Antique fairs are a great way to get started on any antique journey. Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, there is always something to surprise or delight in the sprawling maze of stalls and stands at antique fairs in the UK.
We’re incredibly lucky to have so many antique fairs in the UK, many of which are internationally renowned for the quality of their merchandise.
Antique fairs are where professional buyers rub shoulders with thrifty students and creative homemakers all looking for a hidden gem.
As with most things in life, the more time you put into antiquing the better your return. But with some fairs finishing before lunchtime and others only moments from central London, you don’t have to give up a whole weekend to get the very best antique buying experience.
If you’re looking to redecorate a room, find a great gift or even just for a fun day out with friends and family, we hope you find the perfect event in our guide to the best antique fairs in the UK.
Adams Antiques Fairs
Location: Lindley Hall, The Royal Horticultural Halls, London.
2019 Dates: 20th January, 24th February, 17th March, 28th April, 26th May, 16th June, 7th July, 8th September, 13th October, 10th November, 1st December.
Best for: A family affair.
Despite the fact the fair is held on a monthly basis, queues are still fairly common, so it’s certainly worth getting to the venue before the doors open.
Each event features around 140 stalls of quality antiques, combined with the stunning backdrop and central location it’s no surprise the fair has been a firm favourite since the 1970s.
Traders and buyers flock to the fair from across Europe and each event offers a real mix of items.
TOP TIP: It’s worth checking the website to see if anything special is on offer on the date you plan to visit.
Despite having a loyal following, it remains one of the most welcoming antique fairs in the UK and enjoys a fairly relaxed atmosphere, so it’s definitely one to visit for a more leisurely browse.
Antiques for Everyone
Location: NEC, Birmingham.
2019 Dates: 4th - 7th April, 18th - 21st July, 28th November - 1st December.
Best for: Famous faces.
While it might not be the most spectacular of locations, Art & Antiques for Everyone has become the largest fair outside of London and the vast space means you get to see an awful lot without having to trek to other venues around the country.
An eclectic range of objects from antiquity to the present day will be on show at the events this year, including unique art deco pieces and continental furniture.
One of the best attended antique fairs in the UK, it also includes talks from a number of guests including Antiques Roadshow experts, so it might be worth taking a seat before you head to the stalls to bag that bargain.
Antiques in the Park
Location: Kedleston Hall.
2019 Dates: TBC.
Best for: Stunning scenery.
Boasting perhaps the most stunning backdrop of all antique fairs in the UK, Antiques in the Park is also one of the largest in the country with a huge and eclectic mix of collectables and vintage items from all eras ready to be discovered.
The event – which sprawls over the national trust grounds – has a real feel-good factor thanks to its licensed bar and live music and is a perfect place to pick out a hidden treasure or find some home décor inspiration while soaking up the unique atmosphere.
Arthur Swallow Fairs
2019 Dates: Various.
Best for: Getting a regular antique fix!
Bargain hunters and seasoned collectors alike can get their antique fix throughout the whole year thanks to Arthur Swallow Fairs.
Its flagship event, the Lincolnshire Antiques and Home Show, was established more than ten years ago.
Now, it’s not only one of the largest antique fairs in the UK, but across Europe, with exhibitors setting out their wares across the 200-acre site on a bi-monthly basis.
Although particularly popular with interior designers, architects and collectors, the fair is also a big hit with ordinary homeowners who want to create a unique space.
Throughout the summer, the company hosts its popular Decorative Home and Salvage Show at Ripley Castle, Loseley Park, Cheshire Showground and new for 2019, Welland.
The salvage shows are a must visit for anyone in the midst of a renovation project with upcycled furniture, period fixtures and fittings and industrial-style items all available to browse and buy.
Throughout the year, Arthur Swallow have also added a number of dates to their popular Vintage Flea Market which will be held on 20th January, 17th February, 10th March, 28th April, 15th September, 27th October and 17th November.
The vintage fair is perfect for those looking for a more relaxed day out while on the hunt for those quirky trinkets and retro pieces.
Chelsea Antiques Fair
Location: Chelsea, London.
2019 Dates: 20th -24th March.
Best for: Quality at good prices.
Usually a highlight of any antique lover’s social calendar, the Chelsea Antiques Fair was much missed last year.
While the Old Town Hall was being refurbished, the Chelsea Fair - which usually runs alongside the BADA festival -took a year off.
Established in 1950, it is one of the most intimate and prestigious antique fairs in the UK.
With a capacity for only 30 stands inside the Town Hall, the emphasis is on quality over quantity. Expect knowledgeable dealers and unique pieces.
