London's Biggest Flea Market?


Mar 2nd, 2005, 06:31 PM
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London's Biggest Flea Market?

Friends tell me that in Wembley Stadium, in northwest suburban London on weekends, or maybe on Sat or Sun only there is a huge 'boot sale' or flea market in British parlance - where hundreds of booths sell garage sale stuff. Is this true? If you've been tell me more about it so i can decide to set off or not.
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:45 AM
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Haven't been but I do know it's only on Sundays
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Nobody been to this extravangza to tell me if it's worth trekiing out there?
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Not a part of the world worth venturing to.

Anything car boot is a load of rubbish, the stories of people buying a dusty old painting for under a penny and finding it to a be a Da Vinci are few and far between.

Just do the Portobello Rd., and if you must, Camden. They've quality items. What do you want "garage sale stuff" for?
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Well, if you DO go, with or without the permission of the folks here, please obey all those stupid traffic laws, OK?
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Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:23 PM
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Car boot sales are a fundamental part of an English way of life that rarely shows its face on these threads.

Together with reading the Daily Mail, listening to Radio 2, living in semi-detached houses and angling in canals for inedible fish, it's an activity that not only never makes the guide books, but probably never attracts the attention of most regular British contributors to this board.

They're all in large car parks or edge-of-town fields which almost inevitably means they're some distance from places visitors frequent and happen when those car parks aren't being used. The Wembley one (which my guides say is only on Sundays, 9-3), isn't in the stadium: the stadium's actually being rebuilt (and was confirmed today as re-opening for the 2006 Cup Final on May 13).

They're called car boots (and that's the demotic English term) because things are sold on trestles in front of vendors' car boots. There's a mini-industry in publicly employed professional busybodies putting out endless self-evident "warnings" about "scams" (like selling broken-down electricals) at them, and much of what's on offer is just junk.

What they're excellent at, though, is the kind of obscure collectible Daily Mail reading, semi-detached dwelling, people might go in for. Not exactly back editions of British comics, earlyish versions of board games or classic toys like Meccano or Triang trains - the kind of stuff that stalls at Camden Passage and other posh markets would do. More the slightly downmarket equivalent, with 1950s crockery and back editions of womens magazines and illustrated war comics.

Unless a foreign visitor has very quirky tastes, they're unlikely to find much they want to buy. But car boots are one of the best insights around into Middle Britain.

The other good thing about Wembley is that the area's considerable Indian population supports some of our very best South Asian restaurants. Much more authentic food than you'll find in the centre.
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Mar 4th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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I would do to Camden Market. It's someplace you should go once.
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Mar 4th, 2005, 08:06 AM
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We just returned from London and I have been trying to get to a car boot sale for the past several trips. I finally found one that was close to London and we went and had a lot of fun.

It's the Kilburn Park Car Boot Sale at St. Augustine School - every Saturday 11am - 3pm. Cost is 40p to enter and there was a long queue waiting to get in at 10:45am.

It's very easy to find. Take the tube - Bakerloo line to Kilburn Park (zone 2) and as you exit the tube station, cross the street and head towards the church steeple - it's less than a minute's walk.

It's probably nowhere as big as the one at Wembley, but was still fun to look around. My mom picked up a silverplate candelabra for £5 (that cleaned up very nicely) and I found 2 Haywood Hardy matted prints for 50p each, a small Staffordshire serving tray for £3 and a Coronation Street coffee mug for £1 (I'm a big Corrie fan!)

If you like garage sales or flea markets in the US, you'll love car boot sales.

Check out
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Mar 4th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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I loved Portobello and Camden.
Bought a Victorian blouse in Camden and French gold opera binoculars etched with frolicking nudes at Portobello.
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Mar 4th, 2005, 12:29 PM
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Has anyone who has gone to The Portobello Market seen the older woman who has her trailer parked there and has 3 of her long-hair chiuahua's lying in a bed? She has a sign on her trailer that says"A dog is for life not just for Christmas" She had 3 more dogs inside her trailer.

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