Antique fairs: our guide to your local antique fairs

14 March 2022

Expect great atmospheres and even better antiques in 2022 as the community returns to Covid-safe fairs

It will hardly come as a surprise that the Westland team are regular attendees at antique fairs across the country.

There’s many a bargain to be had at UK antique fairs. They also boast convivial atmospheres as well as diverse locations - antique fairs are a great excuse to explore the UK!

Whether you’re new to the world of antiques and collectibles, looking for a feature piece for your home, or a serious collector, our guide to your local antique fairs in 2022 is a great starting point.

Naturally, the pandemic has had a significant impact on antique fairs over the past two years. We were delighted to report on the re-opening of a great selection of UK-based antique fairs last year, but the calendar for 2022 sees an exciting resurgence of fairs.

Expect great atmospheres and even better antiques in 2022 as the community returns to Covid-safe fairs.

Without further ado, let’s launch straight into our guide to your local fairs.

Antique fairs to visit in 2022

Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair

30 shopping booths fill the fair’s arcade at the Royal Bath & West Showground and make for a delightful day out.

If you’re a vintage clothes connoisseur, be prepared. You’re likely to come home with more than one item!

There’s a huge range of items on sale, though, and for those in Somerset and the South West – as well as further afield – this event is well worth a visit for a vintage “fix”.

Arthur Swallow Fairs

With fairs taking place all over the country, you’ll never be too far from an Arthur Swallow event
  • Multiple dates in 2022 and locations including Lincolnshire and Cheshire
  • Regular events to satisfy antique browsing cravings with 26 fairs planned over the coming months

With fairs taking place all over the country, you’ll never be too far from an Arthur Swallow event.

Highly esteemed among interior designers in particular, these events are well worth visiting. If you’re carrying out home renovations or developing a stylish living space The Decorative Home and Salvage Show is worth looking up.

Their best-known event is the Lincolnshire International Antiques and Home Show, one of the largest bi-monthly antique fairs in Europe. It’s worth a visit simply to take in its scale and makes for a fun family outing.

The next Arthur Swallow fair is The Cheshire Antiques & Salvage Market on March 19th 2022.

The Chelsea Antiques & Fine Art Fair

Having run each year since 1951, this fair is the longest established on our list.

Due to the size of The Chelsea Old Town Hall, you’ll only find around 30 stalls. Expect serious quality, but still plenty of opportunities to find a bargain or uncover the gem you’ve been hunting for.

While the Town Hall is an iconic setting for the event, its prestige derives from the globally-renowned exhibitors who attend year on year – and expect no different in 2022.

The Great Wetherby Racecourse Antiques Fair

You’ll find vintage agricultural equipment and railway memorabilia among various other antique and collectible delights at The Great Wetherby event.

It’s a great place to pick up a deal and spend a day taking in the atmosphere.

Good transport connections via road and rail make this West Yorkshire event easily accessible, and with five weekend events scheduled for 2022, why not visit?

Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair

As well as its something-for-everyone offering, we love the atmosphere here. A great day out is a given

There is serious variety on offer in Newark. Another top quality IACF event, Newark attracts visitors from around the globe seeking a bargain and that special piece.

The Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground can hold up to 2,500 stalls attracting thousands of visitors on a bi-monthly basis.

As well as its something-for-everyone offering, we love the atmosphere here. A great day out is a given.

Antique fairs to visit in 2022

Peterborough Festival of Antiques

Although well-renowned for its wide offering of antique clocks, this fair is far more than that alone. From glassware to art, antique furniture to kitchenware, it’s a great place to hunt a bargain.

Last year, we described the fair as a “great day out” – and it really is! You’ll want to factor in spending at least a couple of hours here to soak up the fun and friendly atmosphere, as well as browse the significant number of items on sale.

Note: Although early arrival on Friday (7 – 10am) will cost you double the entry price than a ticket for between 10am - 16:30pm, it might be the difference between finding “that” item and someone else snatching it up!

Malvern Flea and Collectors Fair

This sprawling antique fair is a collector’s delight. Indeed, the organisers describe the sensation of browsing the rows of stalls as “Malvern Magic”, and we won’t disagree.

While best known as a flea fair, don’t imagine this event doesn’t offer a huge variety of antiques and collectibles. Malvern really does offer something for everyone, whatever you might be looking for and at whichever price.

With eight events this year, a trip to Malvern is worth adding to your diary.

Ardingly International Antiques and Collectors Fair

Ardingly sits under the umbrella of the IACF and is widely regarded as one of the top vintage and antique fairs globally, with buyers from Europe, the US and Asia regularly in attendance.

