Vintage Shops in the North

Charlotte Rowland

When it comes to vintage shopping, browsing is key, and these stores, included for their wealth of paraphernalia as well as their individual keen eye for quality goods, know it. Some are spacious and minimal, but more often, they are havens of trinkets, treasures and tiny collectables, crammed into nooks and crannies, like at Vintage Village Stockport, or, spreading outdoors, as at The Makers Market, Northern Quarter. You’re asked, indirectly, to have a good rummage, getting hands-on with what could be your next wardrobe piece or antique. Not knowing what you could find is the fun of it, and, whether you leave loaded with an array of bits and pieces you didn’t know you needed, or empty-handed, you will feel that sense of having supported a tradition regardless, with many of these shops invested in retaining the reusability of individual items in particular.

They say what goes around comes around and, as far as vintage goes, it certainly, for better or worse, does. The other layer to shopping in shops like these, including Walk the Line Vintage, Nantwich, Thrifty Store, Sheffield and Blue Rinse, Leeds, is the satisfaction of knowing you’ve recycled an object which already has a story, adding to its history merely by picking it up. If you’ve never buried yourself in a second-hand bookstore and flicked through the hardbacks to find dedications and love notes scrawled into the front pages from fifty years ago, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s things like this that add real sentiment to a practical good, and remind us of the community we are part of, and what the act of buying, giving and receiving is really about. That’s what the shops gathered here cap on, with each knowing, in their own way, the true value of their product, and how to extend and prolong that within the realms of their own new, curated, modern-day spaces.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Blue Rinse

    Blue Rinse Leeds

    Blue Rinse, 9-11 Call Ln, Leeds, LS1 7DH - Visit now

    Blue Rinse is famed for its vintage fashion, on sale for reasonable prices and in good, like-new condition. Nationwide, the stores are packed with clothing from vying eras, with alpaca knits, quirky, left-alone 70s pieces and tartan shirts left to sit with the likes of branded Levi’s, redesigned corduroy and skirts with the hems taken-up. The brand, lately, has had somewhat of a makeover. Funky fonts in sea-blue and tangerine orange signal the store, while the products, originally eclectic and somewhat up-to-date in their frequent redesigns, have become even more so. It’s well-worth spending a good chunk of time here, if you can, and going through the rails with a beady eye for logo. Make note of their next kilo sale near you, too, occurring regularly and offering the chance to sieve through heaps of clothing piled-up on tabletops. Hours of fun. Promise.

  • 2. Vintage Village in Stockport

    Vintage Village in Stockport, Stockport Covered Market Hall, Market Place, Stockport, SK1 1EU - Visit now

    Vintage Village, Stockport is a medley of stalls, bits and bobs and irregular set-ups housed inside the old Market Hall at the crown of Stockport town centre. You can expect the unexpected here, as the stalls range so much in their appearance, as well as in their stock. Once a month, the place gets crammed full with tables selling anything from clothing, jewellery, homewares, furniture, textiles and other curios, while food stands selling home-baked treats and freshly made hot baps provide a welcome pit-stop. It’s not a large space, but the range of goods on offer means a visit can feel you’ve gotten more out of the rummage than you might have thought. You’ll easily get lost in browsing, and the accessibility and ease of this for locals means it’ll quickly become a fixed feature on your calendar, too, and the covered roof means that, come (typical Stockport) rain or (not so typical) shine, the market is well and truly on.

  • 3. Red Brick Vintage

    Red Brick Vintage, Cains Brewery, Liverpool

    Red Brick Vintage, Stanhope Street, Liverpool, L8 5XJ - Visit now

    Red Brick Vintage, Liverpool is a total vintage cavern. Stock lines the walls, piled up high, odds on top of ends, to give the feel of a real topsy-turvy, curious, eclectic space. When we say the warehouse is full-to-the-brim, we mean it, and we don’t just mean with products either. Traders stand individually around the site, stocking a retro range of antiques, salvaged goods and collectables, though, given the amassed amount of stock, and the way one pile merges into another, you wouldn’t know it. It’s common enough to pick up a piece for purchase and not know where to pay for it, or who it belongs to, but this is all part of the fun. In perusing and browsing the stalls, you get to know the sellers behind them, and feel a part of the community that upholds this space so well. It feels how a good vintage shop should, which, so to speak, is inviting for friendliness and appeal as well as the intrigue and zest for a good hunt the stock creates.

