Arthur Mee in The Kings England said Southwell was "a little place apart from the rushing world." Southwell is a charming market town with many delights to offer the visitor.

Pronounced 'Suth'll' by most visitors and 'South-well' by most residents. Which should it be? Debate rages, quietly. 

Southwell Minster

Towering over the town is Southwell Minster, with its lead-capped spires known locally as the ‘pepper pot’ spires.

The celebrated Chapter House displays astonishing carvings of oak leaves and animals including dogs, hares, monkeys and mice!

The Archbishop's Palace

Visit the the Archbishop's Palace and gardens and find out about its rich and diverse history.

The Workhouse

On the edge of the town is the Workhouse. Built in the 1820s it is the best-preserved workhouse in England and was used by homeless families as recently as the 1970s. The National Trust has done a spruce restoration job, but has deliberately left most of the brightly whitewashed rooms empty. There is a powerfully written handbook or audio tour available for visitors.

Shopping and markets

The market place bustles at weekends. Good food is clearly important here, judging by the organic bread and quality cheese, meat and fish on offer. There are also outstanding cafes and restaurants and a regular country market selling home-made cakes and jams, free range eggs, honey and vegetables.

The Bramley Apple

The world-famous cooking apple originated from Southwell from a tree in a garden now known as Bramley Tree House at 75 Church Street, Southwell. It originated from a planting by Mary Ann Brailsford circa 1809-1813.

Sometime before Mary Ann's first marriage in 1813, she planted the pips, core or apple which later grew into the tree bearing the original Bramley Seedling.

The apple is celebrated at the annual Bramley Apple Festival in October. This is a major date in the Nottinghamshire calendar which attracts visitors from across the county to the town.

Lord Byron and Burgage Manor

Nottinghamshire's most famous poet, the "mad, bad and dangerous to know" and "Lord of Misrule", Lord Byron spent three years lodging with his mother, Catherine, at Burgage Manor before they both decamped to Newstead Abbey.

The manor is now occupied by Mr Geoffrey Bond, a Lord Byron doyen and member of The Byron Society.

The Gate to Southwell Festival

Held annually and now considered one of the country's premier music events, the festival has something for everyone including music, dance, a children's festival and much more. Save the date 9 to 12 June 2016

Visit the Gate to Southwell Festival website for information on the 2016 event.

Friends of Sarzana

Southwell's Town Council has supported a local group's venture by sending a letter of friendship to the Mayor and citizens of Sarzana. The group aim to promote friendship and understanding between the people of Southwell and district and those of Sarzana and district in Italy. They want to encourage visits by individuals and groups to and from towns. 

For more information check out their facebook page

Southwell Music Festival

Visit the Southwell Music Festival website for full information and news about how you can get involved. Save the date 25 to 29 August 2016.

Other Events

For information on other events take a look at the Visit Southwell website.

Other attractions

A number of fascinating heritage trails are available in leaflet form and provide a guided tour of the historically significant areas in and around Southwell:

  • John Thomas Becher Heritage Trail
  • The King Charles I Heritage Trail
  • The Charles Caudwell Heritage Trail
  • The Easthorpe Heritage Trail
  • The Westhorpe Dumble Trail
  • The Edward Cludd Civil War Trail
  • The Bramley Heritage Trail

The town-centre Saracen’s Head Hotel is where Charles I spent his last night of freedom before losing his own head, and has the well-weathered charm of a medieval coaching inn.

In the neighbouring village of Upton, the British Horological Institute's fascinating clock and watch collection is held at Upton Hall.

Southwell racecourse is a busy racecourse which holds over 50 race meetings throughout the year on both its' All-Weather Flat course and Turf Jumps course. The busiest day of the year at the Racecourse is Ladies Day, which takes place every August and attracted a course record 8800 people in 2016. The Racecourse also hold a variety of non-racing events such as antiques fairs, food festivals, caravan rallies and even The Gate To Southwell Folk Festival. Southwell Golf Club is also on the site, with the eighteen hole course, the front nine of which lies within the Racecourse circuit itself.

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