Salvage and reclamation yards can supercharge the sustainability (and style!) of your big build projects, but what about furniture and decoration? That’s where the glory of antiques markets come in, and thankfully, London has some of the world’s very best!
There are few pleasures quite like discovering that perfect piece of inspiration, tucked around the back of an antiques market. It’s not unlike unearthing a rare treasure; something that was just meant for you!
And besides that, the benefits to sustainability are immense! By shopping for furniture and decorations at a good antiques market you will be…:
- upcycling or recycling pre-loved items, which is not only zeroing out the previous owners potential waste (in disposing of the item), but in all likelihood you’re removing your future waste from the cycle too, because…
- by buying furniture of a higher quality – items that’ve already survived one owner and still look good! – rather than buying a disposable, flat-packed modern alternative, you’re investing in something that you’ll keep for years, and with a little luck and care, you’ll be able to take to another flea market in the years to come!
- cutting down on the waste and pollution of transportation and packaging.
- supporting local businesses and collectors, building stronger communities.
But where do we find the best inspiration and the bestest bargains?!
These are the very best Antiques Markets around London and the UK.
1. Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair
The mission of Judy’s Vintage Fair is to rid your home of expensive replicas and to help you focus instead on quality and affordability!
This celebration of mid-20th-century living brings together a great group of passionate, vintage traders, all offering furniture and homewares that don’t break the bank.
2. The South London Vintage Furniture Flea
The South London Flea prides itself on its focus on quality and affordability. It revels in mid-20th-century with vintage traders from all over the UK offering furniture and homewares that don’t cost the earth.
3. Sunbury Antiques
Sunbury Antiques has been regularly taking over Kempton Park Racecourse since 1979. Such is its popularity that, as of 2018, Sunbury has expanded to host an event at Sandown Racecourse too, allowing Sunbury to exist for a weekend every six months at alternating locations.
This is a big win for the flea marketeers as these events are among the most fun and varied options in the UK: recognised as one of Europe’s leading antiques markets.
4. Brick Lane & Old Spitalfields Markets
Brick Lane is one of London’s most exciting and vibrant streets. Crammed full of fantastic Indian restaurants and regularly changing shops and exhibitions, it’s always an inspiring (and appetizing!) place to stroll. But every Sunday, the Lane turns into a Market, crowded with stalls that are bound to inspire you.
But if that isn’t quite enough, just around the corner, in the shadow of the beautifully minimal Aldwych Church, you’ll find the Old Spitalfields Market. Just look at the size of it!..
5. Alfie’s Antique Market
Alfie’s is a London staple, beloved by the gliterati for it’s off-the-beaten-track anonymity as much as its great range of items. Tucked away in Lisson Grove, between better known London addresses like Regents Park and Notting Hill, Alfie’s is well worth a visit.
6. Aladdin’s Cave
Aladdin’s is now sufficiently established to err on the side of a showroom rather than being a flea market, nevertheless, this collection of second-hand furniture and antiques offers some great finds and more than the odd bargain. Well worth a visit.
7. Modern Shows
A flea market dedicated to modernism! This is well worth checking out!!
Rarely in the same location and often when you’ll least expect it, you’ll have to sign up to their newsletter to even stand a chance of knowing when or where to go, but don’t let that uncertainty stop you! This market is worth the wait!
8. The Peanut Vendor
The Peanut Vendor is high-end antiques with the prices to prove it. Great for a browse and only ever with the most fascinating of top-shelf stock, maybe you really can afford that £225 ceramic face vase.
9. Two Columbia Road
This is another one that evolved from a market into a specialty shop with an outstanding collection of the very best furniture. So, perhaps not a real flea market, but if you’re into 20th century modernist furniture and can’t wait for the next Modern Show, then checking out Columbia Road could be the fix your need.
10. Atomic Antiques
Last and certainly not least is this trip to Shoreditch, where Atomic’s fun collection of furniture and decoration will be sure to tickle your affordable antique needs.