50 best antiques and vintage shops
Vintage experts give us the low-down on their favourite antique shops and collectable-hunting haunts.
This list first appeared in the August 2011 issue of Homes & Antiques. Look out for the 50 best antiques and vintage shops 2016 in Homes & Antiques' February issue, out now
Who doesn't love to spend hours rambling the day away scouring through wonderful little antique shops? The smell of old books, the warmth of rooms full of vintage gems- there's simply nothing to dislike. As the chill of winter approaches, there's no better time to be in the cosy enclosures of the vintage shops. That's why we've gathered together a list of the 50 best antique and vintage shops for you to peruse to your hearts content this winter. With the help of our knowledgeable panel, including Mark Hill and Katherine Higgins from Antiques Roadshow, we've found the best shops from all corners of the country.
‘The world’s your vintage oyster in Alfies – a buzzing antiques market with a rather nice roof cafe on top,’ says Katherine. Over 100 dealers sell everything from mid-century furniture to Jessie Tait ceramics.
9 360 Degrees Vintage
Run by mother and daughter team Kit Allen and Lynn Burgess, 360 Degrees Vintage is a fashion gem offering both men’s and women’s wear. ‘I found a great range of gloves and scarves, along with plenty of 1940s offerings – knitwear in particular,’ says Kiera.
3/3A Greenwich Market, Greenwich, SE10 9HZ. 07904 709759
281 Lillie Road, London, SW6 7LL. 020 3304 7327; puckhaberdecorativeantiques.com
Winner of the London Vintage Awards 2015, Deborah has been selling vintage clothing since she was in her teens and was at Camden market along with Wayne Hemingway in the 1980s. A former director at MTV, Deborah opened her shop in 2008. ‘I love Deborah’s rather wonderful floating dresses from the 1970s,’ says Katherine.
28 Church Street, NW8 8EP. 020 7723 2779; deborahwoolf.com
‘If I ever truly had a vintage secret, this would be it,’ says Naomi, who only reluctantly tells us about this shop, which she discovered accidentally while she was on, of all things, a detox retreat. ‘Owner Sue Nurse has the pick of the old country houses in the area, and Revival duly bursts with a great range of vintage costume and chinoiserie.’
64 High Street, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5SQ. 01803 732807
20 Wells Trading Post
‘This has three giant floors of everything I want in my life, from deco tea sets and Lucite brooches to vintage parasols, Victorian beauty sets and old typewriters,’ says Naomi. The extensive stock changes all the time, so it’s always worth popping in if you’re in the area.
Old Priory Mill, West Street, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2HG (closed Mondays). 01749 671454; wellstradingpost.co.uk
21 Focus On The Past
Items from Focus on the Past regularly appear in H&A shoots. ‘Whether it’s a French dresser, an Enid Collins handbag, Bakelite telephones, postcards or old toffee tins, I find there is always something here that I’m tempted by,’ says Kiera. ‘It really is the perfect local shop for a good rummage.’
25 Waterloo Street, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4BT. 0117 973 8080; focusonthepast.org
3 Walcot Buildings, London Road, Bath, BA1 6AD. 01225 315857; michaelsaffell.com
9 Marmion Road, Southsea, PO5 2AT; 62 Elm Grove, Southsea, PO5 1JG; 9 Crane Street, Chichester, PO19 1LJ. 01243 839909
‘It’s part retro shop and part car-boot sale,’ says Mark. ‘You’re bound to find something you want.’ Kiera agrees: ‘A Brighton institution and destination for weekenders and local browsers alike, you’ll find students trying on hats, couples looking for furniture, or single shoppers flicking through the paperbacks.’
7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4AL. 01273 945898; snoopersattic.co.uk
26 McCully & Crane
A wealth of bright glitter balls, antique taxidermy, early 20th-century rugs and mid-century furniture gives Marcus Crane and Gareth McCully's shop a unique flavour. They have recently opened a new gallery and art space too.
27a Cinque Ports Street, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7AD. 07932 478383; mccullyandcrane.com
27 Closet & Botts
This Victorian-inspired homeware store in Lewes is run by old school friends Chloe Shearing and Harriet Maxwell and it's full of pieces with beautiful patinas. You'll find a mixture of vintage enamelware, antique apothecary bottles and 19th-century tables sourced in France. 196 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2NS. 01273 945398; closetandbotts.com
28 Herts & Essex Antiques centre
‘With 70 dealers under one roof, this is the perfect place for a good old rummage,’ says Katherine. ‘There are fascinating retro pieces to snap up. And it’s so easy on the train – just hop off at Sawbridgeworth station and you’re there.’
The Maltings, Station Road, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 9JX. 01279 722044; herts-essex-antiques.co.uk
29 Junk Deluxe
‘It might be small,’ says Mark, ‘but it’s packed with a constantly changing, affordable selection of furniture, pictures and homewares from the 1950s-80s.’
RG Scott Furniture Mart, The Old Ice Works, Bath Place, Margate, Kent, CT9 2BN. 07963 892041; junkdeluxe.co.uk
3 Albert Road, Southsea, Hampshire, PO5 2SE. 02392 733363
33 Wayward Vintage Fabrics
‘With a presence in London’s Portobello Market and Brighton’s North Laine, and a shop in St Leonards, Andrew Hirst has a great collection of haberdashery, including buttons and fabrics,’ says Kiera.
68 Norman Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 0EJ. 07815 013337; wayward.co
34 A G Hendy & Co Home Store
Alastair Hendy has always been inspired by what he calls the 'below-stairs' aesthetic and his home store is full of finds that you might see in the kitchen of Downton Abbey. There are a few new pieces but largely you will find lovely old linen, vintage ceramics, antique jelly moulds and the like. 36 High Street, Hastings Old Town, TN34 3ER. 01424 447171; aghendy.com
40 Bygone Times
‘This is one of my favourite shopping destinations,’ says Mark. ‘It has everything from Fat Lava to vintage telephones. Don’t forget the basement.’
Grove Mill, The Green, Eccleston, Chorley, PR7 5PB. 01257 451889; bygonetimes.co.uk
Online store based in North Yorkshire. 07875 712390; elephantandmonkey.co.uk
Bishops Yard, Main Street, Corbridge, Northumberland, NE45 5LA. 01434 634567; re-foundobjects.com
Based in the heart of Sheffield's thriving antiques quarter, Heeley Bank Antiques Centre is a flea market fan's dream. There are 30 dealers in the old bank (which H&A loves for its original tiles and vaulted ceilings) who specialise in a range of antiques and vintage pieces from clothing to glass, furniture to tiny trinkets. There's also contemporary art to be found at The Corner Gallery.
Heeley Bank Antiques Centre , 635 Queen’s Road, Sheffield, S2 4DX. 0114 327 0835; heeleybankantiques.wix.com/heeleybankantiques
151 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DP. 0131 228 2589; hermanbrown.co.uk
Former Selfridges personal shopper and television stylist Judy is the founder of Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fairs.
Former stylist at H&A, Kiera has a wealth of knowledge on styling antique and vintage finds.
Wayne founded the fashion label Red or Dead in the 1980s. He is now involved in a clutch of projects but we love him best for his Vintage Festival.
Naomi is a London-based stylist and the UK’s leading vintage personal shopper. She founded vintagesecret.com and is the author of Style Me Vintage - Accessories.
Keeley runs the Discover Vintage home and fashion fairs in the Midlands and the north of England, as well as The Vintage Wedding Fair and the Festival of Vintage. She also has a shop, Vintage Emporium, in York.
Antiques Roadshow expert Mark has co-authored a number of Miller’s Guides as well as publishing his own titles.