I also posted 'Britain in late Jan/early Feb??' earlier today. My daughter and I are just in the early stages of planning our trip. Both of us enjoy antique and thrift-store shopping here in Canada. I know there are lots of antique shops in Britain - are the prices really high? have people found things that small enough to bring home? Or is antique 'shopping' best to be just for 'window shopping'? Thrift store shopping - for clothes - ARE there thrift shops? What do others think of them? thanks
There are thrift ships in the UK, but they are called charity shops. Every town of any size will have a couple on the High Street. Oxfam, Cancer Research, etc. all have shops with clothes, books, collectibles for sale at very attractive prices. I have relatives in Britain who dress very smartly and never buy anything in a "proper" store. Wouldn't think of it.
Can't say if they'll "open" in Jan or Feb but a fun way to thrift shop in London is to explore boot sales. Boot is the trunk of an automobile. http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/londons-best-car-boot-sales
Hi Christine, thrift shops, or charity shops as they're known here will be open, and on most high streets, they're prolific. Since the economic downturn, there have been shops left vacant and the charities use the premises at reduced rent and rates. Look for Oxfam, Help the Aged, Salvation Army, PDSA, Dr. Barnado's and Mind. There are others, too. They sell all sorts of things, and you can bag a bargain. As a general rule, the 'better' the area, the better the offerings in the shops. Certainly you can find small things to make great souvenirs.
I don't know much (anything!) about antiques, so can't help you there I'm afraid.