With a vibrant arts and crafts scene and market town roots, Newark and Sherwood have some great shopping opportunities. This is a wonderful area to visit for a weekend shopping trip, with many of the retail and craft outlets located next to historic and scenic landmarks.
A traditional market town, Newark still has a vibrant market trade. There is a regular schedule of markets in the market place, which is over looked by the Town Hall – a Grade I listed Georgian building originally created by the English architect, John Carr of York. There are general markets in the square, including a busy Saturday market, as well as specialist markets, such as a small farmers market on the first Wednesday of each month, and a new artisan market on the last Sunday of each month. The first artisan market takes place on Sunday 25 March and it will have a mix of vintage and handmade products and crafts, plus a Prosecco horse box!
As well as the markets, Newark is lucky to have many independent shops and a wide range of cafes and restaurants that make perfect pit stops! It has a vibrant antiques scene (see our antiques blog) and also some good vintage and second-hand shops where you can grab a bargain. Every year, Totally Locally Newark organises ‘Fiver Fest’ where the shops offer products for £5 for a period of time. Last year, over 60 shops took part so it is a great time to visit. Keep an eye on the Totally Locally Newark website for this year’s Fiver Fest date and other initiatives and competitions for shoppers.
Sherwood Forest Arts & Crafts Centre
Located just a short walk from Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, this is a wonderful place to visit, to find some original arts and crafts products and have a drink and a meal in the cafe. The building is the converted coach house and stables of the former Edwinstowe Hall and it houses 16 working studios, where you can see craftspeople at work and browse their wares. You will find anything from original paintings, to vintage fabrics, handcrafted jewellery, pens and furniture, and handmade bath and body products. The full list of shops can be found here, as well as opening hours and details of special events, such as the crafts sessions that run during school holidays.
This is lovely town to visit. It is a cathedral town that is brimming with history, as well as quirky independent shops dotted in and around some excellent eateries. On Saturday the market place comes alive with stalls selling fresh and baked foods as well an eclectic mix of products, from books to socks and flowers! Southwell also has its own contemporary art gallery and studio, called beloved@thebarn. Each month, there is a different visiting artist exhibiting and it also sells cards, crafted goods, vintage homewares and decorative items. Before visiting it is worth checking the website for opening hours.
Set in the fabulous grounds of Thoresby Park, and close to Sherwood Forest, Thoresby Courtyard is a perfect place to while away a few happy hours. Once the old coach house for the estate, it is now the wonderful setting for a selection of shops and artists’ studios as well as a café, gallery and military museum. Currently there are six shops, offering clothes, crafts, homeware, artisan liquor, handcrafted gemstone jewellery and crystal glass designs. Opening hours vary for the studios and are listed on the website.
Follow the poetry trail
While enjoying these fabulous shopping experiences, you could take part in our Newark & Sherwood Poetry Trail. Visit Sherwood Forest Arts & Craft Centre, Newark Castle and Southwell Minister to be entered into a prize draw for a fabulous bundle of goods from local artists and writers, including this beautiful handcrafted gemstone ring from David Fowkes Jewellery, one of the craftspeople at Thorseby Courtyard. Download the trail here.
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