  • 4. GB Antiques Centre

    GB Antiques Centre, Lancaster
    Courtesy of GB Antiques Centre

    GB Antiques Centre, Lancaster Leisure Park, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3LA - Visit now

    Let’s not beat about the bush. GB Antiques Centre is the country’s biggest indoor antiques and furniture centre. It attracts 220,00 visitors every year, who come to stock up and trade with the 120 dealers hosted regularly. The stock is beautiful, with much of it erring on the traditional side of vintage, with pieces reflecting the best of their original times. Think elegant porcelain, pottery, glass, paintings, dolls, fine art, mahogany chairs, walnut frames, ornate gold clocks and glassware. It’s a lovely space to browse, with the goods displayed so that you can easily admire and appreciate their value and upheld craftsmanship. If you see something you like, though, chances are you’ll be put quite a bit out of pocket. The exquisite originality and condition of these items means cost can rack up, but it’s worth enquiring into the price and discussing the finer points with the dealer. Originally a family business which has expanded, this space is a true icon, with heritage and preservation at the core of everything it does, stocks and sells.

  • 5. Northern Quarter Makers Market

    Image courtesy of The Makers Market

    Northern Quarter Makers Market, Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DB - Visit now

    The Makers Market, Northern Quarter is a hub of activity. On the second Sunday of each month the square, a routinely lively and active corner at any rate, fills, ever more, with traders, artists and designers eager to show-off their homemade produce or found goods to just-as-eager shoppers. What’s nice about the sellers is that many of them are local, with passionate creatives showcasing a mix of vintage, modern craft and art. There’s a real sense of community to the ongoings here, with trade on small businesses, plants, baked goods, artisanal beers and street food rendering crowds jovial and merry. You’re encouraged to get stuck in, be it for a drink, a browse or a good old Sunday croissant. Add in the resident DJ and you’ll see why this is not your regular quiet Sunday stroll around quaint market stalls to pick up some flowers, but something much more, founded on talent, heritage and communal involvement.

  • 6. The Antiques Centre in York

    The Antiques Centre in York
    Courtesy of The Antiques Centre York

    The Antiques Centre in York, 41 Stonegate, York, Yorkshire, YO1 8AW - Visit now

    Antiques Centre, York, and ACY Vintage earns its stripes by taking up space, quite literally. With five showrooms spread across three floors, the amount of stock in here is staggering, and trade operates consistently. With a nod to the city, the antiques here are truly historic, representing unique and traditional design periods both. Usually with vintage, going in with an open-mind is ideal, but the range of items for sale here means if you do have something specific in mind you’re hunting for, this is your best bet. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be prepared to rummage and barter, though. With so much on offer, it’s easy to get sidetracked, and the beauty of the space is that is allows for easy, open movement where you can dip in and out of stalls. Sound exhausting? Molly’s Tea Rooms, on the first floor, serving anything from sandwiches to knickerbocker glories and banana splits, awaits.

  • 7. Charabanc

    Charabanc blackpool

    Charabanc, 1 Olympia Builiding, Coronation Street, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 4NY - Visit now

    Charabanc, Blackpool is a homeware and gift shop that sells a changing cycle of locally made produce and vintage regularly. The special touch to this one is that it is situated by the world famous Winter Gardens (featuring a ballroom, no less), putting it on the path of any visitor or tourist. It opened in 2012 by a volunteer-led organisation who specialise in founding self-sustaining arts and cultural initiatives along the coast. If you go in the shop and glance round, the focus on community and in bringing people together over art still rings round. Many of the products are designed by local artists and practitioners, with seasonally themed stock especially catering to public holidays and celebrations via quirky gifts, prints and cards. There’s vintage, too, usually kept to a rail at the back of the white-painted store, full of oversized tweed blazers and light checked linen shirts. It’s a joy to browse here, but the true spirit of showcasing new and old alike, is what makes it special, enabling it to boast something of the current town and its successful artistic endeavours.

