Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

How long exactly is Walthamstow Market?

Emma Curzon considers Waltham Forest Council’s claim that Walthamstow boasts Europe’s longest market With its first stalls opening for business [...]

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Walthamstow Market (Echo archive)
By Waltham Forest Echo 15 September 2021

Emma Curzon considers Waltham Forest Council’s claim that Walthamstow boasts Europe’s longest market

With its first stalls opening for business in 1885, Walthamstow Market has long been a staple of the borough and a treasured hub for the local community. 

It’s also famous for its impressive length, spanning much of Walthamstow’s High Street, and Waltham Forest Council claim it is the longest outdoor street market in the whole of Europe.

The market snakes past Walthamstow Central and St James Street stations (as well as the Echo’s own offices) and covers all but the last 100 metres of the High Street, from Cleveland Park Avenue to Pretoria Avenue.

This means it is an estimated one kilometre long and, while the council’s claim it is Europe’s longest has never been definitely disproven, there are some other contenders for the title.

Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market, the largest antiques market in the world, comes close at approximately 940 metres long, meaning just a few stalls could make all the difference.

If we consider overall size, as opposed to just length, Walthamstow Market is easily pipped by Norfolk’s Norwich Market, the largest outdoor market in Britain.

Outside London, some claim Amsterdam’s Albert Cuyp Market or the Porta Palazzo market in Italy actually deserve the title of Europe’s longest, although exact measurements are hard to find. 

However, as authorities like Guinness World Records have yet to weigh in on this vital issue, Walthamstow Market’s claim to fame is likely to remain unchallenged. In any case, it will hopefully be a source of local pride for years to come.