My major criticism of Shrewsbury is a large portion of pompous people in the area I'm afraid. After living in cities my whole life I moved to the area for work. Understandably I'm used to a different type of area so it wasn't for me at first. I like the town more now but it still has a lot of sticking points. Sorry to stereotype but there is a large private school in the area. As a result there is a high level of snoob-ness and elitism in the area. Theres a large number of people who seem to think been well spoken makes them better than others. As a result you'll meet plenty of people that come across rude. I went to university and I'm in a skilled profession so I'm not against higher education. Its just there's a lot of the pompous ones mentioned above that live on the bank of mummy and daddy it seems.
There's also the fact that most people in the mid twenties tend to leave the area. So those that are left are the young ones that go to the schools and colleges or the older retiring crowd. Doesn't leave many interesting people for conversation for young working professionals. Also there is very poor public transport links out of Shrewsbury. I know people in Scotland who can get to London quicker and cheaper than me.
Other than the above visually the town is nice. Its just more a retirement community more than anything. As my first employer told me when I moved to the area, "Shrewsbury is the grave-yard of ambition".
We recently enjoyed an enjoyable weekend away in Shrewsbury visiting frineds, it is a nice rather quaint market town which is located on a hill so you can expect a couple of steep walks in places as you explore the town.
A beautiful river always makes a town more attractive in my opinion and the River Seven certainly improves the landscape in Shrewsbury although when it floods it is probably less popular with the locals. It is a nice town to just wander about in taking a look at some of the impressive buildings and there are lots of nice tea rooms or the more garish chain coffee stores to relax in.
There are some nice medieval buildings and little alleys dotted around the centre of the town which gives it the quaint, largely unspoilt feel to it and while some of the streets are cobbled which look nice but can be trecherous in the wet.
It is a good place to shop as it has a few trendy boutiques as it is generally a wealthy area and there are also some nice art galleries and food emporiums including the rather excellent Chocolate Emporium.
Shrewsbury is a great place to spend a relaxing weekend however it also has a perfectly lively night life as well, what I liked as well was the fact that it is surrounded by some beautiful countryside making it an ideal launching point for some country walks.
Having already read some fantastic reviews on the town of my birth, I wasn't entirely sure if there was much point in me adding my two penneth. But having spent the first 18 informative years of my life growing up there, I decided I perhaps do have enough Shrewsbury trivia to warrant an alternative guide to Shropshire's county town. Of course if you're looking for valuable information on National Trust sites in the area or the opening times of Shrewsbury Market, then the Tourist Information Centre would perhaps be a better port of call. But if you're intrigued by some of the more obscure stories behind the town, then I hope the following will be both entertaining and enlightening.
Despite its relatively small population of around 100,000, I tend to find that everyone I meet has either visited or passed through Shrewsbury at some point. Most people have brief but fond stories of their time spent in Shrewsbury but one harmless drunk I met in a pub showed less affection towards my hometown as he described the many months he spent bunking up with another fellow in a rather chilly Victorian building. It was not until he pinpointed his location to me that I realized his less than favourable impression of Shrewsbury had been garnered from a stay at Her Majesty's Pleasure at the Dana, now more commonly referred to as HMP Shrewsbury. According to a 2005 report on the UK prison population, Shrewsbury prison is the most overcrowded prison in England and Wales so I can only anticipate that the above scenario will become more common place.
Of course, if you choose to make a visit to Shrewsbury for social reasons, then you will be free to explore and enjoy the town. The town centre is filled with timber framed buildings to admire and a visit during the spring or summer wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Quarry Park to admire the flora and fauna in The Dingle. But if you search a little harder, you'll find some of the quirky oddities that sparked my initial love of Shrewsbury and have ensured it retains a place in my heart 8 years after heading 'up North.'
Let's face it, despite the fact the Shrewsbury is a town steeped in history, not everyone is partial to visiting museums or partaking in guided walks in order to appreciate the town's historical roots. So I have found the perfect compromise. It's not often that I would recommend visiting a McDonald's restaurant but the McDonald's on Pride Hill in Shrewsbury is an exception to the rule. This is the oldest building in the world to house a McDonald's with some of the exterior walls dating back to the 13th century. So whilst the children enjoy a happy meal, you can sit back with a McFlurry and admire the historical surroundings. Incidentally, before you take offence, the large banners downstairs refer to King Cnut, also known as Canute the Great. A quick glance can easily give the wrong impression and perhaps a more derogatory view of McDonald's than this particular branch deserves.
