London is a wonderful place to shop for antiques. Street markets can offer up some good deals but only if you are very knowledgeable. To find a great selection of high quality antiques the safest bet is to stick to the reputable dealers. I have been shopping for antiques in London for years.
If there is any problem you will be able to find them again and they may also allow the use of credit cards which in case of a dispute can give you some possibility of the credit card company standing behind you. Many areas of London are jam packed with antique shops. Here are a few ideas of places to shop for antiques in London.
Kings Road is in the borough of Chelsea. It was once the private road of the king from Whitehall Palace to Hampton Court. Today it houses an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants and is an interesting place to visit and to shop.
Twice a year, the Chelsea Antique Fair comes to the Old Town Hall in Chelsea. An entrance fee is charged. It is well worth the price of entrance to get to stroll through the many dealers who will be offering their wares here. The quality will be high and the prices are too but not overpriced. That is not to say that there are not a few bargains to be had and by all means negotiate any price quoted. The website gives a floor plan, latest information on which vendors will be attending and opening dates and times.
If you don’t happen to hit when the fair is on, not to worry, there are plenty of dealers who are here all the time.
Kensington Church Street
One little street and over 60 antique dealers, does it get any better than that? When the old Antiquarius antique market closed in Kings Road, many of the dealers headed to Church Street to sell their wares. If there are dealers you were used to finding at Antiquarius, it is worth giving Church Street a try. Even if you aren’t looking for a particular dealer, there are many fine ones here who offer a wide variety of good.
Mayfair is one of the truly high-end areas of London. It has been the residential area of the wealthy and powerful for hundreds of years. It is also home to many fine stores and of course many fine antique stores. Grays Antiques is a multi-dealer shop in a lovely historic building that offers lots of variety and is a great place to poke around. With over 200 dealers, there is a wide variety of items on offer and you can never be quite sure what gem you will find there. Speaking of gems, there are several dealers who specialize in antique gems and jewelry.
On Mondays the antique market is in Jubilee Hall at Covent Garden. This is one of the places where you need to know your stuff. Use common sense and negotiate. Chances are you won’t find any really old antiques but for Victorian and Edwardian items, they will be available.
Bermondsey Square Antiques Market
Bring a flashlight and be prepared to know what you are looking at. Bermondsey Market opens at 4 a.m. and closes by 1 p.m. If you are serious about finding a deal, this may be the place to do it. Year round on Friday mornings, no matter the weather, the dealers and the buyers will be here. Come prepared to do cash and carry and who knows what you may find.
These are just some of the places where I enjoy shopping for antiques in London. There is hardly a street that you will walk on where you won’t find at least one shop, it is indeed an antique lover’s paradise.
I have been an Internet writer for more than 16 years. While I specialize in travel, I write on a variety of subjects. I love genealogy, food, and fashion. I have 10 grandchildren so family travel is something we often do.