The United Kingdom is rich in history and culture, which makes it the perfect place for avid collectors and art enthusiasts to explore. Art appreciation trips are a great way to become more informed and inspired, so they are an ideal way to spend time if you have a growing interest or a passion for the world of art and antiques. This article will look at 5 amazing art and antiques inspired day trips across the United Kingdom that would be any collector’s dream.
1. Shepton Mallet, Somerset
The Somerset town of Shepton Mallet is a must-visit for all art and antiques lovers. This ancient market town itself is known for being welcoming to all who spend the day, whether that’s for a glass of its homemade cider or for a particular event, such as the Antiques, Vintage and Collectors Market.
This market is an art lover’s dream – housed in The Bath & West Showground, it features up to 600 stands that feature everything from antique furniture and a variety of paintings to luxury items and restoration projects.
Once you’re ready to take a breather from the buzz of the market, Shepton Mallet is nestled in the countryside of Somerset, near larger cities and towns such as Bath, Frome, and Wells, all of which have their own museums and antique stores that are perfect for any collector.
2. Ardingly, West Sussex
Ardingly Antiques Market is the largest market in the South of England and should be on every collector’s calendar. Ardingly is popular for many reasons, such as its proximity to Gatwick, London and Dover – ideal for international buyers and dealers – and for anyone who’s interested in anything and everything. From intricate ceramics to vintage furniture products, there’s something there for everyone.
And it doesn’t stop there. The market’s fab location means that, if you find what you’re looking for early on, you can still make a day out of it by exploring Ardingly’s beautiful surroundings – more than half the surrounding landscape is protected countryside, so it’s perfect for those wanting an outdoor excursion. Alternatively, take the hour-long train journey to London to see what else lies in store.
3. Alexandra Palace, London
Speaking of London, every antique and art-enthusiast needs to take a trip to Alexandra Palace. This majestic historic building is the ideal place for a vintage market – one that happens to attract over 300 dealers each year. A beautiful setting that houses a wealth of captivating art and many hidden treasures, it’s a must-visit for every collector.
If you can’t get enough of the Palace’s market, then feel free to peruse the Pop-Up Vintage Fair, based in the same location. The fair offers vintage clothing and accessories, homeware, collectibles and more – certainly something for everyone.
And of course, don’t forget to explore Alexandra Palace itself. This 19th century building is a popular attraction for tourists, containing its own theatre, circus, racetrack, concert hall, dining areas and more, it’s a fantastic family day out. The history of the building alone is enough to pique interest, but with so much on offer, you’ll never want to leave.
4. Newark, Nottinghamshire
If you’re an avid antiques collector, then you’ve most likely heard of the Newark International Antiques & Collectors Market. This renowned event is the largest of its kind in Europe and boasts everything from glittering chandeliers to vibrant paintings and sports memorabilia. You’re truly spoilt for choice here!
The town itself is a must-visit for history lovers. This thriving historic town is known for its castle, which played a significant role in the Civil War. If you’re interested in finding out more, be sure to book on to the Nottinghamshire Civil War Trail which takes you to kay landmarks which explores this particularly turbulent period in Nottinghamshire’s history.
And if that isn’t enough, Newark hosts a selection of antique shops, which are dotted throughout the town. Just don’t forget to finish off the day with a boat ride along Beeston Marina river and enjoy a drink at the Boathouse Café.
5. Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Lined with listed gothic buildings and green spaces, the picturesque city of Peterborough is a must-visit for antique and art collectors. The Festival Of Antiques is one of the largest antique markets in the country and is of course a major event for buyers and dealers throughout the UK. Located in four permanent buildings and acres of outdoor space, there really is something for everyone here, from fine art and ceramics to vintage furniture and collectors’ items.
Peterborough itself is also a fantastic place to explore. The cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece and filled with breath-taking rooms and its own calendar of events. The Peterborough Museum is also worth a visit, boasting its own art gallery and fossil collection, each item telling its own story and adding to the city’s rich history. If you’re wanting to spend some time outdoors, Nene Park is a permanent haven for all woodland creatures and also offers a variety of fun activities with which the whole family can get involved.
We hope this article will help you to plan an exciting and interesting art-inspired adventure soon!