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Southwell is a small town in Nottinghamshire, England, and can easily be reached by bus from the nearby larger towns of Newark, Mansfield, or the city of Nottingham which is around 15 miles away.
As a place to live, it is well equipped, with two primary schools and a secondary school, all of which are over-subscribed and very popular. There is also a leisure centre, a medium-sized supermarket, and a multitude of local shops.
Attractions for visitors:
Southwell Minster is an architectural beauty, a huge church (or is it a cathedral?) dating from Norman times.
Personally, I am not religious, but I still very much enjoyed touring inside the building itself ,and walking around the grounds outside.
There is a local legend about the twin spires that rise up above the front door of the Minster - supposedly a workman fell mysteriously from one of them, onto the path below - look down and see his 'tombstone' laid into the path. Spooky.
In the grounds of the Minster, there is a tea-room/café, a visitor centre, and public toilets.
Adjacent to Southwell Minster, is the park - lined with mature trees, this contains a childrens play area, which is closed off from the rest of the park (so off limits to dogs etc), a duck pond, a wide expanse of grass to sit on, play games on, etc. Along the top of the park, a tree-lined path winds its way along, and there are benches to sit on.
It is a very safe area, and it can be very pleasant to spend the afternoon here - especially with a picnic.
There are toilets on the park, although these are sometimes locked - in which case, the toilets in the Minster churchyard are only five minutes walk away.
Heading through the centre of Southwell, and out the other side, you will come across a sweeping green area called The Burgage. This also houses the local war memorial, benches to sit down on, and occasionally a travelling funfair. Continue on down the hill, cross the road and walk down Station Road: At the far end of this, there are two nice little hidden gems.
One is the entrance to the Southwell Trail, which is a lovely walk (or bike ride) which goes for miles either way.
Secondly, a good old-fashioned pub called the Newcastle Arms, highly recommended.
The Saracens Head
There are approximately thirteen pubs in the small town of Southwell, so there is plenty of choice of places to eat and drink.
Some of them are purely old-style drinking pubs, and these tend to be the ones further out of the town centre.
The ones more centrally located, such as the Crown, the Admiral Rodney and the Saracens Head, offer a wide range of food and drink.
The birthplace of the Bramley Apple
There is actually a pub called the Bramley Apple, but this was not the site of the original bramley apple tree - but not far off, being as it was located on a road called Easthorpe.
Walks Around the Area
There are many picturesque walks around the Southwell area, one of them starts from the Park, and another lovely one starts halfway down a little lane called Westhorpe. This is situated at the farthest north west of the town, and there is an entrance to the walk about halfway along this street.
Overall, Southwell has much to recommend it to resident or visitor alike. Be warned though, if you love it so much that you decide to move there, you will be on a twenty year probation period before you will be allowed to call yourself a local. You can, however, speed up this process by pronouncing the name of the town as 'Suthell' and ensuring you are upper middle class at all times ;)