Chelsea has become known for its influence on budding dealers aiming to blaze their way in the world of antiques.
Dealers such as Robert Young, Wakelin & Linfield and Witney Antiques all started out at Chelsea.
As one of the most reasonably priced of the major London fairs, it’s a great chance to discover a hidden treasure.
It’ll certainly be worth the wait to see the Old Town Hall restored to its former glory and everyone bringing their best after the year off.
Edinburgh Antiques, Vintage and Collectors Fair
Location: The Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh.
2019 Dates: 23rd - 24th February, 11th - 12th May, 31st August - 1st September, 23rd - 24th November.
Best for: Wet weekends.
Scotland’s largest antiques event boasts up to 300 dealers bringing a real mix of good quality retro homeware, clothing and art for all tastes.
To cater for the unpredictable Scottish weather, the fair is held entirely indoors – which also makes it a great way to spend a wet and windy weekend.
Getting there couldn’t be easier, with coaches going from the city centre straight to the venue – visit the fair’s website for more details.
Firle Vintage Fair
Location: Firle Park, near Lewes.
2019 Dates: 9th - 11th August.
Best for: Festival-goers.
More of a mini festival than a simple antiques fair, Firle is a great trip out for all the family and the perfect way to spend a summer weekend in the Sussex countryside.
As well as more than 100 stalls featuring unique pieces from the past, the fair is a celebration of times gone by.
Other displays include beekeeping and wild food workshops, a spectacular catwalk and live entertainment from dance troupes.
Over 200 vintage car owners will showcase their motors to visitors and the vast selection of artisan food and drink stalls will help fuel the day’s activities.
Great Antiques & Vintage Fair Wetherby Racecourse
Location: Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
2019 Dates: 26th - 27th January, 23rd - 24th March, 25th - 26th May, 13th - 14th July, 5th - 6th October, 30th November - 1st December.
Best for: Local history and agricultural antiques.
Renowned for its selection of agricultural antiques, the Great Antiques & Vintage Fair at Wetherby Racecourse blends seamlessly into its local surroundings.
The vendors, as well as their goods, take influence from the region and keep the heritage of the North East alive.
Rather than traditional antiques, the fair offers a great selection of memorabilia and vintage.
However, the affordability and community spirit of this event makes it one of our top antique fairs in the UK.
IACF Alexandra Palace Antiques & Collectors Fair
Location: Alexandra Palace, London.
2019 Dates: 17th February, 19th May, 1st September, 1st December.
Best for: beginners and vintage enthusiasts.
Since opening in 1873, Alexandra Palace has played host to countless spectacular events.
As well as becoming a hub for arts and culture, the Palace proudly houses the IACF Antiques & Collectors Fair.
The Alexandra Palace Fair is the largest in London and one of the best attended antique fairs in the UK, regularly attracting over 300 dealers.
The quality and scale of the fair sees it frequented by public and trade buyers alike.
Traditionally known for its vast selection of 20th-century and Art Deco stalls it’s the perfect place to hunt for glassware and early plastics.
Thanks to it’s easily recognisable style, browsing the Art Deco selection is a wonderful way for beginners to get into antiquing.
With a vast array of clocks, tea services and much more there’s a treasure to be found around every corner.
Pop Up Vintage Fairs London
A welcome addition to the Antiques & Collectors Fair is the Pop Up Vintage Fairs London who bring a fun twist to a traditional antiquing experience.
Their stalls comprise of vendors from all over the UK and Europe selling the best vintage merchandise in London from designer clothing for men and women to retro furniture and mid-century homeware.
Easily accessible by public transport and car, the Alexandra Palace Antiques & Collectors Fair is a must for anyone looking to get into antiquing.
Before you book your tickets, be sure to read our beginner’s guide to buying antiques - here.
Knebworth Decorative Salvage & Vintage Fair
Location: Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire.
Best for: Vintage homeware.
This popular fair promises a treasure trove of vintage pieces and furniture and could be the ideal place to grab a bargain for your home, with lamps, signage and collectables all on offer as well as more one-off collectables.
A real vintage theme runs across the weekend and the fair’s hosts will be hoping for the sun to shine on the outdoor event to encourage a repeat of previous record crowds.
The ticket also includes admission to the wonderful park and gardens and the popular dinosaur trail, so why not make a day of it and bring all the family along as well?
LAPADA Art and Antique Fair
Location: Berkeley Square, Mayfair.
2019 Dates:13th - 18th September.
Best for: Art enthusiasts.