  • 8. COW Vintage Manchester

    COW Vintage Manchester, 61 Church Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1PD - Visit now

    No vintage shopping list would be complete without COW, one of the biggest and best vintage shops in the UK. Their handpicked clothes and accessories are ethically sourced from around the world, and span a good fifty years, from 60s mod attire right through to 00s revival pieces. The shelves colour co-ordinate the stock, allowing for easy browsing. If you want a floral tea dress because you refuse to let go of spring, you can find it in the hue you’re after. Or if you’re hankering for some dusky natural tones ahead of autumn, you’ll find them really quickly due to the smart layout. The décor, too, is well thought-out – a mix of faded luxury and urban interior design. Which makes sense when you clock that the designer behind it is Peter Masters, whose previous clients and projects include Oi Polloi and a pop-up for Adidas Originals. So, flowerpots and battered suitcases line the walls, while lights in glass jars, oval hangings overhead and tulip-shaped crystal shades add to the vintage feel. In essence, there’s a whole lot to love here.

  • 9. Revival Vintage Clothing

    Courtesy of Revival Vintage Clothing

    Revival Vintage Clothing, The Railway Sawmills, Burbeary Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 3UN - Visit now

    Revival Vintage Clothing, Huddersfield is the go-to shop for hitting the truly-vintage spot. It’s a space lined with clothing which has been collected, assembled and amassed into an eclectic array of fabrics, patterns and colours, with no real agenda or custom other than to show the best and most varied of real secondhand material. Floral 60s-style dresses sit next to longer, tartan midis, while bowler hats, in fawn and moss, are pegged sideways onto walls above lace handkerchiefs and jewellery boxes stacked with ornate rings and pearls. Available online and in-store, the own-label line, devised by the vintage-loving owners, produces clothing modelled on vintage patterns and shapes made from contemporary materials, offering a distinct blend of old and new which, as far as we know, you can’t always find. It’s unusual, and curious, and the online shop, selling a selected yet wide range of goods, spreads the joy of thrifting and considering the timeframe of a piece just as well.

  • 10. Grey n Pink Records

    Grey n Pink Records Chester
    Courtesy of Grey n Pink Records

    Grey n Pink Records, 57 Brook Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 3DZ - Visit now

    Grey n Pink Records, Chester sells vinyl, and vinyl only. It’s no secret that there’s been a real surge for this type of music-collecting as of late, but this shop has heritage to it and then some, with over thirty years in the business behind it giving it a clear view on today’s occurrences, and what to stock to cater to new interest. It does this ridiculously well, with the shelves covering all bases, equally as variable in pop and contemporary as they are punk, jazz and indie. The staff are knowledgeable, too, so if there’s anything you’re after in particular, ask. They’ll help you track it down, if possible, or they’ll recommend some equally as good alternative which fits your bill just as well. It’s said the collection here must be the largest stack of LPs, 7” and 12” singles that you’ll find in Cheshire. Rumour or not, it’s a selection large enough to warrant a trip, and, if you want to extend your own collection, we can guarantee you’ll come away with something from here that does the job nicely.

  • 11. Revo Records

    Revo Records, Halifax
    Image courtesy of Revo Records

    Revo Records, 26 Westgate, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1DJ - Visit now

    Revo Records is Halifax’s best spot for vinyl trade. In place for over thirty years, the shop’s pride and joy is it’s stability, and the way it has built up a solid customer-base and extensive renown over the many interactions and sales that have crossed the countertops. The stock is just as lengthy, with titles fulfilling all manner of genre and era, with much of it, usually, taken to the annual Record Store Day, where the store plays a big part in racking up interest in this area of music-collectables by presenting its unique and refreshing body of bound-up discs to all involved. It occupies a small corner, back home, but it’s a valuable one, as there aren’t any other indie music shops like it close-by. Surrounded by independent eateries and other, vying boutiques, however, the store is well-positioned for a visit, fitting-in with any budding plans to grab a bite to eat, or otherwise.