With up to 1700 stalls, you’ll always see a broad range of traditional antiques and collectibles from furniture to stamps.

The fair is well-placed for guests from London and abroad, being just 12 miles from Gatwick and 90 minutes from Dover.

Edinburgh Antiques, Vintage & Collectors Fair

From vintage clothing to ceramics and retro kitchenware, this eclectic and high-quality antique fair is well worth adding to your calendar for 2022.

The jewel of Scotland’s antique fair scene is easily accessible to those coming from further afield, being adjacent to Edinburgh airport. Those based in the city or travelling in via train can enjoy free buses from the city centre, while on-site parking and a restaurant make the fair a great place to spend a weekend.

Following the cancellation of the February edition, expect a great turnout in May. There will be subsequent events in both September and November.

The Annual Buxton Antiques Fair

The refurbished and redecorated Octagon Hall in the Buxton Pavilion plays host to a fair now in its 56th year.

But don’t imagine its lofty heritage dissuading those new to antique fairs. As Sue Ede of organisers Cooper Events has stated: “We seek to indulge the most discriminating collectors and first-time buyers.”

Expect quality items to delight even the most serious of collectors as well as a warm welcome and plenty of information for newcomers – all in the charming Buxton in the heart of the beautiful Peak District.

Antique fairs to visit in 2022

Masterpiece London

The clue is in the name.

Expect to see pieces of exceptional quality as well as interactions with some of the most esteemed names in the industry – all in the delightful surrounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Quality is the watchword of this event. From the vetting process to the exhibitors to the fascinating talks and tours (and informative website) – there’s so much to see and do, you’ll be glad the event lasts a week!

Alexandra Palace Antiques and Collectors Fair

The cancellation of last year’s fair has only heightened the anticipation for this year’s iteration.

“Ally Pally” has played host to The Antique and Collectors Fair for more than 30 years and has a reputation for being among the top fairs for uncovering art-deco and post-war gems.

Welcoming and friendly, the fair is a popular starting point for those new to antiques and we’ve been impressed by the work of Pop Up Vintage Fairs in bringing a younger audience into the exciting world of antiques and collectibles.

LAPADA Art and Antique Fair

There was much disappointment at HQ on hearing the news that 2022’s fair will not go ahead. However, given its significant reputation and excellent previous iterations, we felt it only right to include it in our guide to your local antique fairs.

As you would expect, The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers put on a sumptuous antique fair. Browse and buy in total confidence thanks to the Association’s expert vetting process.

While a major event on the London social calendar and arguably one of the leading antique fairs, the organisers state prices range from £500+, so first-time buyers shouldn’t be put off.

Bring on 2023!

Antique fairs to visit in 2022

Sunbury Antiques Market

  • Takes place the second and last Tuesday of each month (except December) at Kempton Park (some events also take place at Sandown Park)
  • One of the UK’s largest and longest-running antique fairs

Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park - and now its sister event, Sandown Antiques Home & Interiors Fair - are truly must-attend fixtures for antique lovers.

The frequency of the events doesn’t in any way impact the huge range of items available at these busy fairs, with sellers attending from all over the UK as well as Europe.

Although admission after 8am is free, these fairs do tend to get busy and wind up early in the afternoon. The serious collector may likely want to consider the five-pound fee for early entrance from 6:30am.

Free parking is available at both sites.

Knebworth Decorative Salvage & Vintage Fair

Following pandemic-related disruption, we’re really hoping to see a return of this large and lively antique fair, which is entering its 7th year.

Expect a great selection of items of all shapes and sizes to peruse – while tickets include entry to the park gardens and tea rooms, too.

Watch this space – we certainly will be.

Antique fairs – a few pointers

When it comes to antiques, the early bird catches the worm

Antique fairs make for a fantastic entry into the world of collectibles. The joy of finding something you love – especially when it’s a bargain – is genuine.

However, we have a few tips for those new to this space.

When it comes to antiques, the early bird catches the worm. Try to get to the fair on the early side if possible.

Bring cash. While card readers are increasingly more frequent sights, you don’t want to be frustrated by being unable to buy the item you have your eye on at a cash-only stall.

Haggling is normal. As is asking questions. Sellers will be more than happy to provide detail on their items.

And of course – have fun!

For more tips on buying antiques and best practices, read our in-depth beginner’s guide to buying antiques.

Our guide to your local antique fairs 2022

We’ve covered just 15 of our favourites in this list – but there are numerous other fairs worth visiting across the UK.

We mention some of these in our 2021 antique fairs article, while websites such as Antiques Atlas make for a helpful directory of UK events.

If you have a recommendation for us, why not get in touch or visit our blog for information on the sort of items you might see at such events to help you discern what to buy.