Almost ten years since it launched, the LAPADA fair has become one of the most prestigious antique fairs in the UK.
This year over 110 exhibitors bringing everything from tapestries to ceramics will flock to one of the capital’s most iconic locations.
As you would expect with a fair hosted by LAPADA – the largest society of professional art and antique dealers in the UK – the event will be stocked with some highly sought after pieces and packed with seasoned collectors.
It also promises treasures for first-time buyers and those with smaller budgets, so it’s certainly worth an after-work trip out to Mayfair.
Lincolnshire Antiques & Home Show
Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
2019 Dates: 3rd April, 29th May, 10th - 11th August, 9th October, 4th December.
Best for: Collectors, interior designers and retail buyers.
The Lincolnshire Antiques & Home Show is an excellently curated fair which brings together the very best in antique dealership.
It is considered by many to be one of the best antique fairs in the UK for set and interior designers. Its well-organised stalls and collection of fine antique furniture make it a great destination for anyone seeking interior inspiration.
The fair also offers a wide variety of antiquities at reasonable prices; the buildings of the showground host dealers selling jewellery, vintage trinkets and smaller collectables.
Although the fair is a veritable playground for the experienced buyer, it’s also a great place to get creative and see how you could integrate antiques into your home.
Malvern Antiques & Collectors Fair
Location: Malvern, Worcestershire.
2019 Dates: 3rd March, 23rd June, 3rd November.
Best for: Antiquing with a view.
Unlike the popular Malvern Flea, the Malvern Antiques & Collectors Fair takes a purer approach to antique buying.
Usually held inside with up to 150 exhibitors, in June, the fair spreads out into the grounds of The Severn Hall.
The Antique & Collectors Fair is a great opportunity to look for high-quality antique, retro and vintage merchandise all in one manageable fair.
Not only is Malvern one of our favourite antique fairs for its variety and quality, the stunning view of the Malvern Hills is the perfect backdrop to a day antiquing.
Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair
Location: Malvern, Worcestershire.
2019 Dates: 20th January, 10th February, 22nd April, 27th May, 28th July, 26th August, 15th September, 13th October, 8th December.
Best for: Eclectic mixture.
The Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair is the largest of its kind in the UK. It has a vast array of bric-a-brac and decorative collectables, jumbled together in a maze of curiosities.
Although you’re unlikely to find major collectables and high-value pieces, there’s still a great selection of interesting items on offer.
As well as the fascinating and diverse stands, the atmosphere at the Malvern Flea is not to be missed.
Stalls of miscellania are broken up by artisans selling home-made food to fuel your antiquing.
A great place to get your hands dirty sifting through house clearance boxes, furniture and everything in between.
Location: Royal Hospital Chelsea.
2019 Dates: 27th June - 3rd July.
Best for: Rubbing shoulders.
If you think you know anything about antiques, this is one fair you don’t want to miss. Priding itself on being the world’s ‘leading’ cross collecting fair, many see this event as at the heart of the antiques calendar and this year will include 160 international exhibitors showcasing their collections. But don’t be put off if you’re not an experienced collector, as the fair offers a vast selection that you won’t find at other venues across the country and not just for those with lots of money to spend.
As well as the chance to get your hands on – or at least see – some of the best pieces on the market – particularly its impressive collection of British and European Art – the fair also includes a number of events, including champagne tastings, stand talks and highlight tours with academics from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair
Location: The London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square.
2019 Dates: Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th January.
Best for: Finding a late Christmas present.
The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair has become a firm favourite on the London antiques calendar since it launched seven years ago and it's easy to see why.
Located in the hotel’s recently refurbished Westminster Ballroom, the fair offers a vast selection of art and antiques - including ceramics, vintage watches and an array of paintings.
With most of the dealers being members of BADA or LAPADA, the fair promises high quality and rare pieces.
Being held at the end of the festive period, this boutique event often attracts visitors not only from throughout the UK but from across the world.
The fair runs from 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday and, with the hotel boasting two Gordon Ramsey restaurants as well as plenty of other eateries, there's no need to leave the venue until you've found exactly what you're after.
Newark International Antiques & Collectors Fair
Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire.
2019 Dates: 31st January - 1st February, 4th - 5th April, 30th - 31st May, 15th - 16th August, 10th - 11th October, 5th - 6th December.
Best for: Variety.
As the largest event of its kind in Europe, the Newark International Antiques & Collectors Fair is known world over.
Its sprawling 84-acre plot housing up to 2500 stands pulls in dealers and buyers from around the globe.
