Trinkets, rings and once-loved things, Brighton is brimming with vintage and upcycled wares. Visitors come from miles around to explore these taste-makers’ collections. For weekend pickers, or weekday browsers, here’s our list for the best flea markets in the city.
An antiquing destination for the trendsetters, the candy-floss exterior of Brighton Flea Market conceals a world of stylish collectibles, backdropped by exposed brickwork. Once a coaching stop in old Kemptown, the Market’s been trading in fine, handsome pieces for over 25 years. Check out the taxidermy for the true ‘Bates Motel’ aesthetic.
A local market since the 20s, the redevelopment of Brighton Open Market was part of a push to reenergise the London Road area. Since opening in May 2014, the covered market has gone from strength to strength as a community hub, with over 40 diverse trading stalls, like Brighton favourite Real Patisserie and furniture shop Objet d’Art. It also hosts a rich selection of events, including a starring role in this May’s Brighton Fringe Festival with its Fairy Tale Fair.
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The words ‘bric-a-brac’ and ‘bits-n-bobs’ have never described anywhere as aptly as Snoopers Paradise. Sprawling over 7000 square feet, Snoopers is not for the faint-hearted flea browser. Each stall hosts specially-curated curios – and there’s much to draw the eye – from antique lampshades to yellowed viewfinder slides to earthenware to niche early 20th century ironmongery. The first floor features its very own independent maker’s workshop, Snoopers Attic – easily one of the best vintage boutiques in Brighton.
Dialling into Brighton’s bohemian vibe, the Kemptown Trading Post features antique clothing, furniture and jewellery as well as upcycled goods. Co-owners (and partners) Hervé and Georges have recently given the Trading Post a Kemptown face lift, incorporating the café, Cup of Joe. There’s even a nail bar, for when the credit card’s finished flexing.
The Trading Post | Courtesy of Kemptown Trading Post
Upper Gardner Street Market
Just to the north and west of the main thoroughfare is Upper Gardner Street, quiet and unassuming – at least, for six days of the week. Each Saturday, the North Laine comes alive, as tourists and locals alike descend by foot on its hallowed streets. Local makers and renovators have the chance to display their goods alongside the hunters and gatherers of retro stock; there’s a plethora of old coinage to peruse and an extensive collection of 70s magazine gems like Playboy and National Geographic, lounging artfully on vintage furniture looking for a good home.
It’d look like a house, if it weren’t for the giant arrow beckoning the best and sharpest vintage explorers to test the waters. This truly is a pirate ship’s worth of booty and beyond the maze of second-hand desks, chairs and wardrobes, there’s treasure among the bad pennies. Back-to-back with Snoopers Paradise on Upper Gardner Street, it completes the perfect Saturday vintage-hunters trifecta.