The UK’s Nine Best Antiques Fairs and Vintage Markets

Not only are antiques fairs and flea markets great for treasure hunting among vintage homeware, furniture and collectables, they also make for a fun day out. We’ve found some of the UK’s biggest and best – including rural get-togethers and others easily reached from London.

You needn't be a seasoned dealer to enjoy a treasure-hunting day out at an antiques fair and flea market. With better quality products than a run-of-the-mill car boot and better bargains (and more dealers) than you'll find in brick-and-mortar stores, the UK's fairs are growing in line with the rising demand for vintage products and more sustainable, second-hand shopping. So, we've pulled together some of the country's best spots to prowl for mid-century furniture, kitsch kitchen utensils, 60s frocks and more.

While we've tried our best to give you the most accurate information here, it's likely that dates will change in these unusual times - check ahead before planning your trip. In the meantime, clear some space in your home and brush up on your bartering skills.

Bargain hunters and antique collectors: these are the UK's best vintage markets

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Lincolnshire International Antiques and Home Show

Lincoln

We love this market - one of the largest in Europe - for the sheer eclecticism of products that turn up on its stalls. Vendors sprawl across 200 acres and, weaving through them, you'll find professional buyers on the prowl for fine antiques as well as hobbyists and here-for-a-good-time browsers rummaging through more, ahem, rustic items. It's held every other month in line with the nearby Newark International Antiques & Collectors Fair (see below) - so if you're in the market for a treasure-hunting road trip, this is a great choice.

When: Bi-monthly, Monday and Tuesday

Entry: From £5

Address

Lincolnshire Showground, LN2 2NA

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Newark International Antiques & Collectors Fair

Nottinghamshire

Perhaps the UK's most famous fair and flea market, Newark draws dealers from across the world. Under normal circumstances, more than 2,000 stalls squeeze into its 80-acre site, meaning that the atmosphere here is very crowded and very buzzy (think: Columbia Road on a Sunday, except with antiques rather than flowers). Vendors here really know their stuff - whether you're browsing old porcelain, industrial lighting or reclaimed windows, it's almost guaranteed to be of good quality.

When: Up to six times a year, Thursday and Friday

Entry: From £5

Address

Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Newark, NG24 2NY

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Alexandra Palace Antiques & Collectors Fair

Haringey, London

For more than 25 years, the Great Hall of this 1870s, Grade II-listed pile has hosted this fair specialising in antiques and collectables. Trappings from the 20th century make up most of the goods here, with an especially strong art-deco contingent, as well as vintage clothing and that nostalgic kind of kitchenware that makes home-cooked meals taste better.

When: Quarterly, Sunday

Entry: £6

Address

Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY

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Worcestershire

Backdropped by the rippling Malvern Hills - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - this hodge-podge market tumbles across the grassy Three Counties Showground and a couple of exhibition halls. Expect traditional collectables tucked among a jumble of flea-market finds (thrifted taxidermy, anyone?) and the odd stall laden with homemade jam, pies and such. Want to cut through the clutter? Visit the triannual Malvern Antiques & Collectors Fair instead.

When: 10 times annually, typically Sunday

Entry: £5

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Camden Passage Market

Islington, London

Think of London's antiques markets and you think: Portobello Road, Brick Lane, Old Spitalfields. Yet there's something about the dulled roar of the A1 as you slip into this car-free street that makes it one of our favourite spots for retro hunting. Camden Passage (and the adjoining Pierrepont Arcade and Charlton Place) is lined with small businesses peddling collectables, including Chris Tapsell's Oriental antiques, Annie's vintage costumes and Caroline Carrier's delicate 20th-century porcelain. Head here on market day when extra street stalls peddle kitsch clothing, bric-a-brac and rare trinkets.

When: Weekly, Wednesday and Saturday

Entry: Free

Address

1 Camden Passage, London, N1 8EA

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Ardingly International Antiques and Collectors Fair

West Sussex

Thanks to its proximity to the Channel, this market soaks up a good deal of influence that washes over from continental Europe. As well as ornamental antiques, coin collections and the like, you'll find the sort of quirky accent pieces and rustic, everyday objects that attract a younger, vintage-loving crowd. Better yet, the market's within easy reach of London: take the 45-minute train from London Victoria to Haywards Heath station - from here, a regular coach service runs to the showground.

When: Up to seven times a year, Tuesday and Wednesday

Entry: From £5

Address

South of England Showground, Haywards Heath, RH17 6TL

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Peterborough Festival of Antiques

Cambridgeshire

Set aside a full day for this mammoth fair; it's one of the largest in England, with 1,700 stallholders drawing upwards of 15,000 visitors every spring and autumn. Furniture and fine art fill the NatWest Building, but if you're after a memento that's easier to tote home, we recommend snooping through the pretty porcelain, retro jewellery, garden tools, books and all manner of knick-knacks in the main arena and marquee village. Wear comfy shoes; this show spreads across many acres.

When: Twice yearly: end of March, early October

Entry: From £5, early trade £15

Address

East of England Showground, Oundle Road, Peterborough PE2 6XE

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Great Wetherby Racecourse Antiques Fair

West Yorkshire

There's a certain sense of place at the Great Wetherby Racecourse Antiques Fair; traders (mostly from the north east) tend to be more down to Earth than hellbent on driving a hard bargain, while agricultural regalia, railway memorabilia and kitsch-utilitarian homewares feature heavily on the stalls. York, Leeds and Harrogate are about an hour by car, making this a great pit stop on a northern mini-break.

When: Saturday and Sunday

Entry: From £4

Address

Wetherby Racecourse, LS22 5EJ

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Sunbury Antiques Market

Middlesex

You'll want to set your early-morning alarm for this antiques market at Kempton Park Racecourse; it winds up not long after midday and, in all likelihood, the best finds will have been snapped up a few hours prior. It's one of the UK's longest-running of its kind and perhaps the most diverse too, with worldly antiques, 20th-century paraphernalia and offerings from stallholders that hail from Europe, America and the Far East. Like this? Check out sister even Sandown Antiques Home & Interiors Fairs.

When: Twice monthly, every second and last Tuesday (except December)

Entry: Free

Address

Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury On Thames, TW16 5AQ

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