The fair’s scale and spectacle have even contributed to it being featured in 1000 Places to See Before You Die !
There are a huge variety of antiques available from decorative interior pieces such as chandeliers and china collectables to architectural gardenwear and industrial lighting.
Thanks to its status as a pilgrimage for antique dealers and buyers, you’re likely to find high quality merchandise and knowledgeable traders.
It’s certainly one of the antique fairs in the UK not to be missed.
TOP TIP: if you’re going to soak up the atmosphere and hopefully bag a bargain, tickets on the Friday are £5 instead of £20 for the Thursday ! If you want to get the whole experience, a Thursday ticket will include Friday entry too.
Peterborough - Festival of Antiques
Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
2019 Dates: 19th - 20th April, 27th - 28th September.
Best for: A great day out.
The Peterborough - Festival of Antiques is a great all-rounder if you’re new to antiques or if you’ve been antiquing for years.
Although some vendors are specialists in their field, the majority sell an eclectic mix of items. If you keep your eyes open you’re likely to find a great piece at an even better price - and bartering is a must !
As one of the largest antique fairs in the UK, be prepared to rummage to find the best deals and wear your comfiest shoes !
Both in and outdoors, there’s no need to worry about the weather putting you off a great day antiquing.
TOP TIP: If you’re really searching for a gem, the early spot from 7am - 10am is worth paying an extra £7.50 to beat the crowds and get the cream of the crop.
Shepton Giant Flea & Collectors Market
Location: Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
2019 Dates: 10th March, 21st April, 21st July, 25th August, 13th October, 24th November.
Best for: vintage and 20th-century collectibles.
If you’re looking for a fun and eclectic fair, the Shepton Giant Flea & Collectors Market is the best around.
The fair offers a great selection of silver, porcelain, militaria and paintings. As well as traditional antiques there’s a vast array of collectables on offer including West German ceramics, costume jewellery, kitchenware, plastics, advertising items and crockery.
If the huge variety of vintage and retro objects isn’t enough to persuade you, the fair also claims to have the best pasties in the South West! Just another reason why Shepton is one of our favourite antique markets in the UK.
Sunbury Antiques Market
Location: Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex.
2019 Dates: Every second and last Tuesday of the month.
Best for: The early bird and the curious.
Held bi-monthly, the Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park Racecourse is great for those wishing to keep up-to-date with their antiques.
Despite being one the most frequent antique fairs in the UK, it is still considered to be a hidden gem.
At Kempton, antique dealers mix with collectors, interior designers and window dressers all looking for unique inspiration.
The early bird catches the worm at Kempton as fairs start between 6:30-7am and close between 1-2pm, depending on the venue. Be sure to check your dates if you’re hoping to get first pickings as times can vary.
This year, the popular fair will continue to run at Sandown Racecourse, Esher which will run on the following dates: 5th Feburary, 2nd April, 7th May, 2nd June, 15th September, 1st October and 3rd December.
Amazingly both Kempton and Sandown offer free entrance and free parking to encourage anyone still on the fence to come and give antiquing a try.
Their dedication to keeping antiques alive makes Sunbury one of our favourite antique fairs in the UK.
The Annual Buxton Antiques Fair
Location: Buxton Pavilion, Derbyshire.
2019 Dates: 16th - 19th May.
Best for: An intimate shopping experience.
One of the more intimate fairs on the circuit, around 30 exhibitors are expected in 2019, showing everything from contemporary art to jewellery and decorative items.
The fair is regarded by some as the longest continually running antiques fair in the country and its 2019 edition is one not to miss.
The Vintage Home Show
Location: Victoria Baths, Manchester.
2019 Dates: 10th March.
Best for: Nostalgia.
The Vintage Home Show might be one of the smaller fairs in the UK but it has become hugely popular since launching in 2012.
The iconic location draws in the crowds who come from far and wide to find retro lighting, ceramics and textiles to create the most stylish of homes.
As well as interior designers, the show is also a haven for those undertaking their own home renovation projects keen to find something that little bit different and promises items to include most budgets.
Travel back in time with iconic and instantly recognisable household pieces from bygone eras and if you want to find something that will transport you back to childhood, this is the place to be.
Local Antique Fairs in the UK: a Summary
These are just a few of the many antique fairs in the UK. If you’re looking for a fair near you, Antiques Atlas is a great resource for finding all the best local events.
With knowledgeable vendors and an easy atmosphere, antique fairs are a great way to start collecting.
A few tips to help you on your way:
Always bring cash.
Don’t be afraid to haggle.
Enjoy the experience!