Don't be fooled by the village's sleepy, country setting: Stow-on-the-Wold has developed over the last 20 years into the antiques buyer's highlight of Britain and has at least 60 merchandisers scattered throughout the village and its environs.
Set within four showrooms inside an 18th-century building on the town's main square, Anthony Preston Antiques, Ltd., the Square (tel. 01451/831586; www.anthonypreston.com), specializes in English and French furniture, including some large pieces such as bookcases, and decorative objects that include paperweights, lamps, paintings on silk, and small objects designed to add a glossy accent to carefully contrived interior decors.
Located on Church Street, Baggott Church Street, Ltd. (tel. 01451/830370; www.baggottantiques.com), is the smaller, and perhaps more intricately decorated, of two shops founded and maintained by a local antiques merchant, Duncan ("Jack") Baggott, a frequent denizen at estate sales of country houses throughout Britain. The shop contains four showrooms loaded with furniture and paintings from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
Covering about half a block in the heart of town, Huntington's Antiques Ltd., Church Street (tel. 01451/830842; www.huntingtons-antiques.com), contains one of the largest stocks of quality antiques in England. Wander at will through 10 ground-floor rooms, and then climb to the second floor where a long gallery and a quartet of additional showrooms bulge with refectory tables, unusual cupboards, and all kinds of finds.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.