Railton Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0JN
Herne Hill Market has emerged from nowhere in the last five years and is now one of the best in London. It takes place every Sunday on a small stretch of Railton Road just outside Herne Hill station. The market is a fraction of the size of giants like Brick Lane or Portobello Road, but the fifty or so stalls that set up here manage to provide everything visitors need for a weekly shop as well as several unexpected surprises. One of the surprises is the bike repair stall (Like Your Bike) that offers services, repairs and parts and is always busy.
The Dulwich Road end of the market has quite a few local designers selling their wares including Wolle & Hide who specialise in handmade wool clothing and accessories and Stripey Squirrel with their colourful range of kid’s clothing.
The cacti and indoor plant stall is also an unusual feature of the market with lots of healthy plants and pots and free advice for anyone needing it.
There are also a few original jewellery stalls on the market with plenty of great value trinkets to sort through. Those looking for more practical work wear will not be disappointed with a regular trader offering smocks and clogs and several good stalls selling original street fashion. There are also a few bric-a-brac and collectable traders, a dealer in oriental rugs and throws and several art stalls including a selection from Planet Patrol Pop Up Gallery, and local artist Luke Adam Hawker who sells his fine drawings here and online.
Like east London’s Broadway Market, Herne Hill is a good balance of gifts and food and it’s possible to do a weekly shop here and get most of what you need which is sure sign of a good market. Among the delicacies are delicious scotch eggs in all manner of flavours, fine Sicilian pastries, several stalls selling cured meats with lots of samples to try and a number of cheese sellers including the excellent London Cheese Mongers.
The stall offering fine jams was also worth a gander with plenty of tasters so you can try before you buy. Accompanying these fine foods are grocery essentials such as Brockmans Organic Fruit and Veg, several artisan bread and cake sellers and a choice of good butchers and fresh fish form the Portland Scallops Co.
Street food is now an important part of most markets these days and Herne Hill has a great range of food to eat on the go including a great Moroccan food stall, one offering vast pans of hot and delicious French stews and another catering for vegans with delicious salad boxes.
It seems remarkable that such a vibrant and interesting market has blossomed in just a few years. With Herne Hill Station in the middle of the market it’s easy to get to and one well worth making a good deal of effort to visit.
For literary types Herne Hill Bookshop is at 289 Railton Road and is open on Sundays. Just around the corner from the market is a fabulous 20th Century furniture store called Morbleu and for more junk and collectables there’s the fabulously named Society for the Protection of Unwanted Objects. Those who enjoy outdoor swimming should pack their cossie because Brockwell Lido is just around the corner and in the grounds of the wonderful Brockwell Park.
If you fancy a drink there are two good pubs in the area, The Commercial (on the market) and The Florence (just around the corner). For coffee and snacks there’s Milkwood Café and Blackbird Bakery.
this in a feature taken from our forthcoming book:
by Andrew Kershman