Published on January 29th, 2015 | by Sam Emmett0
6 shops antique hunters must visit
You don’t need to be an avid collector or own a monocle to enjoy a good trip to an antiques outlet. Sometimes spending an afternoon peering through glass cabinets at old, shiny things can be the perfect remedy to a boring, grey day. Check out our suggestions for the best places to go antique hunting in Reading and the surrounding areas.
Just across the road from Vastern Court Retail Park you’ll find Fanny’s, one of Reading’s longest-running antique havens. Full to the brim with furniture, accessories and art, perhaps what makes this place so appealing to local vintage-lovers is its vast selection of fashion from across the ages. The size of the place coupled with the huge number of treasures packed tightly inside make Fanny’s the premier destination for antique hunters in Reading. Wear a jumper, though – like many converted antique stores, this one can get rather chilly!
Take a trip to Wargrave Antiques and you’ll find your weight in trinkets, decorative home items and even taxidermy. Like many antique shops of its size and kind, Wargrave Antiques is run by friendly staff and gives off that musty, ‘stepped back in time’ atmosphere. You’ll find this one tucked amongst a row of similarly appealing independent outlets on the high street. Wargrave itself is perfect for a leisurely Saturday afternoon stroll and takes less than twenty minutes to reach from central Reading.
The Collector’s Centre
With a selection of film and music memorabilia, miltaria, toys and pop culture collectables, a visit to The Collector’s Centre in Harris Arcade is much like stepping into a teenager’s bedroom from an 80s movie. With wall-to-wall antiques and collectables on display, the shop is an attraction for serious bargain hunters as well as inquisitive passers-by. If you haven’t been before, why not pop your head in next time you’re walking past> You never know what you might find.
Berkshire Stamp, Coin, Card & Model Centre
Castle Street in the town centre is a road full of old eccentricities: from Reading institution, Sweeney & Todds, to the listed Vachel Almshouses. However, right in the middle of the street is Berkshire Stamp, Coin, Card & Model Centre. The small shop appears to be a relic from another age, from the outside looking like an old-fashioned toy shop. However, inside is a collector’s paradise: with vintage stamps, toys and even some militaria.
If you’re looking for a little more ‘celebrity’, try Barbara’s in Goring-on-Thames. Again, this one is only around a twenty minute drive from Reading, and well worth the trip. Having recently featured on ‘Antiques Road Trip’, the shop offers a huge selection of curios, collectables and bric-a-brac, all at ‘sensible prices’. Glamour and great value, what more could you want?!
Below Stairs, Hungerford
Hungerford is in a beautiful part of Berkshire, and if you’re looking to embark upon a day trip devoted to antiquing, it could be your nearest option. With sixteen shops and arcades to choose from, visitors are welcome to take a leisurely look around and soak up the history, even if they have no intention of making a purchase. The most well-known is perhaps Below Stairs, specialists in 19th and 20th century English artefacts, which was established by BBC personality Stewart Hofgartner. You could always take a walk along the river or pop into one of the local cafés whilst you’re there, too.