638. The original wholesale fruit and vegetable market moved to New Spitalfields Market in 1991. In January 2011 Old Spitalfields Market received the award "Best Private Market" by the National Association of British Market Authorities. Open seven-days-per-week. The market offers shoppers something different each day. Monday-Wednesday: fashion, footwear, gifts, bric-a-brac etc. Thursday: Antiques. Friday: fashion and arts. Saturday: vintage, designer made products and collectable items. Sunday: college graduates showcasing their works. Lots of great stalls selling unusual and interesting things, and the shops and cafes around the market are really excellent. This feels like the real London !

Open: Mon to Wed: 10.00 — 17.00 (General Market Stalls). Thurs: 9.00 — 17.00  (Antiques & Vintage Market). Fri: 10.00 — 16.00 (Fashion & Art Market). Sat: 11.00 — 17.00 (Themed Market Day). Sun: 9.00 — 17.00 (General Market Stalls).

Duration: Allow at least a couple of hours but you could spend a good half day here and feel it was time worth spending.

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What a great place to spend a few hours browsing around. They are not tourist goods and most of the things for sale are designed and hand made by the people sitting behind the stall. The clothes are well priced and you will find something unique to take home with you. Around the edges of the market are independent shops selling mostly retro clothes, furniture and ornaments. it is a social place to meet.

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The Gun Pub is located in a public house, situated to the south of the market buildings. It recalls Tudor times, when the Old Artillery Ground in this area was used by the Honourable Artillery Company to practice with cross-bow, and later guns and artillery pieces. It is in the Commercial Road:

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On the other side of Commercial Street is Christ Church, Spitalfields, a large Nicholas Hawksmoor church. Built between 1714 and 1729:

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Very good selection of cafes and restaurants: Giraffe, Leon, Wagamama and others.

Head south on Commercial and turn left onto  Fournier Street.  Fournier Street, formerly Church Street, is an 'east-end' street of 18th-century houses in Spitalfields, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It runs between Commercial Street and Brick Lane.

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5 mins walk from the Old Spitalfields Market will find yourself in Brick Lane the curry mecca of London. Lots of photogenic corners so bring a camera !  Everywhere you look there is a feast for the eyes. Today, BL it is the heart of the city's Bangladeshi community and is known to some as Banglatown. It is famous for its many curry houses and oriental eateries. Brick Lane is a very vibrant and multicultural tourist destination very famous for its Indian/Bangladeshian Curry Industry. There are so many Indian curry houses here so if you would like to taste Indian food why not come here. On Sunday Brick Lane is very vibrant with so many people visiting Sunday market.

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Both Fournier Street and Brick Lane became established as the heart of the Jewish East End. Although there had been a small Jewish community in the East End for some time, a large number of Jews from Eastern Europe and Russia moved to Spitalfields in the 19th century and founded a thriving community. Many new schools, cultural activities and businesses were created, including the Jews Free School and the Jewish Chronicle newspaper (the oldest Jewish English language weekly in the world). This area faced unbelievable, extreme religious changes: In 1898 the Methodist Church (at the eastern extremity of Fournier Street) was converted into the Maz'ik Adath Synagogue. This building had been constructed as a Huguenot Chapel ('La Neuve Eglise') in 1743-4, had also served as a Protestant church and would later be converted during the 1970s to become the London Jamme Masjid (Great Mosque) - as the area then evolved to become the present day heart of the Bengali community. This building is symbolic of Spitalfields' role in immigration and in providing 'refuge' to many minorities:

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The Sunday market, like the ones on Petticoat Lane and nearby Columbia Road (see special blog on Columbia Market), dates from a dispensation given by the government to the Jewish community in the 19th century. The Sunday market is a great way to pass the time on a Sunday afternoon. Wonderful place to visit on a Sunday when the market is in full swing. More recently the area has also broadened to being a vibrant art and fashion student area, with considerable experimental or exhibition space. Brick Lane is world famous for its graffiti, which features many famous artists. The lane has been used in many music videos. Brick Lane has also been the site of several of the city's best known night clubs around. Very in, very vintage, packed of young people. Diversity of food on offer is vast and you find it very difficult to resist sampling some before reaching your final destination of the Bagel shop: amazing salt beef bagel that comes with mustard and pickles but the name of the bagel place might elude if you see a long line at the store it's probably it. Must try !  You actually have a lot of choice such as Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Bangladeshi, Indian food stalls. Some curry houses of Brick Lane will not sell alcohol as most are run by Muslims.

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You can make the whole itinerary back to Liverpool street Station:

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Or you can extend your itinerary to Shoreditch for another 20-30 minutes of walk. Head north on Brick Lane and turn left onto Hanbury St. Turn right onto Commercial St. Slight right onto Shoreditch High and the station will be on the right.

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