Walthamstow market is the longest daily market in all of Britain & Europe. Started in 1885, it is often touted as a little piece of authentic East London. The reality doesn't really live up to the hype, though.
Walthamstow market has many good things: It's open every day. It's cheap. There are clean and accessible toilets. Shoppers are mostly locals.
So what's wrong with it? Perhaps it's best compare it side-by-side with a true little bit of authentic East London, Broadway Market in Hackney.
Both markets attract local shoppers
Both Have Authentic East End fare
Cockles and muscles at Walthamstow
An authentic jellied eel shop on Broadway market.
The difference in in the merchandise. Although there are 500 stalls at Walthamstow, much of the merchandise looks the same. There are no stalls filled with nice old junk. Instead, it's mostley plastic tat. The fruit and veg leave a lot to be desired.
The merchandise at Broadway market is a different story:
......and blocks of vintage and handmade clothing, old knick knacks and good old junk.
Walthamstow High Street, London E17
Broadway Market, London, E8