This great little walk takes in many of the sites which makes the market town of Newark, such a fantastic place to explore, from visiting museums, a trip to the theatre or simply watching the world go by, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The impressive Tudor style building opposite the castle on Beastmarket Hill, is known as the Ossington Coffee Palace. It was built in 1882 by Viscountess, as a hotel to encourage sobriety. Such places were prevalent in the 1800s throughout the country and provided an alternative to public houses and hotels. The Ossington had accommodation for weary travellers, and provided stabling for forty horses, a tea garden, and rooms for relaxing and enjoying the different varieties of coffee on offer. This splendid building has seen many uses over the years including a base for the military during WWI and WWII.
Next to the Ossington is the Wharf, it’s a vibrant little area overlooking the river, with café’s, restaurants, and even floating bar, with great views of the castle too!
Notice the exceptional architecture as you make your way through the town, to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. This splendid church has been a place of worship for over 800 years and boasts one of the tallest spires in the United Kingdom, at 236 feet (72m) it’s the highest in Nottinghamshire. The views from the tower are magnificent, and tours are available on certain dates during the year.
Keep your eyes open for the Palace Theatre; it opened in 1920 as a cinema and stage and continues to attract audiences from all over the county, enjoying live music, theatre, and the marvellous annual pantomimes. Adjoining is the National Civil War Centre, where you step back in time and immerse yourself in a museum dedicated to telling the story of conflict and bloodshed throughout the Civil War. It’s a fantastic place to visit, filled with interesting exhibitions and artefacts.
Following on to the Market Square, you won’t be disappointed, with lovely café’s and bars the ambiance is quite continental. There are regular weekly markets, and events which take place throughout the year, and it is without doubt one of the most attractive marketplaces around, bursting with history and culture. Standing proudly is the Town Hall, which is charming, built in 1776, it houses a museum, where you can view treasures and artwork, entry is free too.
The return takes you along Stodman Street, passing the timber fronted Governors house dating back to 1474, and the medieval Prince Rupert pub which is steeped in history, it was owned by a wealthy merchant before becoming a pub, providing accommodation and stabling for Prince Rupert’s troops during the Civil War.
Finally, the historical riverside area provides a unique and interesting taste of Newark’s industrial past, with the regeneration of old warehouses and boat yards to stylish riverside bars and accommodation. The jewel of this walk must be the view of the magnificent castle, which you can explore and enjoy at your leisure. Don’t forget your camera!
Happy Rambling, Sally.
Distance: 1.98 Miles/3.2km
Gradient: Mostly Flat.
Approx time: 40 mins but allow extra time for exploring the town.
Maps: OS Explorer 271 Newark-On-Trent
Path info: Footpaths, Riverside. Start Point: Riverside Park SK793540. NG24 1BS
Parking: Riverside Car Park.SK793540. NG24 1BS
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead – use caution on main roads and public areas.
Public Toilets: 23 Castlegate Newark NG24 1AZ.
Refreshments: Yes; Oodles! Newark has a fantastic choice of places to eat and drink for all budgets!
- Start at the Riverside Car Park and make your way out towards the footpath which runs alongside Riverside Park. Follow the path to the bridge which spans the river Trent. Turn Right, crossing over the bridge and walk a short distance until you reach the zebra crossing at the Beastmarket. The impressive building ahead, is the Ossington Coffee Palace; it was built in 1882 as a Temperance Hotel by the VI countess Ossington.
- Cross over here and turn left, walking back towards the Riverside, follow the path round to the right, walking through the attractive Wharf area and bearing right until you reach the main road, Bar Gate.
- Cross over the road and turn right, walking along until you reach Kirk Gate. Proceed along Kirk Gate, you will see the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in the distance. Continue walking along to the church, to Church Street. Cross over here to the Church. This is an ideal opportunity to visit this splendid building. Notice the spire, it’s the highest in Nottinghamshire at 236 ft (72m) high.
- Take the pathway which runs by the side of the church (North Church Walk) with the pretty gardens to your left and continue walking until you reach Appletongate. Turn left onto Appletongate and walk a short distance along until you are opposite the Palace Theatre.
- Cross over the road at the theatre, this is a super building and hosts many live performances throughout the year, worth taking a moment to admire the 1920’s architecture! Facing the theatre, turn right and walk back along the path, passing the National Civil War Museum to your left. If you have time on your walk, a visit here is highly recommended.
- Continue along Appletongate, passing the Church on your right, until you reach a small junction. At the junction turn right onto Bridge Street and head towards the Market Square. Take time to admire the historical architecture, maybe visit the splendid Townhall museum, or enjoy a bite to eat in one of the many delightful Café’s in the square.
- Passing the front of the Town Hall, turn right along Stodman Street, if you look to your left, you will see a distinctive timber framed building, which dates back to 1474, and was the headquarters of the town governor during the civil war sieges of 1643 and 1646.
Continue walking through the pedestrianised shopping area of Stodman Street to its end. As you do so, look out for the Prince Rupert Pub on your left, it’s a fine example of medieval architecture and is steeped in history, a true gem and perfect for a pit-stop before continuing on with the walk.
- At the end of Stodman Street you will see the splendid Corn Exchange building, opened in 1848, it has seen many uses over the years, from corn markets to entertainment venues. Using the zebra crossing, cross over the main road, Castle Gate, and turn left, continuing to walk along the footpath until you reach a junction with Mill Gate.
- Proceed straight along Mill Gate, passing rows of red brick cottages and buildings, until you reach Mill Lane to your right. Turn right onto Mill Lane and continue over the bridge, where you make another right turn on to the historical industrial riverside area of Newark. The buildings give you a real sense of a bygone era, where river boats and old barges would have unloaded their cargoes to the warehouses, which many have now been restored and regenerated as Riverside Bars and Cafes.
- Follow the path along the riverside, crossing a small metal gangway and back on to the Riverside path, passing the locks with magnificent views of the castle in front of you. (Lots of photo opportunities here). Continue until you reach a green metal bridge.
- Turn left and cross over the bridge, where you can either return to the start point, or further explore the riverside park area and castle.