Whether you live in Southwell or simply wander around when you visit you may be surprised to know that there are over 50 retail businesses in the town and its surrounding area.

The vast majority of these are small and independently-owned by local people for whom retail, catering and their associated services are a passion rather than merely a job.

In this age of online offers, huge nationally recognised chain stores, loyalty schemes and year-round 'bargain prices' it is often easy to overlook the value and pleasures of shopping locally. No one can argue that the convenience of buying via a computer has its place in 21st century life, but so too does the enjoyment of time spent browsing at leisure around our much loved town with its unique selection of businesses that won't be found elsewhere, all accompanied by a friendly welcome and personal service.

King Street, Queen Street, Bull Yard together with Church Street and Westgate bring equal variety and plenty to be explored by shoppers. 

Between them all they offer fashion, gifts, jewellery, interiors accessories, antiques, books, toys, stationery, chocolates and wines and more. There are both household essentials as well as luxuries and all within walking distance of a car park and a variety of places to stop for coffee, lunch, tea or alcoholic refreshment. A day's shopping therefore couldn't be more appealing, especially as it avoids the need to battle through disgruntled crowds in unattractive surroundings miles from home!

In recent years the Southwell Traders group (previously We Are Southwell) has been working together to bring a greater awareness of all that the town's shops provide. Whilst events such as the Christmas Late Night Shopping Evening and Summer Sunday Shopping Event will always be special occasions, there is the chance to experience pleasurable browsing, buying, eating and drinking at all times throughout the year.

Visit the group's website – www.southwelltraders.co.uk for inspiration and information and look out for forthcoming features in The Bramley with insights into the many different aspects of Southwell's shops.