The Best Flea Markets and Car Boot Sales in the UK
Wherever you are in the UK, there's sure to be a flea market or car boot sale brimming with treasures nearby | © Washington Imaging / Alamy Stock Photo
Spending months cooped up inside has meant many wardrobe and homeware clear-outs have taken place. Now, with lockdown regulations easing, expect these hidden antiques and vintage finds to make their way to flea markets and car boot sales up and down the UK. These are the best spots to find them.
St Augustine’s School Car Boot Sale, West London
This northwest London car boot sale has been running since 1996, and has built a reputation for being the destination of Portobello traders and famous faces in search of bargains. Designer Henry Holland and model Agyness Deyn are reportedly big fans of this car boot sale, which is usually full to the brim of goods and garments from wealthy west Londoners. After a long hiatus, the car boot will be reopening on 6 June, from 7:30am to 3pm.
The Giant Shipton Flea Market
With circa 250 stalls, this flea market in The Royal Bath and West Showground requires blocking out a few hours – and since it only comes around six or seven times a year, it’s worth doing so. This market encourages people of all ages to come along, with the promise of something for everyone. Save the date in your diary – the next market is on 16 August, running from 9:30am to 4pm.
Brighton Marina Giant Car Boot Sale
Not only is Brighton’s Marina a beautiful harbour, but it’s also where one of Brighton’s beloved car boot sales takes place. What you’ll come across is very much a guessing game, but what we do know is that it’s usually open every Sunday from 6am until 2pm via a quick walk down Brighton Beach. When it reopens, be sure to pack the suncream if you happen to visit on a sunny day as it takes place on the top floor of a car park.
Cabbage and Frocks Market, West London
For those in need of a bit of a wardrobe refresh, this fashion market in Marylebone is the place to find covetable vintage pieces at a reasonable price. Based in the grounds of St Marylebone Parish Church, this market has built a reputation for having a selection of one-off designer goods, while becoming a hub for fashion folk. Due to open soon, this market operates every Saturday from 11am to 5pm.
Tynemouth Market, Tyne and Wear
Taking place inside the renovated Tynemouth Station, this market is as spectacular in setting as it is in shoppable goods. Restored from its original Victorian purpose, the station now hosts market stalls open on both days of the weekend. It is closed until 4 July due to government guidelines, but the spread of collectable furniture, clothes and antiques on offer means it’s well worth the wait.
Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair, Worcestershire
The Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair goes by a different name for Worcestershire locals. They know this market – which sells everything from teddies and toys to vintage lamps – as “Malvern Magic”. The stalls span two halls and an outside area, making it the biggest flea market in the country. And with their next fair falling on the August bank holiday Monday, a stroll around this fair makes for a leisurely end to a long weekend.
Princess May Car Boot Sale, East London
Come 7am on a Sunday morning in Stoke Newington, the Princess May school car park takes on another form: a car boot sale. This car boot sale draws stylish east Londoners all after the best deals on retro furniture, pre-loved clothes and all manner of knick-knacks. It’s currently closed due to Coronavirus restrictions, but when it reopens be sure to get there as early as possible to snap up the goodies on offer.
These recommendations were updated on June 23, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.