The best of the British antiques trade is so close and readily accessible. The west of England quite possibly offers the widest range of antiques that Great Britain has to offer is so easily reached from over 200 towns and cities across the USA.
News-Antique.com - Oct 13,2007 - Visitors to Great Britain who want to discover some of the best that the British antiques trade has to offer either as part of their vacation or as an exclusive antiques buying tour now have the opportunity to make a great start by travelling via Bristol International Airport (BIA) in the west of England. BIA is in the centre of what many regard as the most abundant and diverse source of the British antiques trade. With daily direct flights from Newark Liberty International, NJ to BIA of about six hours and linked by conveniently connecting services across the USA, travellers could be closer than perhaps first realised.
Within just eighty miles or about a two-hour drive or so from BIA, visitors could be in the very heart of some of the olde worlde villages of the Cotswolds, such as Stow on the Wold, Tetbury or Moreton in Marsh, which are renowned for their antiques shops.
Easterly from BIA and just twelve miles away visitors will pass through the beautiful City of Bath with its stunning Georgian architecture on their way to Hungerford, where half a day will probably not suffice to absorb the myriad of quality antique shops in this picturesque town.
But there are many more towns that offer excellent antiques sources which are linked by specialists in between. For example Honiton, where for hundreds of years lace making was the main industry of the town but is now home to over twenty dealers and a choice of antiques centers, from here just a short drive away, a small but fascinating architectural and decorative specialist will found and moving on a bit further an old cider factory now houses one dealer whose premises is best described perhaps as just one huge Emporium!
The region also hosts several excellent fairs throughout the year. Exeter has two locations with twelve annual events. Shepton Mallet, which is about twenty miles east of BIA now has five fairs by one organizer and four flea markets by another annually. Whilst in March is the Bath Antiques and Decorative Fair, and during October is the prestigious fine art and antiques event in Cheltenham hosted by LAPADA, one of the national antique dealers’ associations in Britain.
Book lovers and dealers will find that one day in Hay on Wye, alias The Town of Books, on the Welsh Borders is probably not enough to completely explore this ancient town which dates c1050 and has seen many battles in its long history over whether it belonged to the English or Welsh, it now has some thirty dealers including specialists in rare and antiquarian titles.
Finally, could any visit to England be complete without sampling the “Upstairs, Downstairs” of a fine old country manor house?
“Shall I serve afternoon tea in the Drawing Room sir?”
Or rounding off the day sat around a huge oak farmhouse table with a fish and chip supper discussing the day’s events in the “Below Stairs” kitchen.