No place is perfect but the beautiful market town of Southwell, in Nottinghamshire, is the UK’s nearest to flawlelss – so claims a recent fan.
A survey described the location as Britain’s most affordable place but also the nation’s most Instagrammable town – as it has been hashtagged almost 70,000 times, has 71 places to stay under £100 a night and boasts 64 free attractions.
Telegraph journalist Sarah Baxter visited the town to check out the claims.
Writing in the Telegraph she said: “Southwell is undoubtedly an interesting place, with Roman remains, a disproportionately impressive minster, a National Trust gem, good pubs, its own cooking apple…
“Might this questionable survey have stumbled upon a solid truth: that Southwell is England’s most perfect little market town?”
The writer acknowledges that despite its affordable credentials, it isn’t a cheap place to live. Zoopla puts the average property price here at £404,230 when the county average is £244,032.
But she notes that Southwell “ticks all the other ideal mini-break boxes”.
She said: “Its compact centre is lined with peruseable independents while heritage trails add context to its streets and surrounding countryside.”
And despite being relatively small in size – with a population of 7,558 at the last census in 2021 – the town has its own dedicated tourism site.
It says: “Southwell is often referred to as the ‘Jewel in Nottinghamshire’s crown’.
“Explore one of the prettiest towns in Nottinghamshire and discover the stunning Southwell Minster, a magnificent cathedral.
“The minster is famous for it’s two lead-capped spires, known locally as the pepper-pot spires and is only a stone’s throw away from the high street.
“At the historic centre of the town, there are a mix of independent shops, cafés, bars and restaurants for you to enjoy and experience some of Southwell’s local cuisine.”
Indeed Southwell Minster is the area’s top visitor attraction – and there are plenty of people who have shared their views on TripAdvisor to explain why.
One review said: “Do not miss this. One of the country’s hidden or unknown gems.
“Unsurpassed architecture, quiet, a great spiritual experience (if that is what you seek), and a place not to be missed.”
Another said: “A wonderful and attractive minster and must-see place if visiting Southwell. This is set in a wonderful and inviting market town and is within a few minutes’ walk from the minster.”