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Places like KENSINGTON MARKET are to be found in places where there are enough potentially individualistic customers. Shops, markets of stalls, and buildings full of shops, offering a great variety of wares of diversity and of greater interest than the conventional mainstream. By the very nature of these places they are hard to categorise, but the point is they are INTERESTING places where a vast variety of non-ordinary goods can be acquired. Goods on sale include non-mundane clothes, hair dye, non-standard jewellery, Arts & Crafts (also see Artisans), non-bland interior decor items, Gothic paraphernalia, and a great amount of treasure generally which is weird. I, ZYRA, heartily support and recommend such places as they offer freedom of choice and encourage individuality. It is therefore my intention to include on a list as many such places as possible, so if you can name any I should include, please e-mail me

The list so far is:



This is a vast area of shops and stalls, including Camden High Street and The Stables, open all week but best visited on Saturday/Sunday. Amazing places to visit, some of which have to be seen to be believed. More about Camden Market here.


Has been closed, much to the annoyance of the people who ran the shops in it, and the customers. A huge petition and campaign was done, but the place was still shut. Quite how this can make good business sense is a mystery. If anyone has any ideas or information on this please tell me. I suspect political motives at work. More about Kensington Market here


Arts & crafts and a great variety of other things. Interesting culture and architecture too. During some of the year there are street performers, some of whom are very talented.

Links so far:

Covent Garden Life www.coventgardenlife.com The online guide to Covent Garden - a lively travel guide featuring events news, restaurant reviews, shopping directory, and special offers.


www.LondonAlternativeMarket.com- Kinky Fest!

Jubilee Market.co.uk - welcome back!

And to be announced many places, including NEAL STREET EAST +44 (0) 207 240 0135.



Interior market of shops on several floors. Diversity and variety. Exploration required. The place is so weird that I don't look out of place. More about Affleck's Palace


A great many interesting shops in a building (24 Church St Manchester UK, Tel: +44 (0) 161 907 3934), and what's also interesting is the place has a website in which the shops are well documented and indexed! Take a look at www.thecoliseum.co.uk (gone?) . (Note the spelling is NOT the same as The Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre) in Rome), although the building has been artistically altered and decorated to give impressions of that edifice! There's a Coliseum Directory at Bebbideki which is also connected from the Hair Dye page.


Has now moved to other places, mostly to Affleck's Palace.



Not far from the Bull Ring, just along the road from the Virgin Megastore. A lot of places on several floors. As with Camden, there are shops and stalls within an area. Much alternativeness, and generally not expensive. More about Oasis Centre Birmingham


This has now (2001/11) CLOSED and the shops have moved to different places. However, the page at Zyra.org.uk continues to link to the shops! It has become a Virtual Alternative Market. More about Mayfair Centre Birmingham


Officially called "St Martin's Market" but everyone calls it "The Rag Market" or just "The Rag". Navigation is: Go to the Bull Ring and ASK. A good mix of mainstream and alternative on the same site. Now you can also link to the official site here: www.ragmarket.com


In the vicinity of The Custard Factory there is an artistic quarter in which there are a variety of alternative fashion shops, art galleries, interesting places in general. We're still looking into this, but in the meantime there's an amazing picture of a large dragon



This is in Division St, and is worth including, according to our reliable contact.


Summer Rain - was www.summerrain.co.uk
Summer Rain is a small business, offering fairly traded gifts, clothing and accessories. Fairy tops and gifts by famous fairy artist such as Jasmine Becket-Griffith, Amy Brown, Jessica Galbreth and Brian Froud. Funky Stargazer Nail Varnish and stripy tights to lovers of colour and fairies throughout the world. The shop, which is located in Otley, was set-up in 2003.

The business supplies unique clothes, jewellery, gifts, henna, incense, stripy tights and cards that are handmade with natural dyes, ethical and unique and many are one of a kind. The products include fair trade products and fairy goods which are hard to get from the UK, making them essential for Fairy lovers and anyone who wants something different, and they are available from the shop and website.

Summer Rain is a proud member of British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS).



2004: "For the last 18 years, Quiggins has been at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural scene. More than just a groundbreaking shopping experience, the Quiggins Centre is a long-established hothouse for Liverpool’s creative talent". www.quiggins.com - gone? surely not?! Yes, it's been got by cybersquatters. Still, we now know that Resurrection Online has come back to life!