  • 12. Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, Manchester

    Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, Manchester, Royal Mills, Redhill Street, Manchester, M4 5BA - Visit now

    Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, Manchester is famed for its variable and utterly gigantic gigs, put-on every so often to bring good vintage to the masses. It’s attractive, not just for the stock, which is reasonably priced and in good-enough, wearable quality, but for the quirkiness it upholds, taking place in a large, vacant space which suits the atmosphere of renewal well. Its motto is just that. No fabric or fashionable piece is out-of-line here. Anything goes. Tables topped with denim trews and jackets sidle others draped in chiffon dresses with beaded bodices that you should wear to an elegant occasion but could wear out to any old drinking stint. There’s usually one desk stacked with brown leather handbags alone, erring to the tradition and much-loved formality of the simple colourway. The beauty of having so many options, and so much stock, is the repurposing that takes place with every purchase, and the rabble of the crowds as they bustle for business and browse the bounteous piles of erratic clothing before choosing what to take home, stuffed into totes and paper bags that will be carried preciously, containing new pieces that are already so treasured and adopted.

  • 13. Wakefield Antiques

    Wakefield Antiques, The Ridings

    Wakefield Antiques, The Ridings Shopping Centre, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF11DS - Visit now

    Wakefield Antiques, The Ridings is the hot-spot space for locals of Wakefield to deal, create and collect products, craft and heirlooms. It’s a hub, and visitors, regular and new alike, flock to find the best of the best when it comes to vintage homeware. Given the luxurious nature of the items gathered, and the care and attentiveness with which they have been looked after or restored, prices can err on the more expensive side, though smaller items and knick-knacks won’t always set you back too much. Set in The Ridings, which is a wider, contemporary shopping mall, combining new and old in one go has never been easier. It’s open everyday, though it does close slightly earlier on a Sunday, making it the ideal go-to to have on your radar for when a good browse, and maybe a bit of heckling, takes your fancy.

  • 14. Retro Newcastle

    Retro Clothing, Newcastle
    Image courtesy of Retro Clothing, Newcastle.

    Retro Newcastle, 2 High Bridge, Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1EN - Visit now

    Retro is a popular, quirky vintage shop selling one-off, unique pieces in a slinky interior close to Newcastle town centre. It’s hard to say what you can expect to find here because, as is the way with proper, reliable vintage shops, the stock changes regularly, but a lot of the garments chosen do tend to have something noticeably different about them. Jeans, for instance, might have patchwork logos ironed to their fronts, or a classic crew-neck could be far-from-classic for coming in the most vivid shade of green imaginable. The array of clothing on offer here is impressive and, though small, the shop is filled with suchlike items. The storefront is easy-to-spot, with purple-painted window-frames and orange grid-marks sprucing it up, and a funky name banner in bold black and white. The quirky, lively decor sums up what the shop, and its products, are really about, which, namely, is having fun with vintage, and clothing, and finding new ways to style the old in a way which makes a statement, and defines what the piece or pieces are about.

  • 15. Flip Vintage American Clothing

    Flip Vintage American Clothing
    Flip Vintage American Clothing

    Flip Vintage American Clothing, 104 Westgate Road, Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE14AF - Visit now

    Flip Vintage American Clothing is Newcastle’s longest established vintage store, importing genuine American clothing since 1978. With such a specific outlook, the stock is as expected. Military field jackets, kimonos, baseball jerseys, evening dresses, trench coats and western wear fill the rails, all of which are well worth a raid if you’re looking for something in this style. It’s a selective genre, but there is scope within it, too. Jackets range in their print, size and style, as do tops, coats and dresses. Either way, it’s worth a browse, and, so conveniently and centrally located, it’s easily stopped-by during a shopping spell in town. Family-ran, with the first owner working for years to source vintage, you can trust that what you’re getting here is the real deal, with well-founded products on sale for a reasonable price.

  • 16. Dagfields Craft and Antiques Centre

    Dagfields Craft and Antiques Centre

    Dagfields Craft and Antiques Centre, Walgherton, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 7LG - Visit now

    Dagfields Craft and Antiques Centre, Nantwich truly lives up to its name. There’s crafts, and antiques, and it’s all housed in a centre which is open seven days a week, making it so easy to pop in and explore. The latter is, really, what this place is for. Shelves are full with ornaments, candlesticks, pottery, vases and plates, and to really assess and survey the goods, you’re going to need time, and a good eye for detail. Many of the products are carefully painted, or decorated with traditional designs, as well as quirky offcuts that seem to deter from the usual china-prints, and there’s no limit to the colour-ways or materials used. The craft section also houses new art materials, catering to visiting artists who want to pick up new supplies and tools. Paints, brushes, papers, frames and oil pastels fill the wall-mounts, lending the room a creative, useful feel. After all the browsing, the on-site tea-room awaits, where jacket potatoes, toasties, soups, oatcakes, quiche and cakes are served-up, with an outdoor seating area, for those rare, warm days, where you can grab a breather and mull your recent, or yet-to-come, purchases.

