From traditional farmers’ markets to second-hand swap meets, the UK is home to thousands of markets. As a country, we have a rich history of trading and commerce, and markets are a great way of supporting local businesses. But, where is the UK’s most-loved market located?

To find out, we’ve analysed 30 of the top markets from around the country, ranking them based on a range of factors such as the number of days each market is open, the monthly search demand for every market, and their average Google ratings. For those after a particularly aesthetic shop, we’ve also explored which markets are the most popular on Instagram and TikTok. 

The UK’s most popular markets


1. Camden Market, London

Given that it’s the largest market in London, it’s no surprise that Camden has topped the list of the UK’s favourite markets. Open seven days a week and offering a mix of music, fashion, art, and food all blended into one, the market sees 165,000 monthly Google searches — the highest of all markets analysed. Camden also has a huge 116,900 Google reviews, and an average rating of 4.6. 

Camden Market has always been popular with the alternative London scene, and lots of famous fashion designers and artists got their start here. Nowadays, visitors can experience over 1,000 unique shops, stalls, bars, and cafes split across four quarters around Camden Lock. 

2. Portobello Market, London

In second place is another of London’s markets, Portobello Road. Its rating is a little lower than Camden’s, at 4.4, but it does see the second-highest number of both Google reviews (21,832) and monthly searches (49,500). 

Located in Notting Hill, the market is open six days a week — only closing on Sundays. Its rich history dates back to the 19th century, and these days it’s known as one of the largest antique, bric-a-brac, and vintage clothing markets in the world. Plus, there’s always plenty of street food and freshly baked goods on offer too.  

3. Bury Market, Manchester 

With a Google rating of 4.6, Manchester’s Bury Market has come in third place. Made up of an indoor hall, plus over 300 outdoor stalls, the market sells anything from food and fashion, to jewellery and pet accessories. 

Perhaps best known for its Bury Black Pudding, the award-winning market sees around 18,100 searches a month, the fourth-highest number of all locations analysed. For those planning a visit, the open-air market is only open on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, but the indoor section of the market is open six days a week, only closing on Sundays.
 

4. The Covered Market, Oxford 

In fourth place is The Covered Market in Oxford. Dating back to the 1770s and now home to over 50 independent traders, visitors can head to the market any day of the week to sample all things food, drink, fashion, flowers and more.

The market matches Portobello Road with a 4.4 Google rating, but it does see one of the lowest search demands of all locations analysed, at just 1,900 searches per month - perhaps this is a hidden gem worth exploring. 

5. St. Nicholas Market, Bristol 

Rounding off the top five is St. Nicholas Market in Bristol. Established in 1743, the market is set in a Georgian arcade, and has a 4.5 Google rating. 

The indoor market is open six days a week, Monday to Saturday, and over 60 independent retailers are based within The Covered Market and The Exchange Hall. It’s also known to offer some of the best food in the city, with several permanent food stalls based in the Glass Arcade. 

Rank

Market

City

# days market open (a week)

Avg. monthly Google searches

Avg. Google rating

No. of Google ratings

1

Camden Market

London

7

165,000

4.6

116,922

2

Portobello Market

London

6

49,500

4.4

21,832

3

Bury Market

Manchester

6

18,100

4.6

7,247

4

The Covered Market

Oxford

7

1,900

4.4

9,090

5

St Nicholas Market

Bristol

6

8,100

4.5

7,282

6

Norwich Market

Norwich

6

4,400

4.5

8,801

7

Birmingham's Bullring Markets

Birmingham

5

4.3

1,900

8

Kirkgate Market

Leeds

6

8,100

4.3

9,759

9

Billingsgate Fish Market

London

5

2,400

4.5

1,789

10

Brighton Open Market

Brighton

7

2,900

4.2

2,818


The UK’s least popular markets

We appreciate that some of the UK’s markets might be a little less well-known, but lots of them still offer a great experience. With this in mind, the research has also taken a look at some of the least popular markets in the country.

1. The Barras Market, Glasgow

According to the study, the least popular market in the UK is Glasgow. The market has the lowest Google rating of all markets analysed, at 3.8, and it sees only 9,900 monthly searches. 

The Barras Market is a major street and indoor weekend market in the East End of Glasgow, only opening on Saturdays and Sundays. Founded in 1921, the market is named after the ‘barrows’ that traders sold their wares from in the early years. These days the Barras is the perfect place to pick up a bargain on anything ranging from clothes to antiques. The Barras Market is also the site of the famous Barrowland Ballroom concert venue, which also houses some of the weekend stalls. 

2. Ford Airfield Market, West Sussex

In second place is Ford Airfield Market in West Sussex. The market has a slightly higher rating than The Barras Market, at 4.1, though it is perhaps even less well-known as it only sees around 1,600 monthly searches.

The Ford Airfield Market is made up of a Sunday market, with regular traders offering the likes of fresh produce, plants, footwear, and furniture, and a car boot sale, which is open on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

The car boots sale operates a ‘just turn up’ policy, and it costs just £10 per car to sell your unwanted items.
  

3. Venn Street Market, London

Perhaps even less well-known is Venn Street Market in London, which sees a mere 590 monthly searches, and has only 177 Google reviews. 

Venn Street is a local community food market based on Clapham High Street, offering fresh produce, delicious coffee, artisanal baked goods, cheeses, and more. The market does have a rating of 4.5, so if you’re looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of some of London’s busier markets, this could be the place for you. It’s worth noting though that the market only opens on Saturdays. 

4. Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, Edinburgh

Also only open on Saturdays is Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, offering locally-sourced produce, meats, fish, cheeses, and sweet treats.

