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First timers guide to visiting Preston Markets

11 April 2024

Discover Preston Markets where you'll find quality fresh local produce, amazing cafes, a cosy craft beer bar and regular events across the year.

Located in the Harris Quarter, the leisure and cultural heart of the city, a two-minute stroll from the renowned Harris Museum and Art Gallery and just around the corner from the Flag Market -  a historic square showcasing a variety of events throughout the year.

Deep rooted in a long established trading history, Preston Markets effortlessly combines a fresh contemporary feel with proud elements of its former past creating a vibrant 21st Century space, whilst retaining ornate historical features which hint at its rich history and heritage

However, as impressive as the space is, it's the market's warm and welcoming community of local, family run businesses and their friendly heartfelt northern vibes which truly make Preston Markets such a special place to visit.

Market Hall

Preston's award winning, Market Hall was successfully opened in 2018. A timber clad and glass structure was built within the original, now Grade 2 listed, Victorian Canopy, providing a bright airy space whilst not forgetting its heritage.

The Market Hall offers a great selection of independent stalls offering a wide mix of quality, fresh, local produce such as meats, fish, dairy, fruit and veg. There are also a number of retail shops selling a range of items (including phones, bags, shoes and beauty products), as well as phone and jewellery repairs, plus a piercing studio.

Alongside fabulous food and retail shopping, you'll also find a variety of inviting caf├ęs serving up a range of appetising food from traditional British staples, through to Turkish cuisine and authentic Indian street food  - all of which make perfect spots to enjoy lunch and watch the world go by or grab a quick coffee break, with many offering take out options.

Before leaving, don't forget to drop by the fantastic bronze Wallace and Gromit Statue. This popular selfie hotspot sits proudly at the south entrance to honour the famous Academy and BAFTA award winning franchise creator, Nick Park, who originated in Preston.

Market Hall entrance
Friends catching up over coffee
Local grown produce close up
Trader serving customer a sandwich
Trader serving customer
People enjoying drinks
Trader serving meat
Trader slicing cheese
Women looking at shoes
Child having selfie on Wallace and Gromit bench


Box Market

Complementing the contemporary Market Hall building, and sitting adjacent to it, is the innovative Box Market. Made up of an assortment of independent traders occupying upgraded shipping containers, it takes its inspiration from well-known markets in London and offers visitors a unique shopping space unlike anywhere else in the North-West. 

Expect a colourful assortment of independent shops selling a consortium of items and services from real ales and vintage accessories to pet supplies, an eclectic mix of records for music enthusiasts, beds and bedding, plus a specialist coffee venue - a popular stop off for coffee enthusiasts.

Taking place on Saturdays every other month, you'll also find The Real Deal Record Fair - a must visit for music fans. To find out when the next event takes place see our what's on calendar.

People enjoying drinks at Jonah's Coffee
Trader looking through vintage items with child
Customer with pet dog at stall
Trader sorting cans of beer
People browsing records


Outdoor Market

Located in front of the Market Hall under the elegant Victorian canopy, the Outdoor Market has a vintage charm. 

Here, you will find an eclectic mix of friendly independent traders. From fabulous flowers and rows of books covering a range of genres, to tables full of toys, beautiful fabrics, rugs, babywear and even military clothing, there's plenty of hidden gems to be discovered.

People browsing around the outdoor market
Trader sorting fabrics
Trader with flowers
Trader talking to customer
Close up of child looking at Bellis Daisys


Second hand market

On Tuesdays and Thursdays when the outdoor market isn't operating, you will find the second hand market in its place. Similar to the outdoor market, there's a treasure trove of items waiting for you to explore. Peruse the antiques stall, check out the vintage toys and jewellery or find an old favourite on vinyl.

With traders varying week to week, there's always something new to discover. Just make sure you get there early to snap up some great finds and grab yourself a bargain.

Close up of binoculars and cameras
Customer looking at records
Empty vintage bottles
Comic book close ups
Children browsing through bric-a-brac items


Events

We host a variety of events throughout the year, so remember to check our what's on calendar and social channels regularly to find out what's happening next.

The Orchard Bar also put on numerous events across the year - including their popular Saturday live band evenings, which take place over the summer months under the Victorian Canopy. To find out who's on and when see our what's on calendar.

Performers making bubbles
Band playing to crowd under the canopy outside The Orchard
Puppet show performance
People dancing under the canopy
Models stood on the runway


How to get here

By car

Preston Bus Station multi storey car park is the closest public parking option for visiting Preston Markets, just a two minute walk away. Full details for this car park can be found by visiting Lancashire County Council - Preston Bus Station car park.

For further parking options see Visit Preston - City Centre Parking.

By bus

Leave Preston Bus Station, cross Tithebarn Street and walk through St Johns Shopping Arcade, exit on to Lancaster Road and Preston Markets is now directly opposite on the other side of the road.

By rail

From Preston Railway Station, turn right on to Fishergate and walk towards the high street passing the shops and department stores. Keep walking until you reach the Miller Arcade on your left. Turn left in front of the arcade and walk across the Flag Market, with The Harris Museum on your right. Keep walking straight and you will pass Preston Crown Court and The Town Hall also on your right. Preston Market Hall is straight ahead.

Discover our traders

As mentioned, our traders are truly at the heart and soul of Preston Markets. With a wide mix of stalls, bars and cafes, there's a lot of exceptional shopping, food and drink packed into this contemporary space with just as much personality. For more information on our amazing traders take a look at our trader directory, where you can find individual trader opening times, contact details and more.

For wider information on Preston Markets see our FAQs section or contact us at markets@preston.gov.uk or call 01772 906048.

What our customers say

Don't just take our word for it, check out these customer reviews:

"A great source for fresh food. Leaves the supermarkets standing for taste and sheer quality of the fresh fish, meat, cheese and all the rest."

" Great quality meat at Livsey's butchers. Superb variety of fruit and veg and lovely visiting Cherry pie for a coffee and delicious toasties."

" Amazing place, lovely staff, and tasty food. Such good value. Sat outside and were offered water for ourselves and the dogs straight away, which was a nice touch. The cakes look amazing, we had breakfast, which was cooked to perfection. Can't recommend  enough."

#PrestonMarkets - Share your experiences

When you visit Preston Markets, share your experience with us using #PrestonMarkets. Whether it's an interesting buy, yummy foodie picture, or a selfie on the bench, we want to see them all!

Map address for Preston Markets

Preston Markets, Earl Street, Preston, PR1 2JA.