  • 17. Judy’s Affordable Vintage Furniture Fair, Leeds

    Judy’s Affordable Vintage Furniture Fair, Leeds, Unit F, Flea HQ, Seacroft Industrial & Trade Park, Leeds, LS14 2AQ - Visit now

    Judy’s Affordable Vintage Furniture Fair, Leeds is the famed fair’s take on a more niche line of product. In a similar vein to the typical clothes fair, items are stacked bric-a-brac style, one atop the other, yet with enough space to view them assuredly, and take one out if needs be. You’ll see people shifting a side table to get to the persian rug underneath it, or pulling a basket off a tabletop to get a better look at its size. It’s hands-on, and you should go prepared to rummage, inspite of it being somewhat larger objects you’re taking in here. The notion of vintage shopping is, rightfully, kept intact, meaning you’ll have to gear yourself up to rummage, in a different way, to come away with the goods. It’s no bad thing, we don’t think, as it means you get the full experience of vintage shopping while knowing you’re in the right place if furniture and a new homely addition is what you’re after. Keep an eye on dates, and get the next upcoming showcase penned in your diary.

  • 18. Walk the Line Vintage

    Creative Tourist

    Walk the Line Vintage, 4 Cocoa Yard, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5BL - Visit now

    Walk the Line Vintage, Nantwich, is an independent, quirky gathering of stylish, unusual pieces, selected for their prints with a difference and classics with a twist. You can tell there’s a real eye behind each item here. Everything is unique, with no two pieces having anything in common. Yet, for the store itself, there’s a real harmony, stemming, perhaps, from the fact all of the garments up for grabs are special, treasured already by the fact they are hanging on full display. It feels inviting, and if the bold garments deter you for any reason to begin with, you’ll soon find yourself holding them up in admiration, wondering where you could possibly wear it to. It’s retro-inspired, with visible influences from past scenes, including old films and artists. P.S. Yes; the name is a nod to Johnny Cash. Founder and secondhand clothes lover owner Lea attributes her finding of her passion to her Grandad, who would play such music on long car rides, and always said people should wear anything, just anything, they like.

  • 19. Thrifty Store

    Thrifty Store, Sheffield.
    Image courtesy of Thrifty Store, Sheffield.

    Thrifty Store, 27 King Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire, S3 8LF - Visit now

    Thrifty Store, Sheffield is an up-to-date, sleek space, popular with young crowds for its affordable price points and quirky, unusual one-off pieces. Selling fashionable items for men and women, the brands stocked here are usually famed and somewhat athletic, including Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Ralph Lauren. Polo shirts and formal attire span the mens and womens collections alike, while the unisex section proffers baggy, relaxed-fit styles in neutral tones to suit all manner of frames. The accessories are varied, too, with caps, sunglasses, scarves and footwear included in a diverse mix of styles. Anything goes, in short, but it’s worth noting the sporty spin on a lot of the clothing, and the way many of the garments give off a laid-back, cool vibe. For inspiration, there’s an online look-book, where you can see how some of the previously-stocked styles are worn, and get more of an idea of what type of wear you might find here.

  • 20. Ryan Vintage

    Ryan Vintage Leeds
    Creative Tourist

    Ryan Vintage, 13 Duncan Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, LS1 6DQ - Visit now

    Ryan Vintage, Leeds, is dubbed as the longest running, best value vintage clothes shop in the town. We’re listening. It’s easy to see how loved it may be, given the accessibility and ease with which stock can be trawled through and picked up. It’s a big, centrally-placed spot, with lines of long surfaces full of piled-high clothing, including anything and everything, with no strict measure about what to include. It’s a source of difference for shopping, with an experience here including the unknown, where browsing is not tailored to selecting a preconceived item but is instead synced to finding something new and unexpected, making it all the more special and meaningful. It would be hard for anyone with a love for secondhand clothing and accessories to leave here purchase-free, given the range of goods on offer, so take your empty totes, stock-up, and spend a good while deliberating over what to leave and what to claim.