Saturday, 3 November 2007
An advantage of last night's excesses and my early start this morning for a meeting meant that I was positioned in the area around Borough Market at breakfast time. There's been a recent advertising campaign which says that a perfect Saturday in London can start with a visit to Borough Market, so what could I do but give it a try? The London streets around this area were showing the signs of autumn and the River Thames glittered with a bright sunny early November morning.
I walked along the cobbled streets past the old gaol known as the Clink and then turned towards the market, absolutely bustling with Londoners and canny tourists who have properly studied the areas to visit in London Town.
For most of the week, the market is a wholesale mainly fruit market, but at the weekends it turns into a retail market, with an emphasis on fine food products.
The whole area around the market is steeped in history starting with the market itself, which is supposed to date from Roman times. There's also Southwark Cathedral, a dock where Sir Frances Drake's sailing ship, the Golden Hind is moored. Its easy to see imagine the history of the area with the evocative angled and twisting streets in this part of London, just west of London Bridge.
As expected, and like many of the markets of London, there has been a stop/start type of existence over the centuries as a consequence of the River and traffic and congestion. Nowadays, the whole area around this part of Southwark is being overhauled and there is a busy pulse and vibe. There's also a good supply of pubs, including the Globe that was used in Bridget Jones' diary, the nearby Anchor which was used in Mission Impossible 1, various streets that formed part of the backdrop to "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and even part of Harry Potter was set in the area around the Market.