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The Best Makers Markets and Pop-Up Shops in the UK

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Ever wanted to broaden your customer base by getting out there and selling in real life? There are markets up and down the country you can get involved in where prices are super approachable, starting from just £7 for a stall. We'll give you tips, tricks and 'must haves' to get you ready for trading in real life!

We have spent years trading up and down the country discovering the best of the markets our country has to offer. We'll compile not only markets that we have visited but those that we intend to visit too. We've narrowed this down into the following areas so feel free to skip to your locals if you're not up for a road trip any time soon, see North, South & Midlands.

RULES: Please don't apply to every market on here, only apply to suitable markets for your work - lots of these markets are run by one person and get hundreds of applications.



MARKETS IN THE SOUTH


DIY ART MARKET - London @ Truman's Social Club
A London based art market with around 80 artists exhibiting work, think modern, colourful fiercely independent creatives.
Photo by @cwiss

There are markets for both artists and ceramicists here so be sure to apply for the applicable ones. You must fit the aesthetic of the market to apply for this one so be sure to check out the instagram here before applying.

Tips: Apply in advance of your preferred dates as they check applications every 3-5 weeks. Attach your instagram link (not handle) or 3 jpegs of your work to the email application. Contact diyartmarket@gmail.com to apply.



FOLKESTONE MARKETPLACE - THE HARBOUR ARM

*TRIED AND TESTED* Unchallenged, this is my favourite market to sell at. Not only the top of the list because you're selling on the beachfront on an old train station platform but because the crowd is great, you've got tourists and creatives over from London and Margate visiting on the weekends. It comes with a great Whatsapp group which is pretty laid back if you're local and want to attend often. It's a cheap market to trade at around £30 - though you do need to bring your own table. I'd recommend this one more for the months where we have better weather as it can get very windy and is a bit quieter in the colder months however they have recently made their Christmas market into sheltered booths which looks great!

Plus, Folkestone has changed completely in the last 5 years, it's now a great holiday destination having been pumped with funding for the arts in recent years.

Apply via their instagram ready for when they are back in April.

Tips: Definitely take a card machine with you and make sure you take paper weights if you have anything light on your stall - it can get windy on the sea front.



OLD SPITALFIELDS MARKET - SPITALFIELDS
Pop up indie market stalls in London

The Old Spitalfields Market is open 7 days a week, however they do take applications from both casual or long term traders. You must apply to this market here where a team will check out your application and make sure you are the right fit before contacting you. This market has one of the biggest online followings of any other market, having attended this as a visitor I can say it is a busy one!

They have some awesome pop up markets at this location by @urbanmakers_uk (pictured)
& also @sw_antique_markets for those of you selling vintage goods.


BRIGHTON ILLUSTRATION FAIR - Brighton @ Different venues.

Run sporadicly, this Brighton fair packs a punch, their advertising is great and their curation makes it a great market for break through artists. Often run over two days you tend to get around 6 weeks notice for applications so be sure to give their instagram a follow.

Tips: The clue is in the name for this one -illustrators, this one's for you!


TRUMAN MARKETS - LONDON - BRICK LANE

Brick Lane's famous market with 300+ independent businesses every weekend.
See also @theyardsaleUK for vintage pop up sales at the Truman Brewery every month.
& @bricklanevintagemarket the UK's biggest vintage market.
They do an "upmarket" which accommodates a mix of food and retail traders and then a Backyard Market which houses an eclectic mix of indie retail traders. These cost £50 for a Saturday and £60 for a Sunday or £105 for the full weekend - stalls can be left up overnight as the building gets locked.

WASTED CHIC EVENTS - HACKNEY

*Tried and tested* After following their vibey instagram for over a year I applied for this market, it looks amazing and super busy online so I reckon I got it on an off day as it was very quiet for me! I feel like we share the same customer base and in theory this could have been a one off so I would love to do another as the communication was brilliant from the organiser. As you can see from this pic, it's such a great location in Hackney.
Stall cost was £70 which included a table and marquee.

Tips: It's first come first served on spots so get there early for a good pitch.


BRIGHTON OPEN MARKET - BRIGHTON

A retail space for 40+ local independent businesses to trade in. They host art fairs and Christmas makers markets including makers selling everything from soaps to vintage kimonos. Unfortunately their instagram isn't the best for informing how to apply but keep it on your radar as lots of out of town traders seem to be putting on events here.