So now you've witnessed some 13th century architecture, albeit in the guise of a fast food restaurant, now it's time to take a trip to St Chad's church. Like a mother disguising vegetables in pasta sauce, I have another trick up my sleeve to make a seemingly boring trip to a church a far more exciting experience. Of course I'm sure there will be visitors who will marvel at the unique and controversial design of St Chad's church which features a round nave as designed by architect George Steuart. But if the church's complex fusion of Ionic, Doric and Corinthian styles fails to impress then perhaps a trip around the graveyard will prove to be more interesting. Christmas just isn't Christmas without curling up on the sofa to watch one or other adaptations of Dickens' enduring classic A Christmas Carol and, despite the annual influx of demonized, Americanized and muppetized interpretations, there is one version that has always been my favourite. Clive Donner's 1984 film of A Christmas Carol starring George C Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge was filmed in Shrewsbury and features some fantastic and familiar scenes from the town as well as my personal favourite performance of Scrooge. Visit St Chad's graveyard and you will still find Ebenezer Scrooge's gravestone which was erected in 1984 for the filming of A Christmas Carol and has remained there ever since.
And if you need another incentive to explore the historical buildings of Shrewsbury, then perhaps the promise of ghosts and ghouls might intrigue you enough to venture around some of Shrewsbury's more famous historical buildings. Rowley's House, for example, not only houses Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery but is also the home to two costumed figures who have been seen wandering the corridors of this large timber framed building. Shrewsbury also offers the opportunity to combine ghost hunting with some light refreshment with pubs including The Hole in the Wall, The Nag's Head and The Dun Cow all boasting stories of hauntings and apparitions.
And finally, if you're looking for another good reason to visit Shrewsbury, then the list of Proud Salopians that have inhabited the town will surely be enough to whet your appetite. Lauded as the birth place of Charles Darwin Shrewsbury was also home to famed Salopians Wilfred Owen and Robert Clive (Clive of India). But more recent celebrities from in and around the town include actor Pete Postlethwaite, writer of the Brother Cadfael series of books Ellis Peters (and incidentally Brother Cadfael himself) as well as Roy Wood of Wizard Fame, writer of Well I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday and father of my childhood friend. And then there's the famous scholars who attended Shrewsbury School which include Michael Palin, John Peel, Tim Booth (lead singer of James), Willie Rushton and Michael Heseltine. So you will amongst illustrious company if you spend a weekend in Shrewsbury.
As I've said, Shrewsbury's Toruist Information Centre (located within the Music Hall, at the back of The Square) will provide you with plenty of leaflets and pertinent information regarding particular attractions. Despite the laid back and relaxed atmosphere of the town, there really is something for everyone in the vicinity. Fro historic timber framed buildings to quaint gift shops, from haunted pubs to idyllic gardens of The Quarry Park, Shrewsbury is a town with plenty to keep you occupied and hopefully you'll leave with fond memories of this little town.
Before I moved from the South East, the border towns of Shrewsbury, Chester, Ludlow were just names on a map. If this is the case for you it needs putting right. All three are worth visiting and here I am going try and tempt you to consider Shrewsbury.
So is it worth it?
YES. It's a charming market town nestled on a hill and virtually surrounded by the River Severn. Picturesque was a word made for Shrewsbury and it is a lovely place to wander around at a leisurely pace. Ideal for a weekend break, it is also a great place to start from if discovering Mid Wales and the South Shropshire Hills. I give details of how to get to Shrewsbury below ('how to find it').
The centre of Shrewsbury, thanks to the river, has been largely protected from the character assassination that many towns have had to endure. Sure it has its malls with the names you'll all recognise, but it also has small alleyways (some called shuts as they were closed at night), abundant old black and white houses, medieval streets, independent shops and, of course, the river.
It is (within the river horseshoe) a small compact town that is best seen on foot, and that is the best way of getting around. I always park to the west of the town, in the Frankwell car park, as it is cheap and gives easy access to the town centre. The downside is that you have to cross a bouncy bridge and you enter from the Riverside Shopping Centre, a rather tatty and unattractive first view.
