Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

In the US I always enjoyed shopping
in thrift shops and at yard sales,
finding interesting tidbits to add to my eclectic nest

Like a 'truffle pig' rooting for its delicacy,
I savor the forage of a good find with a
gentle price tag

{ and yes, I just called myself a pig :)  }

So naturally I was curious to see what this process would be like
in the fertile antique hunting grounds in the UK

Sunbury Antiques Market

A charity shop is England's equivalent to a thrift store in the US

There are numerous ones from which to choose
often on the High Street (main street) in many towns

- Cancer Research, Princess Alice Hospice, & Oxfam to name a few -

However, these storefronts often are quite small and rarely offer furniture
Mostly clothing, jewelry, shoes, a few knickknacks, and books

Nothing I'm looking for with a cool, vintage look

Sunbury Antiques Market

I've visited towns with a line of storefronts selling antiques
which rarely satisfies my quest for bargain vintage

So what's a girl to do?

Sunbury Antiques Market

Ah, Antique Fairs... The first one I went to brought tears to my eyes
See all the cool stuff I'd love to just walk away with in these photos?
{ well, maybe not the ship painting }

Although vendors will often tell you
they know little about the piece and could only guess at its age
{ I like their honesty },

they do have a good feel what people will pay for their goodies
so there are few bargains to be had

{ One can haggle, but I stink at it }

My general rule is to buy only what I love, can afford, and can carry :)

Arriving early gives you the best selection, but prices drop as the day lengthens

And like most events in England, fairs are held rain or shine

My loot :)

There are antique auctions, which I would love to observe one day
weekend boot sales, where people sell unwanted items out of their car at a good price

If you feel comfortable going to people's homes,
there is always CraigslistGumtree and other equivalents

But in general,
real bargains are hard to come by in England

Not even a 'Free Kittens' sign to be seen

My newest acquisition :)

So if you plan to move here,
don't come without a dining room table with thoughts of buying one here
{ like I almost did }

Vintage purchases tend to be of the serendipitous nature

And ooooh, how I still revel in the hunt :)


Hampton Court Emporium, East Molesey
Princess Alice Hospice, Kingston-Upon-Thames
along West Street*, Dorking
The Antiques Warehouse, Farnham
The Packhouse*, Farnham
Snoopers Paradise Flea Market*, Brighton
The North Laine Antiques & Flea Market*, Brighton

Bermondsey Square (London, Fridays)
Portobello Road (London, Saturdays)
Sunbury Antiques Market * (Middlesex, 2x/mo)
International Antique & Collectors Fairs (various locations & dates)

Antiques Atlas
Antiques News

BBC’s Homes & Antiques Magazine (my fav)

With so many places to visit on my list, I marked the ones I've been to so far and worth a look (*).
I just had to share my complete list with you here :)

- all photos by me -

Postscript: Thanks to Gris Fleur for the tip of a Sunday Car Boot Sale in Walton-On-Thames here

Related post: Vintiquing In England