The market is based on Castle Terrace, and is overlooked by Edinburgh Castle. The market matches Venn Street Market’s rating of 4.5, and it also has a few more reviews to back this up (1,037).

5. Sunbury Antiques Market, Surrey 

Rounding off the top five least popular markets in the UK is Sunbury Antiques Market in Surrey. Based at Kempton Park racecourse, the family-run market only happens on the first and last Tuesday of the month.

It does have a rating of 4.6 however, so it’s worth remembering if you’re in the area and after some vintage treasures. 

Rank

Market 

City

No. of days the market is open (per week)

Avg. monthly Google searches

Avg. Google rating

No. of Google ratings 

1

The Barras Market

Glasgow

2

9,900

3.8

2,135

2

Ford Airfield Market

West Sussex

3

1,600

4.1

1,188

3

Venn Street Market

London

1

590

4.5

177

4

Edinburgh Farmers' Market

Edinburgh

1

2,900

4.5

1,037

5

Sunbury Antiques Market

Surrey

Only 2 x a month 

1,900

4.6

36

6

Stockbridge Market

Edinburgh

1

5,400

4.5

2,914

7

Winchester Farmers' Market

Hampshire

4

880

4.2

82

8

Hay-On-Wye Thursday Market

Wales

2

30

4.5

106

9

Cardiff Indoor Flea Market

Cardiff

3

880

4.4

670

10

Tynemouth Market

North Shields

2

8,100

4.5

3,666


The most-loved markets on social media

Social media is a great way to promote awareness of markets, and for traders to share where local shoppers can find them throughout the week. With this in mind, we’ve also taken a look at which markets are the most popular on TikTok and Instagram.  

1. Camden Market, London 

The most popular market by far on both TikTok and Instagram is Camden Market. It sees around 228 million hashtag views on TikTok, and about 502k posts are tagged with ‘#CamdenMarket’ on Instagram. 

Whether you’re photographing the vast array of street art, or catching some of the alternative bands that play throughout the area, there’s plenty of content to be captured at Camden Market. 

2. Columbia Road Flower Market, London 

Given the massive variety of colourful flowers and towering plants that line its streets, it’s no surprise that Columbia Road Flower Market is also hugely popular on social media. 

The market has 10.9 million hashtag views on TikTok, and it also has the third-highest number of tagged posts on Instagram, at 71.5k.  

3. Portobello Road Market, London 

With 6.7 million hashtag views on TikTok, another of London’s markets, Portobello Road, has come in third place. ‘#PortobelloRoadMarket’ also has 168k tags on Instagram — the second highest of any market analysed.

Set among Notting Hill’s pastel-coloured streets, there’s lots of social-media friendly angles at Portobello Market. 

Top tips for small businesses to enhance their market day experience 

On why markets can be great for small businesses, Kamilla Fernandes-Pickett, Marketing and Communications Senior Manager from Capital on Tap says, “Whether you’re an experienced micro-business, or just stepping into the world of commerce, street markets can be great exposure for your brand or product. It’s an opportunity to showcase your ideas, and also gives you a chance to network with customers, as well as other traders in your circle. If it’s a new business, trialling it at a market will also give you a good idea as to whether your product will actually sell. The first market day can be a little overwhelming, but there are a few simple steps you can take to ease the process and enhance your experience: 

1. Make sure the audience is right for you

Some markets attract a different audience than others, so you need to do your research ahead of time to figure out which market is going to be the best for you. Think about your target audience, whether that might include things like age, demographic, or interests, and then find an event that looks like the right fit for your brand. 

Promotion is also really important. Social media can be a powerful tool, so whatever platforms you’re on, make sure to let your followers know which market you’ll be attending and when.

2. Take the right kit 

Most markets will provide you with the basics, such as a bare table or wooden frame. You’ll want to bring the necessary kit with you to turn this into an attractive place to sell your product, so anything from a tablecloth, signs, hangers, and display stands. 

You’ll also need a card reader. Almost every vendor will have one of these, and they are pretty easy to pick up online. People might still want to pay with cash though, so bring spare change with you too. 

Having a small business credit card is a great resource to make sure you are market-ready, giving you the financial freedom to expand your business into the market space, and beyond. 

3. Offer something unique

No matter which market you choose to attend, there’s bound to be plenty of other traders to compete with. You’ll want to stand out from the crowd, so make sure you’re offering something a bit different. 

This could be a fun sign to attract people to your stall, or maybe try bringing a variety of products with different price points so customers have options. 

4. Be ready to answer questions

Markets are a great chance to speak with potential customers and build your network. Be prepared for any questions that might come your way, and make sure to let your knowledge and passion show through. 

Also, take this opportunity to ask them questions too. Getting a feel for what people think about your brand or product will only help you improve your business in the future.

5. Don’t be disheartened 

Even if the first market day doesn’t go as well as you hoped, don’t give up. Some days will be busier than others, and it might be that you need to go back a few more times until you see success. Take each experience as a learning opportunity and figure out what you might be able to do differently next time.”

Methodology & Sources 

Capital on Tap pulled together a seedlist of the best markets in the UK from the following sources:

CN Traveller

Culture Trip

Reader’s Digest

Travelodge

The Times

The markets were then ranked based on the following metrics:

Google search volume – UK data over the last 12 months 

Number of days the market is open - Based on Google data

Average Google rating 

Number of Google ratings

Instagram and TikTok hashtag data was found by searching [#[name]Market’ on both platforms.  Hashtag data is accurate as of November 2023.

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