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 Ossington, 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 WW1 and WW11, now a restaurant and residential accommodation.
Next to the Ossington is the Wharf, it’s a vibrant little area overlooking the river, with café’s, restaurants and even a 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 ambience 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 Governor’s 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 boatyards 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!