There are many great reasons for visiting Edinburgh, the castle, Princes Street, the zoo and the Botanic gardens are some of the attractions that the capital of Scotland has to offer the tourist. For those who love a bargain however, Edinburgh is also a utopia of delights thanks to the many flea markets, car boot sales and charity shops that exist in and around the back streets of this majestic city.
Almost anything can be found at these flea markets, from antique toys to traditional sofas, and everything in between. Flea markets have always had their followers, after all, it’s an awful lot of fun browsing around stalls and hunting amongst bric-a-brac in the hope of finding that great bargain or a treasure that will be worth a small fortune.
In and around Edinburgh the best known flea markets/car boot sales are at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange and the Funhouse car boot at West Currie. Travel a little further afield and you will come across the large East Fortune Sunday market. Held every Sunday as the name suggests, this market boasts over 300 stalls covering vast and eclectic range of goods to satisfy even the most discerning of bargain hunters.
If you have the transport to travel a further afield from Edinburgh there is the Bathgate car boot which is 18 miles away, while a 19 mile trip will take you to the enormous Sunday Market at Kinross. Allow yourself plenty of time here as with between 450 and 500 stalls this is not somewhere for a quick browse. Get there as early as possible and be prepared for large crowds as this is a mighty market that attracts people from miles around.
The term flea market is lost in the mists of time and there have been many reasons given over the years as to why this phrase was coined. Some think it dates back to 17th century France when a market was held in Paris at the Marche au Puces, which translates to market with fleas.
Others believe it originates from the fly markets that were held in New York in the 18th century. The Dutch referred to these as vlie markets, meaning valley, but as it was pronounced as flea, the name stuck. However the flea market got its name is inconsequential, as over time it has come to represent somewhere that rents a space to anyone who has goods to sell and welcomes those with money in their pocket who wish to buy.
The old saying one mans rubbish is another mans treasure can certainly be applied to flea markets. Just seeing happy shoppers walking around carrying what often looks like junk will emphasise this even further. These markets are a great way to get rid of your unwanted items and have a fun day out in the process, and the ever increasing popularity in these markets show that if you have something to sell there will be somebody who wants to buy it.