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Leadenhall Market is one of London’s most historic markets (originally built in the 14th century) and an equally beautiful place to visit – the interiors are stunning and intricately painted. Walk along the covered, cobbled streets and lanes in Leadenhall Market, browse the stalls or simply grab a beer or wine at one of the old bars here and marvel at the architecture, imagining all that has happened here over the last several hundred years.
Leadenhall Market History
Located in the historic heart of London, Leadenhall Market dates back to the 14th century – originally a fresh produce market selling game and meat, it has now given way to more traditional and boutique shops.
Over the years, Leadenhall Market has been rebuilt and repurposed several times (most recently in the 1990s) and survived significant historic events including the Great Fire of London – which started in nearby Pudding Lane – and the World War blitz bombings.
According to Leadenhall Market’s official site, the original market in the 1st century was built on the site of Roman Courts and was the largest market North of the Alps, in an area larger than that of Trafalgar Square.
Leadenhall Market as a filming location
Leadenhall is one of the most famous Harry Potter filming locations in London. Part of the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron pub and the wizardly wonderful shopping street Diagon Alley. The auction house in the first Lara Croft movie (with Angelina Jolie) was also set here, and it was also the market place in the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Bizarrely, Pizza Express in Leadenhall also became a South American newspaper office in the Russell Crowe film ‘Proof of Life’ and the Erasure music video for ‘Love to Hate You’ was also predominantly filmed in Leadenhall Market.
Leadenhall Market Bars
The Lamb Tavern
This historic pub originally dates back to 1780 (although the current building dates back to 1881). Very popular with business types after work, use this as an excuse to also explore Leadenhall after dark.
A Greene King brewery bar, the New Moon pub is a traditional style boozer, compact and cosy with some seating outside located under the cover of the Leadenhall Market roof.
Bedales Wine Bar
A subterranean wine bar boasting a huge selection of varietals as well as special events like wine pairing and cheese tasting – nom!
Leadenhall Market’s first craft beer bar, real ale, draft cider and keg beers are all part of the mix here – bar snacks such as halloumi skewers are also available to help soak all the crafty goodness.
There is something to suit all tastes and budgets in Leadenhall Market, from the ubiquitous but inexpensive (ish) Pizza Express to the finer dining of osterias and wine bars
Cheaper, chain restaurants in Leadenhall include Italian fare from Gino D’Acampo, tapas at La Tasca and hot snacky fare from Leon.
Decided on a deli style affair? There is also a dedicated cheese shop called ..erm..Cheese or The Regis Snack Bar.
As with the restaurant scene here, the stores are a mix of several independent stores, mingling with a majority of regular high street stores – despite Leadenhall Market’s name, just don’t expect a ‘market’ in the traditional sense. These are all permanent stores, from the cheap as but terrific trappings of Ikea wannabe Flying Tiger and fine fashion from Reiss.
Leadenhall Market Events
Leadenhall has an eclectic events schedule from the famous annual pancake day race (be a ‘tosser’ but in a good way!) to live music and alfresco dining events, where the cobbled streets are lined with long tables – bunting from the roof usually marks special occasions. Click here to see what events are on at Leadenhall .
Leadenhall Market Location
Leadenhall Market is in the heart of the city in London’s famous Square Mile area. Easily accessible from Liverpool Street station and Monument or Bank Tube stations, the building can be explored on foot.
If you are looking to locate it from above (e.g looking down from the likes of the Shard or Sky Garden), you’re best to look for the nearby taller and modern Leadenhall Building first, also known locally as the ‘Cheesegrater Building’, because of its unusual external shape.
How to get to Leadenhall Market
Address: Gracechurch St, Langbourn, London EC3V 1LT
Leadenhall Market is a short walk from many train and London Underground stations:
London Fenchurch Street Station (8 mins walk)
London Cannon Street Station (8 mins walk)
Liverpool Street Station (13 mins walk)
Moorgate Station (13 mins walk)
LONDON UNDERGROUND (TUBE)
Monument Station (4 mins walk)
Bank Station (6 mins walk)
Aldgate Station (8 mins walk)
FURTHER READING: Things to do in the historic Square Mile in the City of London >
More London blog posts
- Best walks in London – South Bank riverside walk (with map)
- Borough Market guide – London’s most famous food market
- Guide to Maltby Street Market in London
- Sky Garden London – how to get free tickets
- Columbia Road Flower Market, London – a complete guide
- Top things to do in King’s Cross
- Old Spitalfields Market in East London – travel guide
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