London is home to multiple, incredible markets, attracting shoppers from all across the globe.
Yet Leadenhall Market is slightly different and, unless you're a Harry Potter fan, you may not even know it exists!
To find out more about Leadenhall Market, including how to get there, read our post below.
And, in the video below, let Sinead, a tour guide with Free Tours by Foot, take you on a virtual walkthrough of Leadenhall Market.
- What is Leadenhall Market?
- Things to Do
- Restaurants, Bars and Pubs
- Harry Potter at Leadenhall Market
- How To Get Here
- Londons Best Markets
What is Leadenhall Market?
Located in the City of London, Leadenhall Market is a true treasure - although not a market as we imagine today.
Leadenhall Market was established back in the 14th century and was designed by John Croxton.
It was initially a meat, game, and poultry market (specialising in geese) - as well as granary - which sat at approximately the centre of Roman London.
Later, leather was sold here as well as wool, butter, eggs, and cutlery as it slowly became one of the most important markets in medieval and early modern London.
Today it is slightly more upscale and many people come to admire its beauty, with the wonderful glass structure roof and other beautiful architectural designs.
Leadenhall's main draw is the ornate rooftop, as well as the cobbled floors, which were designed in 1881 and are nearly all original, although there was some redecoration done in the 1990s.
Rather than a group of stalls, Leadenhall is home to a number of permanent shops and restaurants.
Today it is also known to Harry Potter enthusiasts as the location of the Leaky Cauldron!
Find out more on our post about Harry Potter in Leadenhall.
It is also been a filming location for other movies such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hereafter, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.
Leadenhall Market is open 7 days a week to walk through and explore, however, shop, restaurant, and bar opening times vary.
Find out more on their official website.
Things to Do at Leadenhall Market
This one is obvious, but Leadenhall Market is full of shops just waiting for you to explore!
From fashions (like Barbour) to home goods, cigars to flowers, and books to shoes you can find almost anything at Leadenhall Market
Get Your Hair Done...and See a Roman Basilica!
Looking for a salon in London?
Look no further than Leadenhall Market, home to Nicholson & Griffin which have been styling hair in Leadenhall Market for well over 30 years.
And hidden in the basement of the salon sits the remains of the old Forum and Basilica which existed on this spot in Roman times.
The foundations of the building have been protected by glass and the friendly staff are more than happy to let you downstairs to see it for yourself!
Throughout the Christmas season each year, Leadenhall Market offers guided walking tours of the beautiful covered space.
Marvel at the stunning decorations, the huge tree, and the twinkling lights as a City of London Guide retails you with the fascinating history of the area.
Get a Good View
And it is directly next door to London's newest viewing gallery Horizon22 - home to some of the best views in the capital!
For information on booking SkyGarden tickets, check out our blog post.
Take a Tour
Leadenhall Market is within walking distance of a number of our popular walking tours:
Visit an Ancient Church
Just around the corner from Leadenhall sits St. Michael, Cornhill, a church with foundations dating back to the 11th century.
Rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666, this charming church is the work of four architects: Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir George Gilbert Scott, and Herbert Williams.
With a beautiful and unique chapel interior, this is a true hidden gem.
Live the War of the Worlds
One of London's newer attractions, Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience is self-described as "giving audiences the chance to live through the Martian invasion of 1898."
Using a combination of virtual reality, holograms, immersive theatre, augmented reality, and cutting-edge technology this two-hour experience takes visitors through 24 interactive scenes which engage all the senses - yes, even smell!
Fun for sci-fi lovers or anybody looking for a bit of escapism.
See the Gherkin and a Roman Tomb
One of London's most famous skyscrapers, the gherkin's official name is 30 St. Mary Axe.
Completed in 2003, it quickly became one of the world's most recognisable buildings leading to nicknames such as the bullet - or the gherkin (the pickle for North Americans), which has since stuck.
There are bars and restaurants inside but these are no longer open to the public, just the building's tenants.
But the real hidden gem here is a Roman tomb.
During the construction of the Gherkin, the skeleton of a teenage girl was discovered and dated to around 1,600 years old.
Her remains were stored in the Museum of London during construction and, once the building was complete, were reburied on the site.
The tomb is visible to the public, as is the inscription in both Latin and English which reads: To the spirits of the dead, the unknown young girl, from Roman Londons, lies buried."
Play Some MiniGolf
Right around the corner sits one of London's more unique bars: Swingers.
Swingers is an indoor mini-golf course with a full bar and outposts of popular London restaurants like Crosstown, Patty & Bun, and Pizza Pilgrims.
With discount packages and seasonal events, Swingers is a great way to spend a couple of hours in the city.
Restaurants, Bars, and Pubs at Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall is home to an incredible array of interesting places to eat and drink!
Here is a list of some of our favourites...(you can find a comprehensive list of restaurants, bars, and cafés on the Market's own website).
Named after a legendary Leadenhall goose, Old Tom's Bar is tucked underneath the market, Old Tom's bills itself as "the best cheese and whisky bar" in the capital, but they have other spirits, wine, and beer, too!
18th-century wall tiles, mood-lit ambiance, and friendly staff all line up to make this one of our favourite London wine bars.
The entrance is easy to miss so keep an eye out!
Yes, that's really what it's called! One of the capital's best cheesemongers, Cheese has been supplying city workers with tasty treats at Leadenhall Market for years.
Not only can you taste and purchase cheese, but there is also a place to sit and enjoy their menu as well as their full bar offering up cocktails, wine, and port to go along with it.
London's first Rioja Bar, La Viña offers up a Spanish dining experience with both a tapas and a bistro menu.
Make sure to order the sangria if you get the chance!
Right at the heart of Leadenhall Market sits Brokers Wine Bar and Restaurant - and an art gallery.
A unique space, Brokers offers a full menu as well as a list of fine wines.
With gaming clubs and events throughout the year, there but is always something interesting happening at Brokers.
This one is just for lunch, being open just five days a week from 11:00 - 16:00, but it's definitely worth a mention.
Dishing up "Japanese soul food," Rainbo features a delicious array of gyoza, cats, and bao for a quick and tasty street food experience.
If you're after delicious Italian food, then Osteria del Mercato is where you want to go!
Open for lunch and "supper," this is a classic Osteria featuring a small but perfectly crafted menu.
Harry Potter at Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market's beautifully covered pathways stood in for Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter Film (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone).
It's the scene when Hagrid and Harry walk through the market and then enter the Leaky Cauldron Pub through a blue door.
That blue door is located at 42 Bull’s Head Passage and, in our world, it is an optician.
In the other Harry Potter movies, Borough Market stood in for Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron (mostly to accommodate the size of the Knight Bus in the Prisoner of Azkaban by Alfonso Cuarón).
You can find out more in our Harry Potter in Leadenhall post.
How to Get Here
Located in the heart of the City of London, Leadenhall Market is in the eastern part of the centre of town and is easily accessible by public transport.
Nearest Underground Stations: Bank and Monument Stations (a short walk down Gracechyrch Street) as well Aldgate
Bus Routes: 8, 11, 15, 25, 43, 47