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A Trip to London + Edinburgh (Vintage & Antiquey Things...Where's They Be?)


I'll Lock Up
Melbourne, Australia
What ho, chaps and chapettes!

As some of you may have gathered from various random posts of mine around the forum, in August, I'm being dragged off to Europe by my parents. We've all three, been invited to my mother's friend's wedding in Edinburgh in early August.

As such, we're kinda going on a family holiday. We're touring Edinburgh and London, Seville and Barcelona.

I'd appreciate tips from the vast knowledge pool that the Lounge is, about any interesting vintage/antiques markets/streets/shops/fairs that would be worth visiting in these cities during this time? Said time being the Month of August.

This will be our first trip to Edinburgh, Seville and Barcelona, so we'll be rather green, and I'd be grateful for any information or titbits of help/suggestions that you can give on those cities.

We've been to London TWICE before, so we're not exactly strangers there. We can easily find our way around, we're familiar with such intricacies as taxi-cabs, the Underground/Tube, money, navigation, etc. The language-barrier could be an issue though...

I've assembled quite a list of places to visit in London, but not for the other cities. So help is appreciated.

Dad and I (as mum's only joining us for half the trip) are chiefly interested in:

- Antiques/vintage stuff (So that's shops, shopping-streets, markets/fairs etc for antiques and suchlike).

- Major tourist attractions & famous buildings, famous streets, etc. (Just for the hell of it, I intend to visit Savile Row in the West End. I don't expect to buy a suit there, but I'll be taking lots of photos!)

- What's the situation with public transport? Dad and I are hard walkers. We can walk for miles and blocks and continents. And I'm good with a map, but still, it never hurts to have extra information.

Hopefully the wise and intelligent people to be found in abundance here on the Lounge can give me some help!

Any general traveler-beware / safety tips for Edinburgh, Seville and Barcelona are also appreciated. Just to stop us getting caught up in stuff we shouldn't be.
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Call Me a Cab
As a European traveller, mainly holidays, here are a few tips for big cities though you may be aware already.
Dont give your camera to anyone willing to take your picture as a group, unless they are maybe a family group also on holiday. Beware the friendly hug by someone thinking you are someone they know.
Touristy red light areas are reasonably safe due to the amount of other people around, just dont go anywhere dodgy or dark and dont take photo's of other people in areas like these without their permission.
If you get lost in a dark and dangerous area stick your map, mobile phone and camera's away and look as if you know where you are going even if you dont. Probably worth hailing a taxi
Ignore beggars, especially in Barcelona.

On the brighter side.
Home of Aero leather is Galashiels, a mere 35 miles from Edinburgh, and there is a museum dedicated to 1960s racing driver Jim Clark in a town called Duns between Galashiels and Berwick upon Tweed.
Visit any big town and in a shopping mall near you, you may find a store named ALL SAINTS. Whats so special about this one? Well I know you are interested in Sewing machines and I reckon this is why they are hard to find now(Search Google images, ALL Saint's store, and you will see what I mean)
As for 'Vintage' stuff, don't bother with the boot sales unless you want to get up at 5am and beat all the eBay devils and vintage clothes store owners.
Enjoy your hols, Johnny Tee


I'll Lock Up
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks Rockets. I'm aware of the cameras and valuables things, and pickpockets. I keep my valuables very close to me (or back at the hotel). Seeing as we *are* going to a wedding, we might be bringing more expensive things than usual.

I don't see anyone stealing MY camera though. It's a pretty cheap one!
In Edinburgh you want to get to Armstrong's. The easiest one to find is in the Grassmarket, just south off the Royal Mile. There's also a decent little shop just across the street from Armstrong's. There are several other stores that are easy to find with a Google search (I can't remember the names). There used to be (about 15 years ago) a wonderful warehouse-sized vintage shop on either Nicholson Street or Clark Street (you'd walk past it heading south from the Bridges) but it's gone now.

In London head to any of the branches of Rockit or Beyond Retro. And The Vintage Showroom on Monmouth Street. There are a few smaller stores around Brick Lane/Cheshire Street but they tend to be quite expensive. Portobello Road market under the Westway on a Friday or Saturday morning, and a nice walk past the antique stalls to Notting Hill Gate.

Have fun. Hope I get to Armstrong's before you - I'll be there on the 16th August …


Two Types

I'll Lock Up
London, UK
Last time I was in Edinburgh, Armstrong's had three shops. Whilst the main shop was rather busy, one of the others (14 Teviot Place
Edinburgh, EH1 2QZ) was much quieter - making it easier to get the staff to dig out a sack of ties from the basement for me to rummage through.


Practically Family
I'd suggest you buy either a Garmin or Tomtom sat nav for moving around in the UK; they are easier to use, give you lots of info, and slip discretely into a front trouser pocket.

Edinburgh is awash with antique shops, but some of the best buys are at auctions. There are a number of small auction houses scattered about Auld Reekie, and your best bet is a quick search on Google. If you are considering the purchase of Highland attire, I can recommend my kilt maker, Stewart Christie. Not cheap, but simply the very best.

And while there, don't forget to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith.


London, UK
A decent ghost walk is always fun in Edinburgh, particularly one that goes in under the bridges. If you get the chance, head to Glasgow for a day (it's about an hour on the bus from Edinburgh). I've had good luck vintage shopping there. Best buy was a beautiful Homberg which I believe to be Thirties, and possibly beaver fur. Twenty quid. Significantly cheaper than London, though as ever better for women than men. Sixties and Seventies are big there as you often find in cintage stores now, though I did see much less Eighties tat than would be the norm down here.


I'll Lock Up
Melbourne, Australia
Hi Everyone!

Well, we're off at the end of the month!

Hotels have been booked, sights are lined up, markets and shops double-checked...for London and Edinburgh, anyway.

We're staying here in London:


The Grosvenor Hotel, in the heart of the West End! Built in the 1860s, it's a real Golden Era of Travel hotel! Freshly restored and renovated, mum picked it for the location and the amenities. I pick it because it's purdy...

We've scrapped travelling to Seville, and will be spending a WEEK in Barcelona, in Spain.

Any tips for the budding vintage traveler? Antiques shops, flea-markets, etc, in Barcelona? My searching has only uncovered a little bit. Any major sights worth seeing? First time to Barcelona. Help required!

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