Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market

Food and fun at Greenwich Market

Explore the fun, colour and history of Greenwich Market, the only London market located in a World Heritage Site.

Highlights

  • Discover the iconic arched entrance and original 19th-century architecture of this Victorian covered market.
  • Browse the superb range of London designer-craftspeople and artists. Shop for homeware, accessories and gift ideas.
  • Indulge in delicious street food from international cuisines, including gluten-free and vegan choices.

What to See and Do

Explore an array of shops

Greenwich Market is a fascinating shopping destination within a stone’s throw of the many attractions of Greenwich. Packed with independent arts and crafts, gift ideas, designer boutiques and an array of bars and cafes, the market is well worth taking some time to explore. 

Redesigned as an indoor market in Victorian times, Greenwich Market is a hidden gem with an atmosphere that feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

Browse a wide range of products and services including original paintings, prints and collectables, jewellery, beauty products, toys, gifts, cards, vintage clothing, bags and antiques. After your retail therapy, relax with a stroll by the river and watch the boats sailing past.

Tasty Street Food

When you need a little refreshment, your appetite is sure to be whetted by the tantalising aromas wafting around the market. As well as a bakery, deli and cafe, you’ll find 50 stalls selling freshly cooked street food: snack as you wander around or enjoy a picnic in Greenwich Park. 

The range of cuisines on offer creates a vibrant global experience, from Jamaican banana bread to freshly caught fish (and chips of course), paninis, Middle Eastern halloumi wraps and the US favourite, pulled pork.

Top tip: Many stallholders are delighted to let you try free samples of their food and drink before buying.

Soak up the history

You don’t have to go shopping to enjoy spending time at Greenwich Market. Sited in the centre of a World Heritage Site, the market was founded in the early 19th century and the architecture of the area adds to its unique atmosphere. 

As well as the stalls in the covered market hall, you can also explore many small shops set along the cobbled streets that have retained much of their original Victorian charm.

A riverside ramble to Greenwich Market

While many visitors arrive at Greenwich by a Thames river cruiser or via the DLR, the market also makes a great destination for a wander along the Thames Riverside Path. Starting from the London Eye, this fascinating route takes you past Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Tower Bridge and passes by old docks redolent of London’s industrial history before arriving at Greenwich. When you’ve finished exploring the market, enjoy a river cruise back to your starting point.

Did you know: (5 interesting facts!)

  1. Greenwich Market has been owned by Greenwich Hospital since 1694 and enjoys a central location in the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage site.
  2. After centuries of bustling trade, the market was starting to look a little tired, so in 2012 a sustainable and eco-friendly restoration project was given the go-ahead. The plan emphasised the preservation of the market’s unique character.
  3. The uneven cobbled floor was relaid to make it safer for visitors to walk on and a new glass roof allowed more light to flood in. An empty service yard was transformed into Fry’s Yard, an open cobbled area with plenty of opportunities for al fresco dining.
  4. Encompass, a striking sculpture by Michael Speller, was commissioned for the centre of Fry’s Court. A bronze sphere made up of more than 200 woven figures suggests mariners climbing the rigging of a tall ship such as the Cutty Sark. The sculpture’s domed roof echoes the paired domes of the nearby Royal Naval College.
  5. Les Grayson, a market stallholder who sells clocks and watches made the wooden ceiling clock to mark the 25th anniversary of Greenwich Market in its current incarnation as a market for arts and crafts.

History 

  • The early 1700s – the first mention of Greenwich Market as a Royal Charter Market assigned to the Commissioners of Greenwich Hospital. It was originally located on the site of the former Royal Naval College and rapidly extended into the surrounding alleys and courtyards
  • 1831 – The market area was becoming dark, crowded and difficult to police so a new covered market was constructed on the present site. The new market sold meat, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables. Around its periphery were slaughterhouses, of which some buildings can still be seen today, as well as stalls selling pottery, china and glassware.
  • 1845 – A small theatre was constructed over the archway by the licensee of the Admiral Hardy pub. You can still read the inscription on the arch: “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord but a just weight is his delight”.
  • 1849 – Parliament passed an act enabling Greenwich Hospital to manage the market and profit from the rents.
  • The 1950s – The post-war period saw the wholesale food market gradually decline until the 1980s when a restoration project first began.
  • May 1985 – The Greenwich arts and crafts market was opened, inspired by the success of a similar market at Camden Lock.