FLEA @ VINEGAR YARD - LONDON

Vintage and Makers Market full of curated treasures. It operates every Saturday & Sunday and is carefully curated so that it's less of a dusty rummage! Pitch fees are £35 a day. They are very specific of who they let in so make sure you check out their instagram before you apply. You can find further info here.




MARKETS IN THE NORTH


ENDLESS LOVE CREATIVE - SHEFFIELD @ Showroom Workstation

A Sheffield based makers market, book club and pop up collective. They'll be branching out to host markets in other cities this year which we are really excited about.

Stalls cost £75 which includes a table on the day.

There are around 60 stallholders at the events which should bring a great crowd!

They currently have two dates you can apply for: 7th May & 19th November.

If this sounds like it suits you - you can apply here.


Tips: They look for the following 3 things on applications, Unique design and quality product, in keeping with the playful and contemporary aesthetic of Endless Love Creative and a proactive social media feed with a clear and consistent style/voice.


GOOD THINGS MARKET - HULL

A seasonal art, craft & design market held in Hull's fruit market. The locations for this market are always banging, big, unusual and open spaces like car parks and warehouses! They run the market over two days and have different traders for each which I think is a great idea. Their marketing is what makes this market really successful, so much so I totally borrowed their gift voucher idea for our market!
This market gives you a good few months to get organised and apply, their Spring dates have now closed but you can sign up the their mailing list to be the first to find out when applications open for future dates. Sign up here.


MEK SUMMAT - CAROLINE STREET SOCIAL CLUB - SALTAIRE

*TRIED & TESTED* - Bloody 'eck, one of the best markets to trade at!! The venue couldn't be better, an old social club with incredible carpets and wallpaper, bloody 'eck is it a good time. The marketing was banging, upon arriving to Saltaire I could see signs for it all over, it was shared a bunch of times so was unmissable online and the turn out reflected that. I really rate the curation of this market, everyone was selling cool stuff - it's always a worry at these markets that you'll spend more than you make because you're surrounded by really awesome stuff and this didn't disappoint! Can confirm that their makers chat group is 10/10 entertainment and the fee for this makes it worthwhile. They don't necessarily take applications, I think it's more like they find you but give em a follow so you're on their radar. @meksummat Rumour has it that they may be branching out to do markets in York too!



LEVENSHULME MARKET - LEVENSHULME NR MANCHESTER

*Tried and tested* I found this market by chance after failing to get on a central Manchester Market -it's a real struggle to get on a Manchester market as they often don't take applications until very last minute which means the accommodation is sparse. Anyhow, that doesn't include Levenshulme which is a short train ride from the centre, they took my application in advance and I did one of their night markets! The lovely trader neighbours suggested I would have been better suited to their day markets as it was mostly food traders on the evening I attended but I did meet lots of new customers who hadn't heard of my business before so I see it as some good marketing done! I ate a load of really good food too - if you're a food vendor, this one's for you!

THE MAKERS MARKET - VARIOUS LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT MANCHESTER

Well established, this market is very straight forward to apply for with all dates and destinations clearly listed on their website. Depending on destination, the markets are open on Saturday or Sunday. Prices range from £40-£75 for a stall and you apply within the same month of whichever market you want to do! I'm desperate to get on their Northern Quarter market they do so hopefully the stars will align this year and I can report back on what it's like to trade at! They also branch out over Christmas but these slots get snapped up quickly so sign up to their mailing list for more info! Sign up to become a maker here.

MAKE MORE STUFF MARKET - LEEDS - DERBY - GATESHEAD

A travelling market, this one has been on my to-apply list for a while! When the dates align, i'll deffo give it a go! Run by two makers, the curation of this market is what excites me - a really well thought out selection of makers always draws in a good crowd and they do this really well. What's also great is that they have a directory on their website listing every maker that's traded with them in the past year, take a look through them and give them a follow for when applications open again. Keep in the loop here.


Photo of busy pop up independent market in Northern England


MEERSBROOK MAKERS MARKET - SHEFFIELD @ MEERSBROOK PARK CHURCH

Run by two makers, this brand new Sheffield market hosts a whole range of creatives, the last market had over 20 makers. This market gives you good warning on when to apply so be sure to keep a look out on their instagram.

POP-UP PALM HOUSE MARKETS - LIVERPOOL

Set in the beautiful venue of the Palm House (if you're not familiar, think how insane it would be to trade in mini Kew Garden's Temperate House!) Their applications for their Spring Market are now open, taking place on 20/21 & 22nd of May. You can apply to trade, here.




