1. Notting Hill
Portobello Market developed into the antiques extravaganza that we know today in the decades after the Second World War. For the full hustle and bustle experience go on a Saturday morning but, with its mix of centres and shops, many dealers trade from this most famous of streets throughout the week.
Tube stations: Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Park
2. Church Street
Over the years antiques shops have sprouted up along Church Street and around the corner on Lisson Grove. Some are graduates from Alfies – a former 35,000 square feet department store that has been a destination for lovers of antiques and vintage fashion since the 1970s. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, the other dealers on the street tend to follow suit.
Tube station: Marylebone
3. Kensington Church Street
Spread along the length of this world-renowned street for antiques, and scattered down its pretty side streets, more than 60 dealers offer objects from the Tang dynasty to the Art Deco movement.
Since the 1950s some of the world’s leading experts have chosen Kensington Church Street as their base and the Churchill Arms pub as their favoured watering hole: the area still has the highest concentration of BADA members of any area in the country.
Tube stations: Notting Hill Gate, High Street Kensington
4. Lillie Road
This 19th century street in Fulham of around 20 shops has become synonymous with the world of decorative antiques. An interior designers’ and decorators’ best-kept secret for years, expect a range of objects to suit all budgets and tastes.
Tube station: Parsons Green
5. King's Road
Once Charles II’s private road from Hampton Court to Whitehall, the King’s Road’s reputation as home to cutting-edge style was established in the Swinging Sixties. Familiar destinations for antiques lovers on the route are the Furniture Cave (renamed The Furniture and Arts Building – FAB – in 2014) and the Bourbon Hanby arcade on the corner of Sydney Street.
Tube station: Sloane Square
6. Fulham Road
While shopping at nearby Christie’s South Kensington, why not visit the numerous antiques dealers and specialist interior furnishing shops of Fulham Road. Designer couture outlets have begun to arrive at the eastern end.
Tube station: South Kensington
7. Pimlico Road
It was the arrival of interior designer Geoffrey Bennison and his acolytes in the 1960s that transformed the various streets converging on the Pimlico Road from bomb-damaged railway link to design haunt of the rich and famous. Retaining the feel of a smart village bordered by Chelsea and Belgravia, it’s still home to some of the coolest dealers in town.
Tube station: Sloane Square
Bordered by Piccadilly to the south, Bond Street to the east, Park Lane to the west and Oxford Street to the north, Mayfair remains quintessential Georgian London. Although threatened in recent years by rising rents, it is still hard to traverse these streets without coming across an antiques shop, a gallery, a jewellery emporium or an auction house. And don’t forget to look up – many of the dealers are a couple of storeys above ground level.
Tube stations: Bond Street, Green Park
9. St James's
Step back into the world of the 18th century gentleman collector in the enclave bordered by Piccadilly, Pall Mall, Regent Street and Green Park. Christie’s has been on King Street since the time of George III and with shops and galleries at every turn, the discerning art and antiques buyer is spoilt for choice.
Tube stations: Piccadilly Circus, Green Park
10. Camden Passage
The name is misleading: Camden Passage is a pedestrian street off Upper Street in the Borough of Islington. Since the 1950s Camden Passage has ranked among London’s leading antiques locations. In later years the area diversified with many new shops, restaurants, cafes and market stalls. Main market days are Wednesday and Saturday.
Tube station: Angel