Markets in your cityBy TheStudentGuide
Supermarkets can be pricey, but shopping at a market can yield fresh and local produce with teeny tiny price tags.
You've just moved into your university city and you've got your loan. You're flush for cash now but give it a few weeks and it will have disappeared. Yeah, we don't know where it goes either. Food shopping can be expensive and you can end up spending lots of money on odds and ends which could be avoided by just being a bit sensible with your shopping. But you're new around here, how do you know where to go?
We've compiled a list of the best markets in UK cities (complete with opening times and instructions on how to get there!) to make sure that you're totally clued up. Remember: the more you buy the cheaper it gets, prices hit rock bottom at the end of the day, and you should never ever be afraid to haggle.
London: Borough Market
Borough has been synonymous with food markets as far back as 1014 when traders would line London Bridge selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock. In the 13th century, traders were relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has existed there ever since. The market is now made up of over 100 individual stalls including fruit, veg, bakers and butchers as well as a variety of international produce. The range of food at this market is inspiring so you’ll be sure to find something new to go alongside your regular bargains.
Get the underground, over ground or bus to London Bridge or walk along Thames Path on the Southbank. The full market is open Thursdays (11am-5pm), Fridays (12am-6pm) and Saturdays (8am-5pm), and the market is open Monday-Wednesday (10am-3pm) for lunch. Visit the website to find out more.
Birmingham: Bull Ring markets
Birmingham’s indoor and open markets are jam packed full of cheap and exciting goods. Go to the indoor market for meat and fish as well as household items, phone accessories and incense, or step outside into the maze of fruit and veg stalls. All trying to give you the best deal for your money, these stalls haggle themselves down so you don’t have to. Buy in bigger quantities for the best deals, but either way you’re going to beat the supermarket prices hands down.
The Bull Ring markets are located just behind the Bull Ring shopping centre, next to St Martin’s church. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday (9am-5pm), you’ll be sure to catch it on form whenever you visit. Visit the umbrella website for further information.
Manchester: Church Street Market
A stones throw from Piccadilly Gardens and nestled amongst the back streets of the ever on-trend Northern Quarter, Church Street Market is a bright and popular permanent street market that offers shoppers a great alternative to the high street. Along with the usual food stalls, there is also a second-hand bookshop selling classic and modern literature and rare and unusual comics, and fashion stalls for you to grab both stylish street and party wear.
Church Street Market is located in the Northern Quarter and is open Monday-Saturday (9am-5pm). View the website for details.
Liverpool: Birkenhead Market
Nestled in the centre of Birkenhead, don’t be put off by thinking this market is miles away from Liverpool city centre; it isn’t. A three minute train journey from Liverpool James Street will drop you super close and the travel is worth the bargains you’ll find. Birkenhead market offers the very best of both worlds with its modern shopping hall and friendly bustling traditional outdoor market so there’s really no excuse!
Hop on the super short train from Liverpool James Street to Birkenhead Hamilton Square - the market is a five minute walk from there. Open Monday-Saturday (9am-5pm), it’s a worthwhile trip for low price goodies. Check out the website for details.
Leeds: Kirkgate Market
Kirkgate Market’s website asks:
Where else can you do your weekly shop, buy anything from a cooker to a computer - with help from an expert, buy trendy or traditional new clothes - or get them altered, pick up some delicious Italian bread, a bunch of flowers, have a cup of tea & a natter and then get your hair done or even buy a wig?”
And we’re inclined to agree. A Grade I listed building, shopping cheaply in a beautiful surround has never been so appealing.
The market is open Monday-Saturday (8am-5.30pm) and is just six minutes walk from the University of Leeds. Check out the website for more details.
Sheffield: Castle Market
Castle Market is Sheffield’s largest indoor market with over 200 stalls inside. Located in Sheffield city centre on the site of the old Sheffield Castle, the market is famous for its fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. On Valentine’s Day a pianist nestles amongst the fruit and veg to serenade you with songs and roses as you walk by, and many of the stalls sell foods from yesteryear including Ice Cream Chewits and Galaxy Amicelli Wafers. Cool, right? Plus it’s friendly and Northern and all of the good things you associate with markets in your head. Well-in Sheffield.
Just a ten minute walk from the station, the opening hours are a bit complex so plan your visit here.
Leicester: Leicester Market
Leicester Market is one of the largest of its kind with over 300 stalls to get to grips with. Every day, stalls open selling fresh produce ranging from traditional fruit and vegetables, to ethnic herbs and spices. In addition, bargains can be found at all other stalls which offer a diverse range of products such as clothing, footwear, bags, jewellery, second hand and household products. The indoor market houses a further 70 stalls with many specialising in fish from cod to eel and shark to lobster. Plus, the traders are generally more than happy to tell you how to prepare dishes and you can even grab recipes at some stalls. Now that’s helpful.
Leicester Market is located right in the centre of the city. The outdoor market is open Monday-Saturday (7am-6pm), and the indoor market Tuesday-Saturday (8am-5pm). Check out the website for more info.
Newcastle: Grainger Market
Grainger Market is a popular traditional indoor market offering a huge range of products from fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, to handmade crafts, hardware and haberdashery. There are cafes catering to every taste from Full English breakfasts to freshly-baked cakes and the market also has a Marks and Spencer Original Penny Bazaar - the world's smallest Marks and Spencer store. Neat.
The market is located by the monument on Nelson Street and is open Monday and Wednesday (9am-5pm) and Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (9am-5.30pm). See the website for further details, including information on the arts and craft market open every second Saturday of the month.
Edinburgh: Stockbridge Market
A relatively new market, Stockbridge will be celebrating its first birthday on September 9 - but that doesn’t make it a lesser market. Opening with just 17 stalls, the market now has over 40, most of which will let you try before you buy! Buskers and even choirs have started to turn up and the result is a fun, relaxed, and social market. If you’re in Edinburgh, pop along to help them celebrate their birthday, as they’re offering a free raffle with a packed market hamper as a prize. Go on, that could last you for months!
The market is open Thursday (12pm-7.30pm) and Sunday (10am-5pm). See their website for details.
Glasgow: Barras Market
Barras Market is located in Glasgow’s East end and is an interesting mixture of street markets, indoor markets, shops and pubs. Right next to Glasgow Barrowlands, it may look a little shabby but dig below the surface and you’ll find some bargains. Heck, The Antiques Celebrity Road Trip visited earlier this year, so it must be alright!
Barras Market is bounded by the Gallowgate and London Road, and runs from Bain Street to the Glasgow Cross. It is open Saturday and Sunday (9.30am-4.30pm). Check here for info.
Cardiff: Cardiff Market
Cardiff Market is an impressive Victorian structure in the heart of a modern, bustling city. Under one great glass roof you will find a wealth of products ranging from pots and pans to bread and butter, and from nuts and bolts to rock and roll. Selling a wide variety of the freshest produce, it is head and shoulders cheaper than a supermarket.
There are two entrances to the market; the main entrance on St. Mary Street, and a second at Trinity Street, opposite St. John's Church. It is open Monday-Saturday (8am-5.30pm). Visit the website for information, history and some very nice pictures.
Have we missed anything? Let us know by leaving a comment below!