Wherever you start from, if shopping is your thing the place to head for is Pride Hill, a pedestrianised street that, along with its two shopping malls - the Darwin Centre and Pride Hill (which both lead out to the Riverside Shopping Centre), has many of the favourite household names. Like all towns it has suffered from store closures and though the Woolworths store was quickly snapped up by H&M, others in Pride Hill remain empty.
That said, as Shrewsbury is an affluent town in a largely affluent county there remain plenty of shops that will enhance any window shopping experience. There are shops selling designer clothes (for ladies - The Dresser or Carol Grants, men - Pockets), trendy clothes (never visited any myself!), delicatessants (try Appleyard's - a foodies heaven), art galleries (Callaghan's - beautiful but very expensive art; Bear Steps Gallery - local and affordable), organic food shops, wine merchants (Tanners - award winning), antiques, haberdasheries...the list goes on and even includes a specialist chocolate shop (make for the Chocolate Gourmet). Much of the independent choices can be found in Butchers Row, Wyle Cop, Grope Lane, St. Alkmunds Place, Dogpole and Mardol streets (great names aren't they).
There are more shops in and around the Market Square, which is dominated by the Old Market Hall. Built in 1596 it now houses a film and digital media centre and is the backdrop to some occasional and rather average market stalls.
After all that shopping food and drink might be on your mind. There are plenty of pubs to choose from, many of them with a good range of beers and comfortable atmospheres. If you like a smoke free environment try the Three Fishes Inn in Fish Street, one of the oldest streets in Shrewsbury (and worth a visit in its own right).
For food, I recommend the Armoury down near the river on Victoria Avenue (good pub food in comfortable surroundings); the Bellstone Hotel on Barker Street (brasserie with wide choice) is good for lunches; Franks Café Bar on the Welsh Bridge (great atmosphere at night) and Draper's Hall, St, Mary's Street (quality food set in an old medieval building). Loch Fyne has been a welcome addition. There are many more to choose from that cover a range of international cuisines, and the Shrewsbury Guide link below is a good place to start.
Should you want to walk off lunch then a great place to head is the aforementioned Quarry Park, a large (29 acres) riverside park that includes formal gardens (the Dingle - made famous by Percy Thrower) and a fitness centre - if walking isn't enough.
Events are also held in the park, including the annual Shrewsbury flower show, which according to Guinness World Records the world's longest running horticultural show. It is held over 2 days in August and has a huge range of flowers, vegetables, garden designs, entertainment (this year's included horse jumping, quad bike tricks and Katherine Jenkins singing - all in the pouring rain) and to cap it all fireworks.
The park also hosts various events. Jools Holland and guests, Will Young, Travis and others have performed over the years. Always a open bring your own picnic type of event.
If music or theatre is of interest then the new Shrewsbury theatre, The Severn Theatre, opened in 2009. It has a 650 seat main auditorium and a 250 seat studio theatre for more experimental performances. The range of shows has got better since its opening year, and the auditorium is comfortable with good views and acousitics. For film, there is a cinema which is walkable from the centre on Old Potts Way (outside the horseshoe) for mainstream films or for more 'arty' films the Old Market Hall mentioned above. The Old Music Hall, which used to be the towns' theatre is bing re-furbished and will re-open in 2012 as a musem and art gallery.
It could be you are after some late night dancing and there are a number of clubs - Diva for over 25's, Liquid, Flairs, Ministry, The Butterworth with lots of events - though my night clubbing days are now just a distant memory so I can't comment on the quality.
There are of course a few places to visit that don't include shops or alcohol for those trying to avoid temptation.
Castles can be found all along the English / Welsh border, and Shrewsbury is no exception. With parts dating from the 11th Century it has had many alterations and additions and now houses the collections of the Shropshire Regimental Museum - so if military history is for you the castle is a must see. Views aren't too bad either. Being an old town there are a number of medieval churches; The Abbey (which survived Henry VIII's destructive phase), St. Mary's (the best example of an original medieval church), St. Alkmund's Church, and the rebuilt St. Chad's, all of which are worth a quick visit.
If you want to take things really slowly you can take boat trips on the river - they leave from the Victoria Quay, next to the Welsh Bridge or alternatively head back to your hotel room and sleep.
Places to Stay include B&B's from around £20pp upto Hotels for £175 per room. Most fall somewhere in between £40 and £100. The best hotel is the Prince Rupert, the former home of Prince Rupert, James I's grandson. Parts of the hotel are very old, so rooms vary in size but it has a certain charm and service is good.
