King Charles I chose Newark as a royalist stronghold because of its strategic location and today the town is thriving with a bustling cobbled market place, independent shops and cafes, river trips and castle.
There is a decent dose of culture, too, with a theatre, a cinema and the National Civil War Centre, which opened in 2015.
The town’s most famous period was during the English Civil War and if you head to Newark Castle you will get a sense of the town’s fascinating history.
Visitors are encouraged to explore taking a walk around the castle and town following our Civil War Trail. The trail consists of information boards and can be accessed via an app to reveal video of scenes from Newark's pivotal role in the 17th century British Civil Wars.
Great shopping, heritage and culture are key to this historic town’s appeal. Places to be seen in include the towns many cafés, real ale pubs and stylish restaurants.
Newark Visitor Information Centre
To make the most of your stay, why not visit the Visitor Information Centre Newark located on Appletongate next to the Palace Theatre for detailed information of things to do in and around the Town.
Newark Castle has stood on the banks of the River Trent for 900 years and is a focal point for Newark and a source of pride for residents.
You can find out about Newark Castle and its links to King John in an informative exhibition opened when the castle marked the 800th anniversary of King John’s death.
Newark Market Square and shopping
You’ll discover a lovely cobbled market square on which busy weekly markets are held. A fine Georgian Town Hall overlooks the market square and the beautiful parish church, St Mary Magdalene with its magnificent spire ranks as one of the best in the country.
Inside the church you will find the Fleming Brass dating from 1363 one of the largest brasses in England it measures 2.8 by 1.7 metres.
Newark Town Hall Museum and Art Gallery can be found in Newark's Georgian Town Hall, you can visit the Mayor's Parlour and the elegant Ballroom. The Museum collections consist of civic plate, regalia and fine art and Newark Siege Pieces. Paintings include works by William Nicholson, Stanley Spencer and notable local artists.
National Civil War Centre and trail
Discover how the people of Newark survived three sieges by dodging cannon fire, hammering flat family silver to make coins, only for the plague to ravage the town.
Sconce and Devon Park
Sconce and Devon Park a historic Green Flag awarded park providing top-class facilities for visitors and locals alike.
The park includes a popular café and play area, open grassland and woodlands, fitness trail, wildlife pond, family friendly footpaths and signs guiding visitors around the park to explain its fascinating history and ecology and providing access to the Queen’s Sconce, a 17th century civil war earthwork fortification.
The Queen’s Sconce is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is one of the country's finest remaining earthworks from the English Civil War (1642-51). It is distinctively star-shaped when viewed from the air and is one of nine siege works remaining in a recognisable state in and around Newark. It’s considered an internationally important heritage feature, and is surrounded by open space and playing fields.
You can take a trip to Newark's own Palace Theatre with its varied programme of live entertainment and cinema.
Why not take an enjoyable river trip from Newark Castle. Newark Castle Line operates river trips during the summer and on Bank Holidays during the spring/summer.
Newark Air Museum
Just outside Newark, on a former war-time bomber base near the village of Winthorpe, is the Newark Air Museum. This volunteer-managed museum is a must for the aviation enthusiasts, discover seventy six aircraft and cockpits with four covered display areas.
Events and What's on
Newark enjoys numerous festivals and events including the annual Newark Music Festival on the Riverside Park, civil war re-enactments, the Newark Beer Festival, The Newark Book Festival, monthly artisan market and craft fairs, cycling events, food and drink festivals as well as seasonal events including Carols in the Castle and the spectacular Christmas light switch on.
Dates for your diary, special markets in Newark 2019
- Sunday 24 November Christmas Lights Switch-on
- Sunday 8 December Christmas Market
- Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 Winter Food Festival and Christmas Market
- Sunday 22 December Christmas Market