Due east from the airport and within just 15 miles lies the world heritage city of Bath which has it's own very active antique dealers association, BABAADA. The Bath and Bradford on Avon Antique Dealers Association not only provides a network of more than 50 members but is also well qualified to assist on all antiques matters, from sourcing to shipping. Gail Al-Omar secretary of BABAADA says, "Many of our members already have established clients in the USA and we are looking forward to extending our business and offering our reputable service to other US based customers". Continuing easterly and still within easy reach, buyers will find a further extensive selection of quality antiques in the picturesque town of Hungerford. With two antique centres together with fifteen other general and specialist dealers, not forgetting a regular fair, the town is perhaps one of the best-kept antiques secrets in the UK!
Whereas westerly throughout South Wales, produces some fine Welsh antique furniture including dressers and decorative items from various specialist dealers and several auction rooms including a weekly Sunday sale near Newport. The area extends as far as the tiny Welsh border town of Hay on Wye, renowned for it’s endless supply of antiquarian book shops, in fact 39 in total and the annual Hay Festival which attracts 80,000 worldwide visitors.
The West Country also abounds with some excellent antique fairs, notably at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, which is under an hour from the airport. The Showground is home to a very large fair on weekends six times a year by one organiser, and a regular Flea Market by another. There is also a very large fair held five times a year at West Point Exhibition Centre near Exeter with a capacity of up to 500 exhibitors, and a monthly fair on Sunday's at Malvern Showground, which is less than two hours drive away in the north of the area. There are in addition many more good quality fairs, some specialist, held throughout the region, mostly at weekends. Similarly, several dealer associations host their own events throughout the year, for example BABAADA, the Bath & Bradford on Avon Antique Dealers Association in Bath during March. LAPADA, the Association of Art & Antique Dealers at Cheltenham Racecourse in October and CADA, the Cotswold Antique Dealers Association, 'Members Exhibitions’ during the same month.
In addition Antique Centres are perhaps the easiest way to find a concentrated yet varied selection of antiques dealers under one roof, there are literally dozens spread across the whole region.
Auction sales are a prominent feature of the British antiques trade and the West Country is certainly no exception. With a vast range of items, some auction houses have weekly general sales and many hold scheduled specialist sales. At our last count there were over 60 salerooms in the region. With the aid of the Internet US buyers could quite easily integrate visits to several sales during their stay, and even if a sale