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About Southwell

This charming, small market town is rich in historical and architectural interest and makes a great day out for the family. We are situated 13 miles from Nottingham on the A612 and 8 miles from Newark and the A1.

According to The Daily Telegraph in 2023, Southwell is "England's most perfect market town" and "ticks all the boxes"!

It forms a perfect backdrop for the festival, and we have a history of putting on events in town through the year, and there's a morris procession in town on the Saturday of the festival.

hustle andbustle in th streets of Southwell

You shouldn't miss the chance to explore the magnificent Southwell Minster with its unique pepper-pot spires which dominate the town.


“Rich in history, with wonderful acoustics and in a stunning location, Southwell Minster is one of the undiscovered jewels of the English countryside” Steve Knightley, Show of Hands

The stunning Southwell Minster

Then stroll from there via one of Southwell's leafy lanes to another gem - The National Trust Victorian Workhouse.

The National Trust Workhouse situated on teh edge of Southwell

Meander from the Burgage to the shopping centre, King and Queen Streets and Bull Yard. Here you will find attractive shops, fine cafes and restaurants and inns of character. A striking black and white building, 'The Saracen's Head', dates back to the 15th century. Here was where King Charles I spent his last hours of freedom, before surrendering to the Scottish Army, which was based at nearby Kelham during the English Civil War.

The Sarcen's Head Hotel, Southwell, whre King Charles I was arrested

Southwell is also the birthplace of the famous English cooking apple, 'the Bramley Seedling'. The apple was a chance seedling grown from some pips, planted in a garden down Church Street in the early 19th century. Local nurseryman, Henry Merryweather, was allowed to take cuttings and the world renowned Bramley Apple was in the making.

Explore the many green spaces around the town. Two of the Archbishop of York's medieval deer parks still survive, one close to the Minster, now the War Memorial Park, and the other at Norwood Park on the ourskirts of the town. In addition there are a number of excellent garden centres on the edge of town. 

Other interesting and useful websites:


Visit Southwell Tourist Information Centre at Southwell Library, The Bramley Centre, King Street. Or see under "Visit" at the council website There is more here regarding what’s on and also various heritage walks around the area.


For Accommodation see the Getting Here page.


4th to 7th July 2024

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