Roman Road Market

Posted on February 09, 2018 by Andrew Kershman

Roman Road from St Stephen’s Road to Parnell Road, E3 5EU
Tube: Mile End (Central, Metropolitan and District)
Open: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 8.30am-4.30pm
Roman Road and its market are a strange mix of the cosmopolitan and the parochial.  Approaching the market along Roman Road you will pass a photography gallery, an art gallery and even a Buddhist Centre, and yet by the time you reach the market it feels as though you are in the heart of the East End.  Most of the people who shop here are locals and one of the stall-holders spoke of the other side of Victoria Park as though it were some distant and exotic land.  This end of Roman Road seems relatively untouched by gentrification, but the market itself is a surprisingly friendly and pleasant place to shop and  one of the best markets to find discounted high street fashion.  

The mysterious stall that sells women’s garments one at a time from a box is still going strong.  The pitch is always surrounded with eager local women waiting for the next item in the hope that it will be in a style they like and in a size that fits them – price is never a problem as most items are sold for just a few pounds. There are other more conventional clothing stalls along this part of the market with lots of basic street fashion for around a tenner and one trader at the centre of the market who always has a great selection of French Connection seconds and surplus stock for a fraction of the usual price.  
There are several shoe stalls offering a selection of fashionable footwear with prices starting from around £20 a pair and this is also a good market to find bargain bags and suitcases, bedding and even a modest flower stall offering bedding plants and cut flowers.

    Roman Road Market is still a great place to spend a morning, but it’s one of those markets that has been most affected by big shopping centres like Westfield in Stratford and matters have been made worse by the council introducing parking restrictions in the surrounding area.  Whichever way you come here, it’s worth the journey – you’re bound to leave with a few bargains and a smile on your face.  Visitors to the area should take the opportunity to explore Victoria Park and the Hereford Union Canal which are just 5 minutes walk from the market.

This feature is taken from our forthcoming book:
London's Markets
by Andrew Kershman

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