London’s best flea markets
Less thought out is Deptford Market, a sprawling, messy mass of stallholders peddling everything under the sun. Sorting through half-used tins of talcum powder and broken electronics makes finding treasure even more rewarding, but don’t attempt to barter for it. Traders have no time for punters they think are taking the piss.
Every Wed, Fri and Sat, 9am-5.30pm.
Set in the busy heart of Stoke Newington’s Church Street, Hackney Flea Market offers an eclectic range of items including jewellery, vintage fabrics, mid-mod furniture, old maps and kitchenalia. Homemade delicacies are on hand throughout the day, as well as DJs, to keep sugar levels and spirits high. The organisers also run Peckham Salvage Yard, one of London’s largest outdoors weekend markets, where you can get your hands on vintage threads, twee ceramics, atomic-age electricals and antique luggage.
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Though not everyone is a fan of the redevelopment of Spitalfields (particularly those pushed out by the rising rents), the market has had a new lease of life. The East End stalwart now comprises the refurbished 1887 covered market and the adjacent modern shopping precinct. Browsing options include creations by up-and-coming designers, vintage clobber, crafts and more. Don’t miss the Vinyl Market. On the first and third Fridays of the month, vinyl junkies can flick through those liquorice pizzas to find everything from obscure ’60s psychedelic albums to ’90s New York hip-hop.
Monday - Friday, 10am-8pm, Saturdays 6pm, Sundays 5pm
For those willing to travel, this bi-monthly market is worth a trek. A hotspot for prop buyers, it’s still great for average joes looking for anything-but-average homeware. It attracts European traders too, so you don’t have to cross the Channel for your French farmhouse furniture. The launch of a second location at Sandown Park Racecourse this April means double the vintage joy.
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You’ll find china, silver and glassware shimmering in the morning light at Bermondsey Antiques Market. Early birds will be rewarded with bargains and first dibs on jewels, eighteenth-century Italian paintings and French maps. The way Londoners shop has changed drastically since the market’s inception in 1855, but a rummage through the dusty offerings here still feels like you’ve wandered into a Dickens novel (something you really don’t get from Westfield).
Every Friday, 6am-2pm.
Though Brick Lane Market consists of a variety of markets in and around the East End, the biggest draw by far is the Sunday UpMarket in the Old Truman Brewery. Here, you’ll find a buzzing crowd of arty students, bona fide locals and hip attention-seekers riffling through vintage stalls, quirky crafts by up-and-coming designers and stacks of old vinyl.
Clapton’s Chatsworth Road sure is old. In the ’30s it had 200 stalls peddling their wares five days a week. After the war, the market dwindled and finally petered out in 1990 leaving Chatsworth Road bereft. Chatsworth returned regularly in 2010, thanks to a campaign from locals and traders. Now you’ll find over 40 stalls selling ethically sourced garb from India, natural knitting wool, vintage accessories alongside stalls showcasing the work of local designers, plus gourmet foods foods, cakes and preserves – and more than its fair share of hipsters.
Every Sunday, 11am-4pm.
Jewellery, photography, embroidery, arts and craft stalls, with a few food traders too. Antiques and collectables dealers join them on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays trading in jewellery, vintage clothes, old books, 1950s and ’60s ceramics, lamps and more. On the last Friday of every month you'll find the Moonlight Market on Greenwich Church Street, which is the Vintage Market in its evening guise; staying open until 11pm, with live music and a pop-up bar.
Every day, 10am-5.30pm.
Venue says Foodism 100 Awards in Greenwich Market. 24th Jan from 6.30pm-10pm. Tickets on Eventbrite.
The charming covered market hall located beside Covent Garden’s famous Piazza. Mondays from 5am-5pm are devoted to antiques and collectables. Browsers will find an eclectic array of knick-knacks, including porcelain plates, old coins, art deco figurines and ‘John the Hat’, who has flogged steel and silver cutlery here for over 20 years. At the general market (Tue-Fri, 10.30am-7pm), you’ll find souvenirs, leather journals, movie memorabilia and those fancy pop-up greetings cards. If you’re looking for unique gifts head to the weekend arts and crafts market (Sat-Sun, 10am-6pm).
Best known for antiques and collectibles, this is actually several markets rolled into one: antiques start at the Notting Hill end; further up are food stalls; under the Westway and along the walkway to Ladbroke Grove are emerging designer and vintage clothes on Fridays (marginally less busy) and Saturdays (invariably manic).
A small market with a stellar stall line-up focusing mainly on items for the home. Look out for quirky pieces such as tea sets from the ’30s, coat hooks from the ’50s and printed curtains from the ’60s. Kitchen finds aside, there’s also vintage clothing on sale for those who can’t live without a retro fashion fix – items range from brooches and petticoats to tea dresses and handbags.
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Come rain or shine, the Capital Carboot in Pimlico is a-go-go. The stalls are hit and miss depending on the sellers of the day, but that’s all part of the car booty challenge. You’ll usually find indoor and outdoor pitches crammed with books, clothing, ceramics, jewellery and bikes and, if you want first choice, you can pay £5 for entry from 10.15am. You’ll only part with a quid from 11.30am, meaning there’s time to spend those extra pounds on a bacon butty beforehand.
Every Sun, 10.15am-2.30pm.
Go on an early morning trip this primary school playground packed with stalls selling retro furniture, vintage clothing, magazines, secondhand fabrics and trinkets in need of a new home. The Princess May School Carboot welcomes walk-in sellers so you’ll often find chic locals who’ve recently emptied their wardrobes on hand to help you style yourself a brand (nearly) new outfit.
Every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, 7am-2pm.
One of London’s most famous car boots, this sale has been growing rapidly since starting out in 1996 and now attracts a trendy crowd of Portobello passers-by and traders looking for hot bargains. More reminiscent of a flea market than a car boot, a recent rummage around this sale provided us with a vintage birdcage, a beautiful violin and some nearly new Cath Kidston crockery.
Every Satuday, 7.30am-3pm.
This weekend vintage and makers market in foodie hotspot Flat Iron Square is less about old tat and more about careful curation. With a colourful display of eclectic goods, from furniture and fashion to books and vinyl, you’ll definitely end up leaving with something. It just probably won't be what you came for.
Every Saturday, 11am - 6pm and Sundays 10am - 5pm
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