Beautiful Borough Market

Foodies, film fans and historians: there’s something for all of them at Borough Market in Southwark, just south of London Bridge, one of the most colourful places in London.

About The Tour

So come for a wander with me and enter another world. It’s worth diverting from the usual more Central London tourist haunts and making that river crossing. You’ll find a great place to saunter through even without getting side tracked by all the mouth watering stalls, all sitting in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral, the local church of William Shakespeare and burial place of his brother, Edmund.

Market workers themselves will tell you its roots go back 1,000 years. Whether that’s quite true is open to debate, but we do have a record of trading in 1276 and that business originally took place closer to the river near the original London Bridge.

And the north-south divide, so talked about among Londoners today, existed big time between the medieval marketeers both sides of the River Thames.

Deliberate undercutting of the prices being offered by the Southwark market traders led to City of London’s leaders banning its inhabitants going shopping there.

But people continued to flock there and eventually traffic got so bad that the whole enterprise was moved to its present site in the mid-18th century, and one of the joys of wandering through is to experience all the beautiful architecture that has survived since then.

Naturally, with films like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels being shot on location there, it attracts an even wider audience keen to savour that movie magic.

And that north-south divide has been healed by the purchase for just £1 of a portico that was once part of the upmarket Covent Garden scene. Built by E.M. Barry, it found its way south of the river after a refurb at the famous West End market and is now the restaurant Roast on Stoney Street.

It’s all a hop and a skip from the other delights of the South Bank, such as the Globe Theatre, the replica Golden Hinde, the Tate Modern and the Millenium Bridge which takes you over to explore the north side, dominated at that point by St Paul’s Cathedral. So come with me, and let the adventure begin!

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