UK market town hailed as ‘most perfect’ and better than any other

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?”

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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.

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“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.” 

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