This is the second of 4 blogs on our May/June 2014 trip.
With Stow-on-the-Wold as our base camp, we divided our time between antiquing and lollygagging. Antiquing in the golden villages of the Cotswolds tends towards the high-end. For example, that darling pub stool is from the 1600s and cost $1600. That’s what we would say is high-end. However, we are happy to report some of our best finds, cool and affordable, were found in the Cotswolds, we just had to look a little harder.
If you’ve read our previous blogs, you know that we tend to shop wherever we can, but we spend the majority of our money and time at large international fairs in the midlands of England, i.e. IACF Newark and Arthur Swallow Lincoln. In the Cotswolds, we focused our attention and efforts on antique centres. By doing so, we avoided the high-end furniture stores and found affordable items to bring back to Missouri. Thus, we did more vintiquing than antiquing, since the antiques in the UK are truly antiques. Once we found locations of the centres and markets, we eagerly mapped out our day trips and googled park-and-pay lots, so we were good to go, as long as the SatNav was working!
We drove down to the Cotswolds from the Manchester airport and stopped for lunch in Broadway, a beautiful, tidy village northwest of Stow. Here, we found a great first stop, Fenwick and Fenwick. The owner clearly loves the same antiques we do, and his shop is full of brown oak furniture, pewter and copper, carved wood and blue and white transferware. You could easily confuse our two stores, except his building was built in 1450. A little earlier than our 1953 building.
If you’re planning on shopping in the northern Cotswolds, let us guide you. Here are the places where we found our favorites.
- Burford. Although there are several antique stores here, we only had success at two of them. Antiques at the George and Chris Walker’s shop on Tailor’s Row.
- Chipping Norton. There are two good antique centres, one is on the east side of the town, The Quiet Woman, and the other is on the west side of the town, Station Mill Antique Centre. Both were large centres and there is something for everyone.
- Moreton-in-Marsh. A busy market town with several shops and antique centers on the main road. We enjoyed our visit and would recommend antiquing here. Favorites included: Windsor House and London House.
- Stow-on-the-Wold. Our residence for the week had many lovely shops, although most fell into the high-end category. Our favorite was the Tudor House.
- Tetbury. This was our favorite shopping. Several centres and shops line Long Street. We spent a whole day here and it was here we found our favorite centre, Top Banana. We searched all five floors looking for interesting items and we emerged happy with our findings.
- Winchcombe. There are several shops along High Street and the Winchcombe Antique Centre has two floors of affordable antiques. It was easy to combine antique shopping with visiting Sudeley Castle, so we made a day of it.
We also visited Broadway, Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Campden, and Lechlade. Each village had one or more shops. Enough to entertain us, but not an antique destination.