Dreddy Torrence

Written by Dreddy Torrence

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Best-japanese.co.uk

Billingsgate Fish Market, located in London, is a historic landmark that has been captivating visitors for centuries. As one of the oldest and largest fish markets in the world, it holds a significant place in the city’s history and culture. With its bustling atmosphere and impressive seafood offerings, Billingsgate Fish Market attracts not only locals but also tourists from around the globe.Intriguingly, behind the scenes, there are numerous fascinating facts about this iconic market that many people are unaware of. From its origin as a medieval market to its modern-day operations, Billingsgate Fish Market has a rich and vibrant history. In this article, we will delve into twelve intriguing facts that will give you a deeper appreciation for this remarkable landmark. So, let’s dive in and explore the hidden treasures of Billingsgate Fish Market!

Key Takeaways:

  • Billingsgate Fish Market, located in London, has a rich history dating back to the 11th century and is the largest inland fish market in the UK, offering a wide variety of fish and seafood at wholesale prices.
  • Visitors can experience the vibrant atmosphere of Billingsgate Fish Market, witness fish auctions, and enjoy sustainable and quality seafood while learning about the fish trade and its importance.
Table of Contents

The History of Billingsgate

Billingsgate Fish Market in London has a rich history dating back to the 11th century. It was originally a general market and became a specialized fish market in the 16th century. Today, it is the United Kingdom’s largest inland fish market, handling about 25% of the fish consumed in the country.

Prime Location

Billingsgate Fish Market is strategically located in the heart of London, near the Canary Wharf financial district and the River Thames. Its central location makes it easily accessible for buyers and suppliers from all over the country.

The Early Bird Catches the Fish

If you want to experience the hustle and bustle of Billingsgate Fish Market, you need to rise early. The market opens at 4 am, and the busiest time is between 5 am and 8 am when fishmongers and chefs carefully select the best catch of the day.

A Wide Variety of Fish

Billingsgate Fish Market offers an impressive selection of fish and seafood. From fresh oysters and lobsters to salmon, haddock, and cod, you can find a vast array of options to suit every taste and culinary preference.

Expert Buyers

The fishmongers and buyers at Billingsgate Fish Market are experienced professionals who have in-depth knowledge of fish quality and species. They use their expertise to select the finest fish and ensure that only the best makes its way to the market.

Wholesale Prices

One of the main advantages of Billingsgate Fish Market is its wholesale pricing. Buyers can purchase fish and seafood at competitive prices, making it a popular destination for restaurants, hotels, and catering businesses.

A Global Marketplace

Billingsgate Fish Market sees a diverse range of buyers and suppliers from around the world. It has become a global hub for the fish trade, with imports and exports from countries like Norway, Iceland, and Spain being a common sight.

Vibrant Atmosphere

The market is alive with energy, noise, and activity. The vibrant atmosphere of Billingsgate Fish Market adds to its allure, attracting both locals and tourists who want to witness the incredible sights and sounds of a traditional fish market in action.

Fish Auctions

Billingsgate Fish Market also holds regular fish auctions where buyers compete to acquire the best catch. These lively auctions add an element of excitement and competition to the market, with prices fluctuating based on demand and supply.

Sustainability and Quality

Billingsgate Fish Market prioritizes sustainable fishing practices and works closely with suppliers to ensure the quality and traceability of the fish being sold. This commitment to sustainability helps protect fish stocks and ensure a steady supply for future generations.

Education and Outreach

Billingsgate Fish Market offers educational tours and workshops to schools, colleges, and culinary institutions. It aims to promote awareness about the fish trade, sustainability, and the importance of selecting and preparing fish responsibly.

A Taste of Billingsgate

If you want to savor the fresh seafood from Billingsgate Fish Market, you can visit the on-site seafood restaurant. It offers a delightful dining experience with a menu featuring a variety of mouthwatering fish dishes.


In conclusion, Billingsgate Fish Market in London is a fascinating landmark with a rich history and unique atmosphere. It has been a hub of fish trade and commerce for centuries, making it a must-visit destination for seafood enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

From its origins as a small riverside market to its current status as the largest inland fish market in the UK, Billingsgate has evolved and adapted to the changing times. Today, it continues to attract visitors from all over the world who come to witness the bustling fish auctions and sample the freshest seafood.

Whether you’re in the mood for delicious fish and chips, want to learn about the different species of fish, or simply want to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, Billingsgate Fish Market is a place that offers a truly unique and memorable experience.

So, the next time you find yourself in London, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this captivating landmark and see firsthand the fascinating world of Billingsgate Fish Market.


1. How old is Billingsgate Fish Market?

Billingsgate Fish Market dates back to the 10th century and has been a prominent trading center for fish in London for over 900 years.

2. Is Billingsgate Fish Market open to the public?

Yes, Billingsgate Fish Market is open to the public. However, it is primarily a wholesale market, so it is recommended to visit early in the morning to witness the bustling fish auctions.

3. Can I buy seafood at Billingsgate Fish Market?

Yes, visitors have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of fresh seafood at Billingsgate Fish Market. However, keep in mind that it is primarily a wholesale market, so prices and quantities may be geared towards bulk purchases.

4. Are there any restaurants or cafes at Billingsgate Fish Market?

Yes, there are several seafood restaurants and cafes located in and around Billingsgate Fish Market. These establishments serve delicious seafood dishes made from the freshest ingredients available at the market.

5. What is the best time to visit Billingsgate Fish Market?

The best time to visit Billingsgate Fish Market is early in the morning, when the fish auctions are taking place and the market is bustling with activity. This is when you can witness the freshest catches being traded.

After exploring the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of Billingsgate Fish Market, why not embark on another seafood adventure? Discover the enigmatic allure of Jagalchi Fish Market, a bustling hub in Busan, South Korea, where fresh catches and local culture intertwine. From early morning auctions to diverse culinary delights, Jagalchi offers a captivating glimpse into the world of seafood trade. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of this iconic market, and uncover the secrets that make it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.

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