Antiquing is a popular pursuit in London, favoured by both locals and visitors from all over the world alike. As a city which is rich with so much history, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that London offers a vast variety of great locations for indulging in your love of antique hunting!
From antique markets through to galleries and shops dedicated to antiques, here you can find almost anything from pottery to antique paintings.
In this blog, we’ll take a quick look at some of the best locations and top tips for making a success of your own antique-hunting adventures…
Visit Portobello Road Antiques Market
One of London’s finest – and most famous – antique markets, Portobello Road has developed a worldwide reputation for excellence, making it popular with both Londoners and visitors from around the world staying at the Barbican Rooms by Montcalm.
The area is a haven for fans of high quality antique goods and vintage fashion, as well as great historic jewellery. Portobello Road Antique Market is also home to more than 1000 dealers, so you’ll never be short of opportunities to find something extra special.
The market is open all week, but comes alive at the weekend. For those who don’t mind crowds, this is the optimum time to visit. Every dealer and vendor is specialised in their particular area, so you will also have the chance to discuss your requirements in depth.
Stroll to Bermondsey Antiques Market
Close to one of London’s top landmarks, The Shard, Bermondsey Antiques Market has around 200 stalls of antiques to discover, and has earned its reputation as one of the top destinations in London for quality antiques and artefacts.
The market is also regarded as a haven for those seeking an antique bargain, and there are timeless pieces on offer including china, furniture, photographs and engravings. While there is plenty to see, the best pieces tend to be snapped up early in the day, and vendors generally begin to pack up their stalls in the early afternoon.
For a real flea market-style shopping experience, this is one of the best places to find glassware, antique furniture and silver – and you’ll have plenty of time to celebrate your latest acquisition with a meal at Hankies Montcalm.
Take a trip to Camden Passage
This quiet area includes more than 200 antique dealers, so don’t let it’s peaceful, unassuming exterior fool you. Located in Islington, its one of the major hotspots for antique hunting in London, and includes four antique markets which cater to a wide variety of tastes.
Here you’ll find everything from first edition books to vintage clothing and antique furniture. One of the markets in the area is Pierrepont Arcade, which offers a selection of stunning costume jewellery and antique gifts, ideal for discerning clientele staying at the Montcalm Hotel London.
Camden Passage is particularly recommend for those who aren’t quite sure what they’re looking for, but love the process of browsing as much as finding that special item itself. There’s lots of stalls to choose from, and you’ll be far from the major hustle and bustle and city life while you search.
Antique markets take place at different times throughout the week, but there is almost always something happening here for antique hunters.
Explore Alfie’s Antique Market
The largest indoor antique market in London, Alfie’s Antique Market is an impressive hunting ground for fans of fine antiques, offering four floors of goods and around 100 antique dealers located in this space.
During the last 30 years, the venue has sold everything from collectable antiques to clothing, furniture and home décor. Some of the most popular pieces are sourced from the art deco movement, giving them extra appeal to fans of this particular era. There are also lots of great finds from the mid-20th century.
Continue your hunt at Brick Lane Market
This market is actually comprised of several markets, with five connected venues commonly known as the Truman Markets. The vintage market is particularly recommended for antique hunters, offering a selection of collectables and unique antiques.
Brick Lane Market is open from Friday-Sunday, making it the ideal weekend venue for some antique shopping while enjoying London hotels special offers.
Check out Greenwich Antique Market
To combine the best of London antique hunting with an area rich in local history, Greenwich Antique Market should definitely be a must-see. It is set within a World Heritage Site, and open all week for more opportunities to shop.
There are 120 stalls to choose from, which includes a world of great antiques ranging from lesser-known independent brands to big brand names and designer pieces. Antiques are mostly to be found here on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, though Friday also offers some arts and crafts for you to explore alongside your vintage shopping excursion.
Head for Old Spitalfields Market
Another market which can be enjoyed all week long, Old Spitalfields Market is also the ideal space for finding hundreds of vendors and items sourced from around the world.
This market specialises in the unusual and the eclectic, with fine art, vintage clothing and original antique pieces proving particularly popular. If you’re eager to get your hands on something truly special, then this is the perfect place to go antique hunting.
Continue to Grays Antique Centre
Only a few minutes from famed London department store Selfridges, this is a must-see experience for shoppers looking out for antiques in London. There are over 200 independent vendors here, including specialists in collectables, vintage goods and much more.
The centre is located in a distinctive red building, and noted in particular for its wealth of vintage fashion and jewellery. Silverware is also a major feature of the venue, alongside some truly impressive artwork. You never know quite what you’ll find, so be sure to allocate a few hours to explore in full.