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Smithfield Market Tours

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Smithfield Market
One of the largest wholesale meat markets in Europe, Smithfield Market—also known as London Central Markets—is frequented by chefs, butchers, and curious tourists. Located in the oldest part of London, the area has hosted livestock markets for close to a millennia and was also site of bloody public executions in the Middle Ages.

The Basics
Soak up the history at Smithfield Market—it was once a field used for grazing animals, has hosted medieval jousting tournaments, and was the spot where “heretics,” including Scottish revolutionary Sir William Wallace, were executed. Smithfield was transformed from a livestock market to a covered meat market in the 19th century by architect Sir Horace Jones. Today, come to experience the only major wholesale meat market left in central London.

Smithfield Market may be included on select walking or bike tour itineraries of London, and, thanks to its association with William Wallace, is a highlight stop on haunted London tours.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Smithfield Market is located on one level and is accessible for visitors with limited mobility.
  • The market may be frequented by butchers and restaurant professionals, but it is also fully accessible to members of the public.
  • Smoking, eating, and drinking are all strictly prohibited.

How to Get There
Take the Circle, Hammersmith & City, or Metropolitan Tube lines to Barbican or Farringdon Stations; Farringdon is also served by Thameslink trains. Smithfield Market can be reached by a number of bus lines, and can be accessed by taxi, by bike, or on foot.

When to Get There
Smithfield Market is open from 2am until midmorning, Monday–Friday (stalls close at different times, but it’s recommended to visit before 7am if you want to see them all open). The market is closed on weekends and bank holidays.

Planned Revitalization
While Smithfield Market has attracted the interest of developers, various heritage organizations have fought to protect the landmark, which is run by the City of London Corporation. Recently, the corporation announced that the Museum of London would take over some Smithfield buildings and its intention to relocate to Smithfield to outside the city. 
Address: East Market Building, London EC1A 9PQ, England
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15 Tours and Activities to Experience Smithfield Market

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Clerkenwell, Farringdon & Smithfield: A whimsical audio walking tour in LondonPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Clerkenwell, Farringdon & Smithfield: A whimsical audio walking tour in London

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Clerkenwell, Farringdon, and Smithfield are three of the City of London’s most historic districts. This audio tour lets you explore at your own pace with a downloadable guide and a pre-programmed map route that follows the path of the Romans. Stop along the way to see sights such as the Crown Tavern, Smithfield Market, and the William Wallace Memorial; hear stories of the area’s fascinating history; and pass cultural institutions such as the Barbican Centre and the Museum of London.
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  • 1 to 3 hours

Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Tour of Haunted LondonBus Tours

Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Tour of Haunted London

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Learn about London’s darkest tales on a haunted London bus and walking tour. Experience the grisly histories of execution, rebellion, madness, and murder that shadow this ancient city. Discover the stories and sites of Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd, and the Cock Lane Ghost. Visit the medieval Smithfield Market and the monument of Sir Willam Wallace, then finish in Trafalgar Square where you can purchase a tasty pub dinner and drink.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Golden Classic London Bike Tour Bike & Mountain Bike Tours

Golden Classic London Bike Tour

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Discover the history and diversity of London by bike on a sightseeing tour. Led by a guide, pedal past the city's top sites, including Covent Garden, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Trafalgar Square. Along the way, learn about the city’s colorful history — the glorious, the infamous, and everything in between.  
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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Rebels, Radicals and Rough Justice: Clerkenwell Audio Tour by VoiceMapPrivate Sightseeing Tours

Rebels, Radicals and Rough Justice: Clerkenwell Audio Tour by VoiceMap

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The walk starts at Farringdon which was the terminus of the first Underground Line in the world. The title – Rebels, Radicals and Rough Justice - characterises the rest of the route. We will be following the footsteps of Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, and William Wallace, Scottish patriot. Both met violent deaths in Smithfield, where cattle were also slaughtered until 1855. We also meet Lenin who lived here before he overthrew the Russian Tsar. We'll see three ancient monasteries and London’s oldest hospital. We'll finish by the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court. This was built on the site of Newgate prison, where many famous inmates were incarcerated before being publicly executed until the 19th Century. The tour is ready whenever you are and the audio plays automatically at exactly the right time and place using your smartphone's GPS and the VoiceMap mobile app, which also works offline.
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  • 50 minutes
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  • 50 minutes

