1. The River Severn
The River Severn is the star attraction of Shrewsbury, and she’s carved her name into the town making it the place that you see today.
You can discover Shrewsbury along the River Severn with our self-guided walk: A meander down Shrewsbury’s River Severn
2. Sabrina Boat
A relaxing way to experience the River Severn is on our passenger boat, Sabrina. Enjoy breathtaking views from Spring through to Autumn on our daily cruises which last approximately 45 minutes.
Every Tuesday as the light fades to dusk, we run our much-loved Tuesday evening dinner cruise. We offer a large selection of dinner options from one of our partner restaurants, all of which are just a short walk away.
If you’re looking for something even more laid back then the Sunday lunch cruise is for you; a 45-minute cruise where you can appreciate the spectacular views along Shrewsbury’s River Severn. Once we’ve docked it’s just a five-minute walk to The Bucks Head Inn. On arrival, they’ll serve your delicious 2-course Sunday lunch making a fitting end to a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
Probably the most unique of all the things to do in Shrewsbury is our music-themed boat cruises. Each cruise lasts around 3 hours, departing at 7:30pm with DJs spinning classic tunes to suit the evening’s theme. Once docked, we party until midnight.
Other theme nights include the Summer BBQ cruise, wine and cheese tasting, gin masterclasses and a range of other events.
A must-see for any visitor to Shrewsbury.
Situated in the old Music Hall, the Shrewsbury Museum recently underwent a multimillion-pound redevelopment. Here you’ll discover:
- The geology that formed Shropshire’s breath-taking landscape.
- Shrewsbury’s humble beginnings, its involvement in the English Civil War, and plans for the future development of the town.
- How the River Severn made Shrewsbury a financial hub and one of the most important towns in the United Kingdom
No visit is the same to the former music hall; there are many different things to do at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Highlights include touring exhibitions and children’s activities, perfect for family days out in Shrewsbury. Not to mention a range of arts and crafts workshops, performances, and a host of unique festivals.
Find out what’s on at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
4. Shrewsbury Library
This is probably one of the most photographed areas of Shrewsbury and for a special reason. This is the site of the old Shrewsbury School and more importantly where Charles Darwin boarded from the age of nine.
Outside of the entrance to Shrewsbury Library, you’ll find a statue of Charles Darwin himself. Darwin didn’t like mainstream academic subjects of the time, and he wrote of the Shrewsbury School:
“Nothing could have been worse for the development of my mind than Dr Butler’s school. It was strictly classical, nothing else being taught, except a little ancient geography and history.”
In some ways, there’s an irony in the position of the sculpture of Charles Darwin with his back turned to the building.
But as such an avid reader, one has to wonder if he would have his back turned to the former school that is now the site of Shrewsbury Library.
5. Shrewsbury Historic Church Trail
A real highlight of Shrewsbury is the historic church trail.
Enjoy a self-guided trail around the town which includes St. Chad’s Church, the largest round church in the UK which overlooks The Quarry. Learn about its controversial history and the part Thomas Telford played in the original St. Chad’s Church.
Shrewsbury Abbey, home to TV series Brother Cadfael, is on the outskirts of Shrewsbury situated near the English bridge.
Visit the beautiful St. Mary’s Church where you’ll find an interesting plaque above the right-hand side of the main entrance.
And Shrewsbury’s Catholic Cathedral, although not as grand as some of the other Churches, it’s a place of intrigue.
6. Shrewsbury Castle
Shrewsbury Castle is the epitome of defensive positions, being surrounded by the River Severn loop. Although the castle’s strategic position was the envy of many an enemy, the original structure was mostly raised during the Norman invasion and gifted to Roger de Montgomery in 1070.
The building you see today was part of the new defences built by Edward 1 during his conquest of Wales in the 13th century.
During the English Civil War, the castle was a royalist stronghold but was sacked after Parliamentarians were let in by a traitor at St. Mary’s Water Gate (known as Traitors Gate). Otherwise, the castle remained an impenetrable fortress.
Restored in 1790 by Thomas Telford, Shrewsbury Castle remained a place of residence until the Shropshire Horticultural Society purchased the building in the early 20th century and is now home to the Shropshire Regimental Museum.
While you’re here don’t miss a chance to see Laura’s Tower; if you’re lucky you might get a chance to walk up the terrace which offers panoramic views across Shrewsbury and the surrounding countryside.
7. The Quarry
Perfect for wandering through on a summer evening or any time of the year for that matter, Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park has been a popular place to visit since the Victorian era.
Believe it or not, many of the sandstone buildings you pass on your sightseeing trip are made from the stones taken from the original sandstone quarry.
These days we have the fantastic Dingle, an ornamental garden which was initially designed by Percy Thrower, the original BBC Gardener’s World presenter. Many years previous this area was a quarry ditch where a young Charles Darwin would spend his time pondering over fossils he would find.
It’s thanks to Percy that the Quarry Park is now home to the Shrewsbury Flower Show which is one of the town’s biggest events. For two days in August, the Shrewsbury Flower Show boasts beautiful floral arrangements, musical spectaculars and much more.
Another highlight in Shrewsbury’s calendar is the Food Festival, also held in the Quarry Park. A whole weekend of fabulous, locally sourced food and drink, all offering delicious samples so you can try them before you buy.
Along with the many festivals in the Quarry Park, you’ll find some hidden gems in Shrewsbury’s town centre. LOOPFEST, a free one-day live music and arts event is held across many locations including Shrewsbury Library, inside a variety of independent shops and pubs from the Wyle Cop down to Victoria Quay and into Frankwell the other side of the Welsh Bridge.
8. Dana Prison
One of the most unusual things to do in Shrewsbury is to visit the Dana Jail.
Although HM Prison Shrewsbury was decommissioned in 2013, the Dana Jail is open for visitors to experience something rather extraordinary. Led by ex-guards you’ll explore the dark history of this Victorian building (which sits on top of the original Georgian building) while looking around the cells, hanging room and communal spaces which give an insider look at the life of an inmate. You can also take part in one of the exciting escape rooms offered at the new attraction.
Source: Dana Prison. Digital Image. Dana Prison Website