Based in London’s East End, Columbia Road is one of the leading streets for history, market selling and general artistic character. To many, it may be the community heart of London’s East, whilst to others it is a weekend hot spot for the young and trendy. With a range of shops, restaurants, bars and parks based around the multicoloured doors of Columbia Road, this hidden gem of the East is the perfect afternoon out for Park Grand Hotel Lancaster Gate visitors looking to explore further afield than their West London accommodation. With galleries, theatres, music venues and many other entertainment sources in the near vicinity, you can be sure to have a grand day and night out in East London.
History of Columbia Road
The area of Columbia Road was once a brick field known as Nova Scotia Gardens. Surrounded by sheds which were prone to flooding, the area quickly became notorious after the developing slum gave rise to the notorious grave robbing gang the London Burkers. The Burkers were notorious for body snatching and selling bodies to medical schools. After the gang’s capture, the slum was purchased by Angela Burdett-Coutts, a Baroness and philanthropist who saved the area from further degradation. It is from her purchase that the Columbia Road Market began, creating a way to show the area in a new light. Through the first half of the 20th century, the area became more and more popular, and showed true wartime spirit during the solidarity of locals during the London Blitz, when much of the area suffered heavy bombing.
Columbia Road Flower Market
From 8 am to 2 pm every Sunday, the Columbia Road Flower Market sells some of the best flowers and plants from local market sellers. The area becomes a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, attracted by some of the best seasonal flower bouquets and house plants to stalls at cut throat prices. With live music, vintage markets and a wide range of cafes, the area might be buzzing through the week but truly comes alive on the day of rest.
Notable Pubs and restaurants
As with much of East London, there are a wide range of pubs and restaurants which have been keeping Columbia Road thriving week after week. If you’re looking for some great live music on a Saturday night, then the Drafthouse groups Birdcage pub at the end of Columbia Road will keep you refreshed with a range of local and international lagers and ales alongside local musicians and bands. The Stingray Globe Café is also well renowned for its lively décor and mouth-watering thin crust pizzas.
Galleries and entertainment venues
For culture and entertainment Columbia Road is nearby some of the best galleries and venues in London. The Hoxton Arches bring a wide range of contemporary and international arches to just a five-minute walk from the street, whilst the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and Sebright Arms bring some of the coolest bands and musicians to a mere five-minute walk from the lively and colourful road.
How to get to Columbia Road
There are plenty of bus routes going through Columbia Road, whilst the nearest tube stations are Hoxton station and Cambridge Heath, both on separate Overground lines and five-minute walks from the street.