The London WalkLuxury Tours

The London Walk

Step back in time through London's history on this walking tour along the River Thames. Your guide will follow a carefully curated itinerary designed to show you the must-see locations related to World War II, Roman London, the Civil War, and the British Empire. Walking lets you get up close to the sights, as well as take in the sounds and smells of the city.
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  • 2 hours
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London's Hidden Gems and Secret History Private Guided TourLuxury Tours

London's Hidden Gems and Secret History Private Guided Tour

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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Secret Old London Guided Walking TourWalking Tours

Secret Old London Guided Walking Tour

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Uncover some of the oldest and most memorable sections of London on this historical walking tour. The 1.5-hour excursion reveals remarkable stories from London's rich past including tales of medieval fairs and Tudor executions. Journey through the important area of Smithfield, and take in all the street scenes and architecture your eyes can handle.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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$20.40 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Ghosts & Execution TourLuxury Tours

Ghosts & Execution Tour

Your guide has been leading tours for over 20 years and knows many stories about these locations that his research has found and many are very hard to find. Also you will learn lots of interesting facts about the City of London.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 2 hours
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London Crimes And Punishment Private Walking TourHalf-day Tours

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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

London American Heritage ToursHalf-day Tours

London American Heritage Tours

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  • 5 hours
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From  
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

London Ghost Walk Private Tour for Kids and FamiliesBus Tours

London Ghost Walk Private Tour for Kids and Families

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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Ghosts and Execution tourLuxury Tours

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Roman And Medieval London (Private Half Day Tour)Half-day Tours

Roman And Medieval London (Private Half Day Tour)

Our traditional iconic London Black Cab that will ‘double-up’ as Time Machines for this rather special historical experience! We take you right back in time to visit the old Roman Wall and this trip includes a special visit to the Roman Amphitheatre at the Guildhall Art Gallery – where you will also view the City Corporation’s Magna Carta, a document which is 800 years old! The Tower of London is a ‘World Heritage Site’, and while you are there on the cobblestone streets that surround this great castle, we shall introduce you to ‘Dead Man’s Hole!' You will get to enjoy (or endure) the Execution site on Tower Hill, where your Guide will explain the real origins of that well-used phrase ‘Can I hang with you?’ Learn the story of the ‘Great Fire of London’ and a chance to view many of Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural gems, including his masterpiece St. Paul’s Cathedral which replaced old the Gothic place worship which was destroyed in that conflagration And much more!
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From  
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  • Free Cancellation

007 In London - Licensed To Thrill! (Private Half Day Spy Mysteries Tour)Half-day Tours

007 In London - Licensed To Thrill! (Private Half Day Spy Mysteries Tour)

An accredited London Private Driver Guide who specialises in 007,  will provide a panoramic sightseeing trip with a running commentary - punctuated by stops for stand up presentations at James Bond related sites and spy mystery locations in the capital city of world espionage. Our 007 Experts will get you around ALL of London’s key James Bond Movie Location Sites, from ‘Dr. No’ to ‘Spectre’ – you can make Ian Fleming’s inspired creation come to life! James Bond fans not only get to see those movie scene sites – but also London’s real-life secret service world in Whitehall and Downing Street neighbourhood plus most of London’s iconic landmarks (including 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and many of London’s other famous sightseeing attractions. This unique experience also includes a special visit inside one of the world’s most famous spaces, the National Gallery - and even some sneak preview of the movie site in ‘No Time to Die’ which is ‘Bond 25’ and due for release in April 2020.
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  • 4 hours
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Whisky Adventure with a ScotsmanHalf-day Tours

Whisky Adventure with a Scotsman

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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Smithfield Market?