Newark

Girl About Town

By Gemma-Louise King
Our Girl About Town reporter, Gemma-Louise King, brings you neighbourhood know-how and a round up of places, people and things to look out for, with of course the 'Made' sparkle. In this edition it’s Newark’s time to shine…
 |  Newark

Newark-on-Trent is arguably one of Nottinghamshire’s most popular towns, offering a strong community hub, excellent amenities and transport links, and an impressive historical record. Its majestic castle, cattle market, antiques scene, marina and historic market square are renowned highlights. It stands on the River Trent, alongside the A1 North and South connections, the A46, and the East Coast Main Line railway, with two train stations. The recreational river scene is still buoyant with the locks a busy gateway for boats, and if you opt for the train you can be in Leeds or London in around an hour and a half, making it an ideal stopping point for longer journeys, an easily-accessible weekend destination, an attractive business hub, or a city commuter’s family escape.

Cafe & Cocktails
Where do I start with this one? From Costa and Starbucks through to a lovely selection of tearooms and independent coffee houses, Newark certainly has the daytime covered. Stray’s Coffee (and bookshop) on Middle Gate is perhaps the most famous, with a loyal fanbase and an extremely large blackboard of daily offerings and tastiness. The Old Bakery is a delightful timber framed building filled to the brim with homemade cakes and bone china. Also look out for Green Olive and The Bean and Vine, both on Market Place, Balmforth & Co on Kirkgate, and the Riverside Ice Cream Parlour at Riverside Park. If it’s nightlife you are after then take your pick; from live gig hotspots such as the Flying Circus on Castle Gate and Navigation Pub on Mill Gate through to sophisticated Tapas and cocktails at the vibrant Tambo Lounge at the beautiful Buttermarket building or stylish meet ups at the Ram on Castle Gate. Look out also for The Old Post Office, Oscar’s Inn, The Water’s Edge Bar & Kitchen and The Sir John Aderne, For craft ales and a wide selections of beer Just Beer Micropub on Castle Gate is worth checking out. If you are a fan of the arts then head to the beautiful Palace Theatre on Appleton Gate, with its year round calendar of shows and events.

Retail Therapy
Newark has long been a market town, so of course there is emphasis on its incredible selection of market goods and the bustling vibrancy of its market square. It also boasts a charming array of independent shops and outlets which nestle around the town, some hidden within its pretty cobble back streets. For a taste of authentic local fare and juicy meats head to G.H. Porter Provisions on market square, or for gorgeous blooms the quaint Art of Flowers is your go to on Balderton Gate. Fashionistas will love Masdings on Middle Gate or Jane Young at Chain Lane. If it’s art you are after then have a peep at Trent Galleries, also on Chain Lane, which regularly hosts exhibitions and showcases work from a wealth of local and national artists. There’s also a thriving high street with the familiar names you’d expect and a retail outlet on North Gate, which includes Next, TK Maxx, Pets at Home, and free parking! So whether you are opting for the quirky or mainstream you won’t be disappointed. Newark is always a delight to wander around.

Sunday Roast
Again, spoiled for choice, but perhaps one of the most popular pubs is the Prince Rupert, a wonderful timber-framed building on Stodman Street. Expect a rather large luncheon in there with all the trimmings! Also good choices are The Lord Ted, Roman Way Beefeater and The Ram, but most of the pubs and restaurants in the town serve a great roast so worth trying them all out to find your own favourite. Most serve vegetarian options and there are a number of other delicious dining options around the town from casual to gastro.

Bag A Property
A two-bedroom flat starts at as little as £40,000 with the average house price coming in at around £170,000 for three-bedroom detached with garage, through to luxury properties in excess of £800,000. There’s plenty of choice for all tastes and budgets. Newark also offers a wide variety of housing locations - from canal-side and parks though to residential areas and the historic quarters. London Road is a perfect example of a central leafy-lined suburban delight.

Green Spaces
Newark is blessed with a variety of open spaces for recreation, including Sconce and Devon Park - site of the Queen’s Sconce, a 17th Century Civil War fortification - Riverside Park, which gracefully flanks Newark Castle and is the location for the annual Newark Festival, and Otter Park on Mill Gate, which is part of the Newark Riverside Walk trail.

Explore
Walking is certainly the best way to uncover Newark’s beauty and heritage. The Newark Riverside Walk is a particular favourite with families along the canal route, and it is worth exploring the main centre and market square to admire the extraordinary heritage of some of the historic buildings. There are also cycle paths around the town. A number of car parks (both pay and display and free) are conveniently distributed throughout the town and Northgate and Newark Castle train stations have ample car space and bike racks.

Past in the Present
Newark’s origins are possibly Roman as it lies on an important Roman road, the Fosse Way. The town grew around the once spectacular and now ruined Newark Castle, and a large market place, lined with historic buildings. It was an important trading centre for cloth and wool. Newark is most notorious historically for its geographical role in the English Civil War as it was besieged by Parliamentary forces and relieved by the Royalists under Prince Rupert. Historical traces and landmarks are still visible across the town, and there are annual re-enactments and cultural events to reflect its rich history. Visitors should definitely wander around the castle grounds and explore the National Civil War Centre at Appleton Gate. Also, don’t miss Newark Town Hall Museum and Art Gallery which can be found in Newark's Georgian Town Hall.


Victoria Cozens is an Account Manager with Future Prospects, and a familiar face to many as the former breakfast show presenter of Radio Newark.

Best thing about living and working in Newark?
Without a shadow of doubt, the people! The genuine pleasure our business community has for supporting one another and working together. I’m incredibly lucky to live and work in such a picturesque town with a beautiful castle and wonderful marketplace, which is particularly stunning at Christmas, and an array of retailers and coffee shops. It’s a great place to sit and relax with a coffee and cake!

Social Scene?
I love our villages for their selection of gastro pubs and cosy atmosphere. The town centre is superb for tantalising any tastebud with dining options. My personal favourites are Koinonia or Thai Sabai and I love a Gin sat by the river at the Old Lock House.

Newark’s USP
It’s a hive of activity all year round - from festivals and events, a river trip, exploring the castle dungeons and Civil War Centre, or wandering around the market. I love spending the day as a tourist in my own home town. A great story to tell, a spot of shopping and good food, what’s not to love?! We are also so easily accessible near the A46, A17 and A1 so I encourage you to visit for a day out. You won’t be disappointed!

For details on the latest events and community news visit:
www.visitnewark.co.uk


Gemma-Louise King


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