To celebrate Liverpool being the "centre of culture", misguided political powers decided to destroy the cultural centre that was Quiggins. This scandalous piece of history has been recorded at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiggins

Bold Street

Includes Soho's


Substance 666 - a shop in Hastings (East Sussex) being alternative, selling a large range of clothing: gothic punk, club wear. Brands: Phaze, Omen, Chor, Toxico, Jordash, Emily Strange and many more, also a large head shop 100s of bongs, pipes and herbal highs, coloured contact lenses, wigs, fancy dress, all this in one large shop tele/fax 01424 438089 UK


Dinosaw Market - 01432 353655 UK


JUGGLERS - Juggling shop



Pontypridd, Wales:

Siop-Y-Bont, The Indoor Market, Pontypridd, Wales.
This is one of the oldest markets in Wales. The indoor market is open 6 days a week and the outdoor market is held every Wednesday and Saturday.
- was http://www.geocities.com/siopybont/ - sadly lost because of Geocities

Boston, Lincs:

Boston Lincolnshire UK is NOT very "Alternative", but does have some interesting shops which include:



Monster Ink Studio - was http://www.monsterinkstudio.co.uk/ - domain lost!

Metalize Tel: +44 (0) 1205 356266

Henshaws Fine Ethnic Crafts. Tel: +44 (0) 1775 723477


Smart eyes - coloured contact lenses

Nantes, France:

Rock à gogo

Rue des Bons Français,
44000 Nantes,

(URL will be added when we find it)

Semmes, Alabama:

Mystic Merchant

West Massachusetts:

Alternative Markets in such places as Northampton and Amherst, Hampshire, Mass. are written up in this review by Jason Fossella


Paul writes: There's not a place in Chicago that's quite like Kensington Market, but the closest is Bucktown on the northwest side. There's also Maxwell Street Market and the Halsted and Belmont Market

Austin, Texas:

Surely there must exist a wealth of alternative markets in Austin, considering the popular expression "Keep Austin Weird" which celebrates the diversity of the place!

Somewhere else:interesting eye contact lenses

Blue Banana - Alternative Fashion




Funky Munky Accessories HEAD SHOP - was http://www.funkymonkeylp.co.uk

Just Add Weed Smoking Accessories Head Shop - www.justaddweed.co.uk - lost to cybersquatters

Let's Go Retro!

Honour - fetish wear and equipment

Pyretta's Lair

Ji-Style Emo clothing
Emo clothing and alternative clothes that gives you a whole new look with a lot of colours.

shot dead in the head


New Rock Boots

PRICK TEES - WHO WEARS GRINS! Exclusive, amusing, witty, offensive and poignant t-shirts with attitude... See our shirts!

AzureGreen Metaphysical Witchcraft and Occult Store MAGIC!

Dr Sooz Beads list - was http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soozlinkslist.html

Poppy Pods - was http://poppypods.co.uk UK: Kevin says "I have always found a wide range of people have a fascination with Papaver Somniferum and have used them in all kinds of ways, here is a brief history- ... The Papaver Somniferum (Opium Poppy) plant was cultivated in the ancient civilizations of Persia, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Archaeological evidence and fossilized Papaver somniferum seeds suggest that Neanderthal man may have used the opium poppy over thirty thousand years ago. The first known written reference to the Papaver somniferum Opium poppy appears in a Sumerian text dated around 4,000 BC. The flower was known as hul gil, plant of joy. Papaver somniferum has also been variously called the Sacred Anchor Of Life, Milk Of Paradise, the Hand Of God, and Destroyer Of Grief. From Opium Poppy's mid-Eastern origins, its use had spread throughout Europe by 2000 BC. And by the 8th century AD Papaver somniferum was widely cultivated in Arabia, India and China. Opium Poppy flower pods grow from a lettuce-like base, atop a single stalk, sometimes over 4 feet tall. The Papaver somniferum flowers are beautiful and grace gardens world-wide. The pods are very popular in dried flower arrangements, and the seeds are commonly used in baking. ... My website makes these wonderful plants & pods available to anyone wishing to use them in many different ways, I have all kinds to choose from & I use selected photographs (many taken by myself) to show the true beauty of these magical, interesting pods, plants & seeds, I thought some of your website watchers may be interested in obtaining some of these, I have had 9000 hits on my website in 6 months, this proves to me there is a general intrigue..."

Pagan Bound - a place that sells Gothic, Wiccan and Pagan giftware. It's a place you might look for the ‘Book of Shadows’ - was http://www.paganbound.com/

Autumn Moon - Pagan supplies - Incense, candles, gifts, spells, wicca, witchcraft, ritual items, divination, dowsing and books - was www.autumnmoon.net

Your Magick Spells - Occult/Witchcraft/Magick - "Powerful Love & money spells that are guaranteed or your get your money back. The only site that offers real & genuine spell that are guaranteed". - was http://free.angeltowns.com/magickspells/index.html

Also see Witchcraft

As there exists Camden Market in London, it would be reasonable to suppose that most major cities around the world have a grand Alternative Market. If you know of such places, please tell me and I'll see about putting some links up! e-mail