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Hotels near the Billingsgate Fish Market

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Billingsgate Fish Market

Billingsgate Fish Market may not be the seafood mecca it once was - it is only processing a third of what it was 20 years ago - but is still Britain's main distribution point, servicing catches from Aberdeen to Penzance.

The market is, by law, "free and open", giving everyone the opportunity to catch a piece of this dawn drama and perhaps even a nice bit of hake, sea bream or even Caribbean parrot fish.

Walk the open floors, pass rows of wholesalers stands and you will find every imaginable fish being traded. Whether it's salmon from the United Kingdom or Norway, live lobsters from Canada, farmed trout and turbot, Thai prawns from Sri Lanka or cured and smoked fish and roe, it's all there. There are also ready-prepared products such as fish soups, cooked shellfish and pâtés. Other items include poultry, cooking oils, potatoes and trade sundries.

Billingsgate was originally a general market for corn, coal, iron, wine, salt, pottery, fish and miscellaneous goods and does not seem to have become associated exclusively with the fish trade until the 16th century. The original Billingsgate Market in Lower Thames Street traded there for 900 years, but when the construction of the dual carriagway got underway in the 1970s, it became obvious that the market had to move from the site.

The move to the Isle of Dogs was enabled by the the City Corporation and the Docklands Joint Committee, together with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, who purchased the site from the Port of London Authority. Each year since the move the Lord Mayor of London has presented a nominal rent on behalf of Billingsgate in the form of a gift of fish to the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, which is then distributed to old people's homes in the borough.

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Billingsgate Fish Market Information

When: Daily; not Mon

Where: London


Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 5am-8.30am; Sun (shellfish only) 6am-8am

Address: Trafalgar Way, London, E14 5ST

Hotels near Billingsgate Fish Market

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