Southwell has been named as one of the best places to live in the UK.
The town features in the first series of The Sunday Times Best Places to Live In Britain, which focuses on the north and northeast, midlands, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The minster and the town’s photogenic high street and Georgian houses drew particular praise.
The town was recognised for “its own personality, established independent shops, restaurants, good schools and Southwell Racecourse.”
Also singled out was the Southwell Traders website, which promotes independent shops and businesses.
Sarah Payne, Newark and Sherwood District Council’s coordinator for South-well Traders, said: “It is wonderful for Southwell to have been given recognition in a prestigious paper like The Sunday Times — even better is the fact that the shops and eateries are especially mentioned.
“For our independent-based high street to be identified as such an asset gives all the Southwell traders a real boost.
“While tourists always praise our beautiful town, it’s all too easy to take our local businesses for granted.
“Perhaps The Sunday Times’ comments will prompt those of us fortunate to live nearby to rediscover all that is on offer so close to home.’’
Honor Dunkley, events and tourism coordinator for The Southwell Tourism Partnership, said they could certainly be proud of what the town offered.
“Southwell has it all — leafy green walks with inspiring Georgian architecture and the minster at its heart,” she said.
“The town has become a real foodie haven topped off with an array of delightful independent shops where personal service comes first.
“It’s a real boost and a credit to the town that such an article has been written highlighting the winning combination we have here.
“The Southwell Tourism Partnership works hard to ensure the town is well promoted regionally and nationally.”
'More than just a hidden gem'
The chairman of Southwell Town Council, Mr Andy Gregory, praised the town’s tourism appeal, its good quality education, and its PCSO.
He did, however, say as a council they were always looking to make improvements.
“The town council met recently to discuss ways to continue improving the town and looking at what services we could bring to the town,” Mr Gregory said.
He would like to see, for example, more affordable homes for first-time buyers.
Amy Tillson, director and branch manager at Richard Watkinson & Partners’ Southwell office, is delighted that the town has received national acclaim.
“I’m so glad that Southwell has been nationally recognised for its natural beauty, fantastic local amenities and great opportunities,” said Amy.
“It’s true that Southwell is more than just a hidden gem — a ‘sparkler’ as the article rightly suggests — with cafés, culture and a thriving business community to offer residents.
“I look forward to seeing the town continue to thrive and prosper.”