On Tuesday I finally bit the bullet and went out to do some Christmas shopping, a task which I truly dislike and always leave to the last-minute. Wandering around Walthamstow like a zombie I half heartedly poked around in shops, trying to resist the temptation to buy everyone gift cards. Before long I was at the top of the high street and decided to head up in to the village to see if I could find inspiration, but with no clear idea what I was looking for I diverted to Woodstreet Market and I’m glad I did. This wasn’t my first visit but Tuesdays trip did remind me how much I love this market, it also reminded me that Woodstreet isn’t on the other side of the planet it’s just 1o minutes from Walthamstow Village.
The market occupies the site of the old Crown Cinema, and is a rabbit warren of passages packed with table tops and small shops selling a variety of goods from gramophones to stools made of vegetable oil containers. There is such a large variety on offer that the market can be a bit overwhelming. The first time I visited I wasnt really sure what to make of the place, there was so much stuff I didn’t really look at anything properly. Woodstreet is a different kind of shopping experience, it’s not like the sanitized shops we are familiar with that lay everything out for us and require little brain power to navigate. To get the best from this gem of a market interact with it and its traders, take the time to browse and rummage and if you are anything like me you will probably lose track of time. Some shops aren’t always staffed but don’t let that put you off, check the windows for info as there will likely be another trader who can open it up and serve you, it’s also a good idea to check the website for opening hours and plan a visit when the shops you like the sound of are open. A full list of traders can be found here
The mix of artists, makers and antique sellers make Woodstreet Market a unique place to visit. You probably aren’t going to find an iPod or Xbox but if you want something different this market is the place to go, besides who needs an iPod when you could have a gramophone for Christmas.