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The Vintage and Antique Fairs of England

May 05, 2013 4 min read


"The Flea Markets of France" by Toronto author Sandy Price has been one of my must have recommendations for years for anyone with a passion for antiques and is traveling to France. Her latest book "The Vintage and Antique Fairs of England" is soon to be my new favorite. Just published on May 2, 2013.

England has long been my favorite destination for antiquing...eight buying trips last year alone...just being able to speak the same language makes negotiating so much easier! I just got back from England a few weeks ago after attending the Newark antique fair...a freezing cold day spent trudging around the fields at Newark looking for beautiful finds for the shop...back again in four weeks for the Linconshire and the Newark fairs.I am hoping that by June the weather will be nicer.



The book comprises seven chapters. An Introduction to the Markets is followed by Practical Tips for Visiting the Markets and What to Look For. The remaining five chapters canvass individual markets and fairs, organized geographically based on the following broad regions—The Southwest, The Southeast and East, Central England, The North, and London and Vicinity. In selecting the markets featured in each chapter, an emphasis is placed on markets that are regular (held at least four times a year), significant (with, apart from a couple of exceptions, over 100 vendors—some have thousands), diverse and longstanding. The book will be illustrated, with numerous photographs of the markets and the collectibles featured in them.
Both engaging and informative in style, the book seeks to give readers (whether seasoned collectors or not) a sense of ease and confidence about accessing the markets and connecting with the wares found in them. In doing so, the book also softens the lines between antique fairs and the more diverse flea markets, as well as the boundary between traditional antiques and collectibles.

Publication Details:

Published May 2, 2013

Binding: Paperback, 248 pages
ISBN: 9780711233416
Format: 152 mm x 152 mm

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

The Guardian just published an article by Sandy Price this past weekend. I think you will find it interesting and will make you want to run out and by a copy of her book...maybe both of them. We will have them in the shop by the end of May. Just in time for my next trip to England.


I have included excerpts about my two favorite markets. Follow this link for a full read


England's best vintage markets and antique fairs

For bargains, design classics and retro kitsch, the best hunting grounds are vintage and antiques fairs in venues all over England. Sandy Price selects 10 favourites



The bi-monthly fair that takes place at the Lincolnshire Showground is large without feeling overwhelming. This fair is diverse, offering a huge scope in terms of wares and prices. It is held almost back-to-back with the Newark fair nearby and is a popular destination for foreign and domestic professional buyers, though it also attracts many casual collectors and browsers, some no doubt drawn by a much-reduced entrance fee on the second day.

This is a longstanding and well-organised fair, held indoors and outdoors. At stalls in the marquees, vendors offer furniture and finer collectables. At pitches in the rest of the field you'll find more rustic items, kitchenware, vintage of various sorts and generally more modestly priced goods. The buildings themselves house vendors of smaller decorative items: china, glassware, silver, figurines, jewellery, watches, vintage handbags, ginger beer bottles, ice cream moulds, linens, cameras and canes, toys.
• Lincolnshire International Antiques and Home Show, Lincolnshire Showground (arthurswallowfairs.co.uk).Mon-Tue, six times a year. Entry £20 Mon, £5 Tue

Newark international Collectors Fair, Nottinghamshire 


The huge and longstanding Newark International Antiques and Collectors Fair enjoys the distinction of being included in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. The fair is a magnet for dealers from across Europe, North America and Asia who, along with domestic buyers and collectors, make regular pilgrimages here for some serious purchasing.


The atmosphere is lively and busy; there is a buzz here, a feeling of energy. This is a compact and crowded fair, with vendors in a number of buildings around the showground site as well as in marquees, or exposed to the elements outside. Fortunately, is also a well-organised event, with facilities and services aimed at making your visit a smooth and enjoyable one. The great appeal lies in the huge amount of choice for every conceivable collecting taste, from traditional to offbeat. In addition to fine decorative antiques and collectibles – china, glassware, silver, paintings, jewellery – the fair features rustic items and unique signature pieces – gardenware, metal advertising signs, wicker chairs, industrial lighting, distressed metal cabinets, stained glass windows — sought after by home decor professionals and enthusiasts. The quality is usually high and vendors tend to be knowledgeable about what they're selling.


Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground (01636 702326, iacf.co.uk). Thur-Fri, up to six times a year. Entry £20 Thur, £5 Fri

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