MIDLANDS MARKETS


SNEINTON AVENUES MARKET

*Tried and tested* This market is a banger, hosted by two babes who own independent shops on the avenues. I have attended a few times over the past years and each time i've been it's been completely different crowds of people. The market is outside so be sure to bring your toasty clothes, they are usually happy to supply marquees to first timers at the market. I really love the marketing on the day of the market, it's always interactive and organic. Stalls cost around £45 (i think!) & tables are limited so if you need one drop a message in advance. They have frequent market stalls once the weather picks up, so give them a follow to find out when that is!

Tips: Sometimes they have a vegan market on in close proximity which makes the area busier! Also noteworthy that Nottingham Pride makes this event great too -Cross reference your dates for a busy day!



MIDLANDS MAKERS

I'd be silly not to include my own curated market, located primarily in Leicester I host markets throughout the year in interesting locations. Most markets are a mix of new and established creators to be sure to pull in a crowd, I usually pic an array of bright, fun makers and musicians to create an event saturated in community spirit. Keep an eye on this website or sign up to our mailing list to find out when our next market applications go live!

Tips: Apply with clear links to your instagram account, I usually pick vibrant, modern creatives who are active on their socials to help draw in a crowd.


PAPER DOLLS HANDMADE - BIRMINGHAM
Stall Holder at Paper Dolls Handmade Art Market - Best in the UK

A Contemporary Handmade Marketplace for established designer makers. It's a really well organised market held in the Custard Factory in Birmingham. They tend to hold two markets a year, summer and winter. The advertising is incredibly professional for this market and i'd advise anyone with a high-end contemporary craft to consider applying as you're the perfect demographic. I really enjoy how they run their instagram page as they feature all makers in the run up to the event which creates a real buzz, they also host an online photo gallery after the event to share photos of the day.




NOTTINGHAM CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FAIR

This contemporary museum also hosts craft fairs in both summer and winter markets over several dates, they put out a call for entry on their instagram page which looks for independent designers, makers and small business across a broad selection of disciplines including textiles, ceramics, jewellery, prints, confectionary and more.

Tips: Last year they launched applications on July 1st for their August & September dates, keep a look out on their instagram, here.



AND BEYOND!


TOBACCO FACTORY - BRISTOL

*TRIED & TESTED* - Loved this market, everyone was friendly, the food was good and the

venue was great. It was organised really professionally and most importantly, it was dog friendly so we were surrounded by cuties all day! It was only £28 for a stall (excl table) and I easily made that back from how busy it was. There's only space for a few stalls but it's on every weekend so it's got a regular customer base. You can have a beer on site while trading too which is always a bonus for me when i'm working hard - haha! It's another outdoor one but you're under shelter should the weather be bad.

You have to apply in advance for this one, so to become a trader click here.

Follow their instagram here.


Tobacco Factory Makers Market - Best In the UK

FROME INDEPENDENT

Whilst trading at the above market I noted that I was continuously recommended to trade at the Frome Independent Market so I am popping it here for good measure. I hear it can be hit or miss depending on the weather but it's generally a good turn out.


FIERCE BABE MARKET - NORWICH

*Tried and tested* I've had stalls at this market a few times and they always have the best stall holders. Applications are open to both new and returning faces and both experienced and first-time stallholders. Stallholders should identify as women, trans, non binary, and/or be part of the LGBTQ+ community.

They're sooo good at advertising that I actually found it *too* busy at the last market which meant a one way system was in place. It was impressive, queues all day at the door, i'd love to see this influx of people but back with their open plan style the used to do as the high traffic of people in a one way system meant that nobody was trying on clothing - if you sell clothes, just bare that in mind - however I don't doubt that they'll plan the next one taking that into account!

You should 100% apply if you're in the area as it's the most amazing market and you won't regret it. The people who run it are absolutely the loveliest humans on the planet and you couldn't ask for better organisers.

Tables cost £50 for full table and £25 for half at their next market and applications are open now! Apply here.


CRAFT & FLEA - ALL OVER THE UK

Craft & Flea put on some awesome markets all over the UK in interesting venues like churches & cathedrals! I highly recommend signing up to their mailing list as they have an extensive list of dates which are updated all the time. It's simple to apply to and the rates are reasonable considering the amount of advertising that they do for the event! The only downside to this event is that they do charge on the door which means it's not always as busy as other markets.


All pictures belong to the market representatives and are used here purely to lift their profile. We are not making any money from this article.


If I have missed any markets off that either you put on or have attended, please do let me know and I'll explore and include them.


If you have found this page useful, please consider buying us a coffee so we can continue to keep making free information like this. You can find do this by donating £2 here.

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