Is there still a market for markets?

Lucy Meekley 9 February 2015

We all know and love the thrill of a foreign market; the German Christmas markets are renowned for their festive nature, and the Moroccan souks are more exciting to a shopper than Black Friday. But here, in England and in particular Cambridge, is there still a market for markets? Cambridge market doesn’t exactly have the crowds flocking in, and yet there’s still something I love about it.

I know we have the Grand Arcade, with its beige walls and its high street chain stores, which are undeniably great for last-minute formal outfits. But there’s something so endearing about the market stalls, something that reminds me just how old Cambridge is. Market Square in Cambridge has been a centre of trading since the Middle Ages, and when I walk down Kings Parade towards the market, I imagine what it would have been like to walk down there when the university was still new. Every week I buy fresh flowers, and have a chat with the lady that sells them. The market isn’t just somewhere to shop or browse; there’s a sense of community, as well as helping the local trade.

The markets abroad are exciting because they’re different to what we’re used to, and that’s exactly what makes Cambridge market so lovely. The produce is a great price, a little bit different and a whole lot more fun to buy. It’s been part of our town’s history for so long, and hopefully it’s here to stay.