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Columbia Road Flower Market

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Published June 1st 2010
Every Sunday an innocuous corner of London's East End loses its inner city vibe and becomes a forest of green. The area is crammed full of plants and flowers of every possible size, shape and variety, whilst local people and tourists jostle for any remaining space and there isn't a lot up for grabs.

Columbia Road Flower Market has become something of an institution for serious horticulturalists, as well as those who just want to brighten up their living room and their weekend with a flash of colour and the perfume of exotic blooms. With 52 pitches selling everything from geraniums to banana plants, there really is something for everyone and, if you stick around until the bitter end, there are plenty of bargains to be bagged.

However, it's not just the green-fingered who flock to this blooming lovely spot. The road is renowned for its vast array of independent shops and cafes. From art galleries to cutesy antique shops, a stroll along the sidewalk makes a pleasant change from the identikit high streets that seem to symbolise a day out at the shops now.

So, when the serenading cries of the flower sellers get a little too enthusiastic and you need to find a brief respite from the sights and sounds of the market, then there's an amazing choice of eateries only too willing to cater to your caffeine and cake requirements.
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Why? It'll put you in a good mood, whatever the weather
When: Sunday: 8am to 2pm
Where: Columbia Road, Tower Hamlets
Cost: Free
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