great places to visit off the beaten path.
Columbia Road flower market and shops runs from about 8 to 1 on Sunday. Located in the East End on London at the edge of the city, with Shoreditch to the west and Brick Lane and Spitalfields nearby. Columbia Road connects with Hackney Road on both ends. On Sunday the street is transformed into oasis of foliage and flowers. Everything from bedding plants to 10 foot banana trees are up for grabs. A lot of the flower sellers grow their own plants or import flowers from around the world. This is one of the few streets in the country composed of sixty independent shops. Small art galleries sit next to cup cake shops, vintage clothes stores, English and Italian delis, garden and antique shops. There is also a wealth of great pubs, cafes and restaurants. The shops have a common thread, a love of the flower market and its history, and a refusal to be dictated to by a retail world where the sense of fun has all but gone. For more info go to their website: http://www.columbiaroad.info/
Closest Tube: Hoxton Overground