NEWARK NORTHGATE A Royalist stronghold in the Civil War, this proud town does its best to ignore the great snake of the River Trent that slithers past, encased inside high banks to prevent it from flooding. The lovely cobblestone market place is a major feature, though the 14th-century former draper’s shop, which is supposed to be one of the oldest domestic buildings in the Midlands, is now occupied by a building society. The annual diary in Newark is full of antiques fairs – at least six are held each year, including the largest antiques fair in Western Europe. There has been a substantial amount of new housebuilding, including 1,000 new houses at Farndon where small two-bedroom houses sell at £104,000 and one-bedroom apartments at £80,000. Along the newly developed waterfront, overlooking the marina, a two-bedroom apartment could cost £155,000.