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Things to do in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire

Newark-on-Trent is a historic market town about 16 miles northeast of Nottingham in the East Midlands and 15 miles from the historic city of Lincoln.

Council Offices, Newark-on-Trent © Ted Clark
Council Offices © Ted Clark


Although Newark is a sizeable community of around 26,000 residents, it still retains the feel of a small local town.

The town's history can be traced back for centuries, in particular to Newark Castle which was first built here in 1068.

The ruins of a later 12th-century castle are still a landmark within the town and guided tours can be taken to learn more of the town's past.

Newark Castle, Newark-on-Trent © Ted Clark
Newark Castle © Ted Clark

Historic Church

Newark is centred on its market place which is surrounded by historic buildings.

The Square is overlooked by the local Church of St Mary Magdalene, said to be the finest Parish church in Nottinghamshire.

Newark Town Lock, Newark-on-Trent © Ted Clark
Newark Town Lock © Ted Clark

Surprisingly, it is one of the largest churches in England.

The impressive tower is 252 feet tall and can be seen for miles.

Most of the church was rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries, but the spire is even older.

There is also a fine Georgian Town Hall, built in 1776 and now a fascinating Town Museum full of local paintings and artefacts.

Newark Bridge, Newark-on-Trent © Ted Clark
Newark Bridge © Ted Clark


One of its most recent exhibits is an Iron Age Torc, or thick necklace, which was made of gold and silver and was recently discovered in a local field.

Treasure hunters may want to bring their metal detectors with them!

Shopping in Newark-on-Trent

The town centre has plenty of shops, banks, supermarkets and the Buttermarket.

Castle Barge, Newark-on-Trent © Ted Clark
Castle Barge © Ted Clark


There is a farmer's market which sells local produce here every fourth Thursday of the month.

The area also has a good selection of pubs and historic inns, such as the black and white "Hobgoblin" in the Market Square, which all serve hearty fare.

Things to do around Newark-on-Trent

Newark-upon-Trent makes an excellent centre from which to explore the surrounding area.

Scenic local footpaths are ideal for walkers, especially along the banks of the local canal.

There are a number of historic homes and gardens in the area and interesting architecture such as the Dower House at Cromwell which now accommodates the Vina Cooke Museum of Dolls.

Market Square, Newark-on-Trent © Ted Clark
Market Square © Ted Clark


Nature lovers and bird watchers will enjoy an afternoon at the Besthorpe Nature Reserve nearby.

Just outside the town is the Newark Nottinghamshire County Showground where Antiques Fairs are regularly held.

Further afield, and well worth the 12 mile drive in the beautiful countryside, is the Norman Belvoir Castle.

The area around Nottingham lives on the folklore surrounding Robin Hood and his merry men, who were said to rob the rich and give to the poor, and the area has several attractions on that theme.

River Trent

In the past, the River Trent has had many uses, not least to drive the local mills.

St Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent © Ted Clark
St Mary Magdalene © Ted Clark


The former Victorian oil seed mill and warehouse is now the site of the Millgate Museum Navigation House, which is open to the public.

Newark became an important inland port, particularly for the wool trade, and later had an ironworks, brewery and a sugar refinery.


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