Friday, 23 December 2011

Newark upon Trent - A Glory Town

Our inter-nation travelogue continues...It's like Cheltenham, but prettier. It's like Cirencester, but cheaper. It's Newark upon Trent, home of some of the finest set of independent shops and eateries in our fair country.

Sitting atop of the festive shopping pile is Vintage Vixen (run by the lovely Clare Parker) on Cartergate. A ladies only step back into the 1950s. T got two wonderful pieces (Christmas Day and New Years Eve outfits), a flattering aubergine dress and a knitted straw leopard jumper. Both absolute bargains and I got us a huge piece of maori wall art with a corny story on each corner in a wonderful type face and artistic styling.

Two's Company on Kirkgate is a gift shop doing so well, they've opened up two other shops across the country on the back of the shops success in Newark. Our purchase was a wonderfully decorative key plate which has a retro driving licence embedded beneath the glazed surface.

With some splendid architecture including a 16th Century castle (loaded with history and playing an important part in the Civil War), the Gilstrap historical centre, heritage trails, two musuems and Mr glorious River Trent winding it's way through the town, it's a truly picturesque and vibrant market town which also hosts Europe's largest antique fair at the mighty Newark Showground.

Home to the Railway Club, a charming ode to working men's clubs and histories through the ages it still has a 50p pool table. We've not seen those prices since our glory days back at University in Scarborough (oh those long nights in the cavernous Olympia arcade complete with the best ever bandit - Crazy Fruits). Home also to the famous Tolney Lane which brings an incredible richness and diversity into the population with the traveller community (who I went to Primary School with) who're directly responsible for much of the wonderful famed Newark slang words including: Chavvy, Peeve, Teggys and Yocks.

Just 80mins from London on the train and 20mins from Nottingham and Lincoln and sat proudly astride the ancient Great North Road (known more locally as the A1) and bisecting it east to west is the recently improved A46 aiding all four wheel journeys in the area. Tis very close to Sherwood Forest, home of the Major Oak and Robin Hood himself. There's no earthly reason not to come and share in the delights of this historic market marvel.

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