Reuben Lenkiewicz’s gallery is a recent addition to the Ashburton antiques scene.

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Reuben has opened his gallery in the south Devon town, selling some of his father’s paintings and prints as well as antiques and antiquities and work by early English artists.

He also plans a museum dedicated to his father as well as working spaces for artists plus music and art festivals and an antiquarian bookshop.

“I’m thrilled to have opened in Ashburton,” said Reuben. “The town has a special connection with things of beauty and I believe it is the perfect setting for a gallery like mine.

“The right setting can make all the difference, just like the right frame around a painting, and Ashburton has lived up to my expectations and more.’’

The antiques trail was launched in 2019 when dealer Lydia Wood had a Eureka moment in the small town on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park. This signposted all of Ashburton’s 11 antiques and vintage shops including two small antiques centres, The Shambles and East Street Antiques.

The trail has gone from strength to strength said Wood, who owns In A Nutshell Antiques in the town.

“We have managed to get new brown tourist signs installed on the main roads outside Ashburton with the candelabra antiques symbol on them. This capitalises on the thousands of visitors visiting Devon and Cornwall in the summer as the town is tucked away metres from the main A38.”

Thriving scene

Such trails are a popular way to focus visitor interest on antiques-related businesses.

With the luxury of not one but two national parks, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales on the outskirts of the town, Kendal in south Cumbria is never short of visitors.

There is a thriving arts scene here and plenty of independent shops. An antiques town trail map was published four years ago by Kendal BID, a not-for-profit initiative to develop and promote businesses.

The foreword to the trail is written by Andrew Aindow, co-owner of Sleddall Hall Antique Centre, a family-run business since 1952 set in a Grade 11-Listed building.

Ursula Scott owns Brocante 45 in All Hallows Lane. Her stock includes an 18th century English oak smokers’ corner chair priced at £185 and a pair of vintage French Quimper handpainted teacups and saucers with the original strainers at £80.

Two shops have closed since the map was published, however: Edmondsons Furniture Warehouse and the Westmorland Coin Shop.

Splash the cash


A green-painted two-drawer sideboard at the Carmarthen Antiques Centre which attracts plenty of regular visitors “as their destination of choice,” says co-owner Nic Daniels.

The antiques and brocante trail published by Discover Carmarthenshire is currently being updated to include new businesses but the region already offers six antiques centres in which to splash the cash and spend many fruitful hours.

These include the Ammanford Antiques Centre and the Works Antiques Centre in Llandeilo.

In Carmarthen there is Carmarthen Antiques Centre and the Curiosity Antiques Centre. Newcastle Emlyn offers the Emlyn Antique Centre and there is also Llandovery Antiques Centre.