Here at Secret London, we love a good market, and we’re lucky to have so many in our capital. From street food markets galore to some of the world’s prettiest flower markets, we’re not exactly doing too badly on the old markets front. But did you know that our beloved city is also packed full of some of the country’s best antiques markets, as well as a whole host of affordable antique shops? Here’s our rundown of ten of the best spots in town if you’re looking to go trinket shopping and score yourself some real gems:
1. Portobello Road Market, West London
Arguably one of best antiques markets in London, Portobello Road Market is famous for being the world’s largest antiques market with over 1,500 stalls fighting for your attention when the market is in full swing on a Saturday. It’s also one of the city’s oldest spots in which to shop for antiques, and dates all the way back to the early 19th century.
Though Saturdays are the main day, they’re also the busiest so you may very well be fighting the crowds – Friday also has antiques on offer at the southern end of Portobello Road as well as bric-a-brac and vintage clothing stores. You’ll also find some delectable street food, freshly-baked goods, and that famous blue door from the iconic 1999 film Notting Hill here. Oh, and it’s about to go carless – don’t forget to haggle too!
2. Old Spitalfields Market, East London
Rolling into this Grade II-listed institution every Thursday is a popular all-day antiques market, billed by many as one of the best antiques markets in London. It sells everything from vintage clothing to shabby-chic art, ceramics, jewellrey and even age-old military clothing. From bargain gems to high-end vintage goods, there’s something for everyone here no matter your budget.
Famous artists like Tracy Emin regularly Old Spitalfields Market, and you’re just a stone’s throw away from some of the city’s best food and drinks stalls – perfect if you’re looking for a recharge post shop.
3. Town House, East London
Sticking around Spitalfields? Well look no further than Town House – one of London’s most beloved antiques shops. Housed in an early 18th-century building, it’s also a gallery showcasing some great shows and artworks by contemporary artists.
Rummage for treasures including oil canvases, glassware and furniture, and there’s also a lovely little café which whips up some tasty cake and piping hot coffee. Looking for something new to adorn your walls? Then get yourself to this antiques shop in E1.
4. Two Columbia Road, East London
Another antiques-shop-come-art-gallery, Two Columbia Road is the place to go if you’re wanting to find some collectable furniture which has been sourced from places as far afield as the US, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Items range from Danish stools to teak bookcases and comfy grandmother lounge chairs.
There’s also lighting on sale as well as eclectic pieces of art available. Stock is often changed around and updated, and the showroom is only open on specific days of the week, so we’d recommend checking ahead via their website to see confirmed opening times.
5. Camden Passage, North London
This picturesque spot is not actually in Camden but in Islington’s Angel, and it’s arguably one of London’s most scenic spots, featuring in films such as Wonder Woman and TV shows like Killing Eve. It’s also home to a pretty great antiques market, which runs biweekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Called Pierrepoint Arcade, it sells everything from vintage costumes to print block stamps and antique books. Further down lies the Camden Passage Market itself, which showcases an eclectic mix of vintage and retro clothing, pictures, luggage, collectables and various other bits of bric-a-brac.
As well their weekly markets, you can also find stand-alone antiques shops here such as Caroline Carrier – which sells antique porcelain – and The Antique Paper Company, which sells a plethora of antique maps.
6. Atomic Antiques, East London
This lovely antiques shop on Shoreditch High Street specalises in mid-century modern furniture, vintage lighting, rugs and ornaments, with most items dating from between the 1920s through to the 1980s.
There’s plenty of stock on offer at Atomic Antiques, with much of it coming from esteemed designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wagner and Mario Bellini. It’s also one of the most affordable antiques shops in London, and the owners take great pride in providing both excellent service and offering great quality items.
7. Vintage Heaven, East London
Vintage Heaven on Columbia Road is another complete treasure trove and a worthy addition to this roundup of antiques shops and antiques markets in London. Aptly-named, this is the place to come if you’re looking for vintage crockery, glassware, fabrics and other kitchen ware, and designers on offer include William Morris, Johnson Ware, Pyrex and Woods Ware.
There’s also a charming café out back called Cake Hole which serves a selection of yummy cakes, cream teas and English breakfast tea. Note that this antiques shop is only open on the weekends, so it’s the perfect spot to while away some time pre- or post-exploring Columbia Road Flower Market.
8. Grays Antique Centre, Central London
Better known as the Grays Antique Market, this Grade II-listed spot is situated right in the heart of Mayfair and lays claim to having one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of fine antiques, jewellery, books and vintage fashion in its expansive interior.
It’s home to over 100 specialist antiques dealers across two floors, and each has the abundance of luxury stock you would expect from an international fair. It’s not exactly cheap at the Grays Antique Centre – but you are getting luxury antiques after all – and the in-the-know dealers themselves are open to having negotiations.
9. Furniture & Arts Building, West London
Located in central Chelsea just off the famous King’s Road, you really can’t miss this antiques market and furniture dealers – partly because it is bright green, but partly because it is one of the best places to get antiques in London.
Spread over three floors, the Furniture & Arts Building – otherwise simply known as ‘FAB’ – houses a diverse collection of businesses supporting the interior industry, selling everything from rare antiquities to quirky sofa coverings and everything in between. Opening times vary from business to business, so if you are visiting a particular gallery or showroom it’s worth checking with them first to avoid disappointment.
10. Greenwich Market
Set in the UNESCO-listed borough of Royal Greenwich lies this gem of an antiques market, which combines arts and crafts and antiques with mouth-watering street food stalls which incorporate cuisines from all over the world. It makes for a great day out, and the market prides itself on promoting homegrown British designers in its various different shops and stalls.
Surrounded by independent shops, bars, pubs and cafés, Greenwich Market is a great spot to while away a few hours, and you can get everything here from vintage headwear to various different collectables. It’s worth noting that the antiques and collectables market only runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, so you’re best planning on visiting then if you’re looking to score some antique gems.