If you have exhausted the town itself, nearby (not all inclusive) there are the National Trust properties of Attingham Park and Powis Castle, Acton Burnell Castle (English Heritage), Llangollen Canal and Weston Park (where they hold the annual V festival).
How to find it.
Shrewsbury is situated on the English / Welsh border and is approximately 70 miles west of Birmingham. It is easily accessible by car with dual carriage way (A5) / motorway (M54) from the M6. Trains come from all directions and it is in easy reach of Birmingham, Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. Coach is also an option with National Express
If you drive, park and ride locations are signed from all main directions (cost £1), though I recommend that anyone heading from the North, West or South heads for the Frankwell car park which is on the Welsh side of town, just before the unsurprisingly named Welsh Bridge. Only £3 for all day parking is a rare bargain. If coming from the East a good parking choice is Shrewsbury Football club's ground (make sure they are playing away from home!) which is just before the English Bridge.
Park and Ride Parking: Oxon (West) - Off A458 Welshpool Road, Meole Brace (South) Off A5112 Hereford Road, Harlescott (North East) - Off A5112 Whitchurch Road
Bits and pieces of Other
If you need to do food shopping there is a Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons in the town.
The Tourist Information Centre is located within the Music Hall which is on the Market Square
The Welsh Bridges and English bridges are the only way into the centre of the town (unless you count a single lane toll bridge) and they date from the 18th century.
Previous names for Shrewsbury: Pengwern (Briton), Scrobbes-brig (Saxon), Salopesberia (Norman)
You can gaze up at the Statue of 'Clive of India' in Market Square or that of Charles Darwin at the town library. Other famous locals include Wilfred Owen, Percy Thrower, Mary Webb and the fictional Brother Cadfael.
Not so good
Castle Street, High Street and Mardol would be better pedestrianised.
It's on a hill and there are cobbled streets which isn't so good for wheelchairs.
Useful web links
Food info: www.shrewsburyguide.info/shrewsbury_food.html
The Theatre Severn: www.theatresevern.co.uk/
The Old Market Hall: www.oldmarkethall.co.uk/
The Music Hall: www.musichall.co.uk
Thanks for reading.
~ My Hometown Review ~
This review is part of the HOMETOWN challenge where members are asked to write about any aspect of their home town - or a town they'd like/not like to be their home town. You can find all the participants by going to: http://www.dooyoo.co.uk /internet/internet_sites/dooyoo_co_uk_in_general/_review/426988/
As many of you know, Proxam has set up a hometown challenge to anyone on dooyoo who wishes to participate and this is a review of my home town, Shrewsbury. The rules of the challenge are apparently non existent, all you have to do is write a review you consider as a hometown and include the latter paragraph (see above?) in your review. Well, here it goes.
~ Why Shrewsbury? ~
Shrewsbury was the place I considered as a hometown; I lived in it my entire life and was full of sorrow when I departed from it a couple of months back. It was an emotional move as my lifes memories are compiled in this one, little town, I can no longer refer to it as my home.
~ Location ~
Shrewsbury is found in Shropshire, England and for those who dont know where Shropshire is, its in the South West Region of England, bordering Wales. Shrewsbury is situated on the River Severn, one of the longest rivers in Britain and specifically built (the town, not the river) there for a purpose (of which well delve into later).
Shropshire is a rather unknown county next to Staffordshire and an hours drive from Birmingham. Its an easy location to get to if youre anywhere in the Midlands, well worth the occasional visit even if it is just a daytrip, a life wouldnt be complete without visiting this tranquil town. It has history, beautiful surrounding countryside, plenty of shops, restaurants and Cafés as well as many leisure advantages, what more is needed?
~ How to get into Shrewsbury ~
There are many options you could choose of getting to Shrewsbury. There are the park and ride buses active all day round, car, train, taxi and so forth. On a busy day I would preferably use a park and ride bus with a £1 fare, as it saves going through congested streets trying to find a parking space.
~ History ~
I couldnt do a review of Shrewsbury without dedicating a paragraph or so to history as the town is famous for its medieval past. Built on a gentle hill, the towns tactical positioning was due to warfare advantages. Its constructed on the inside of the River Severns oxbow feature, giving it a perfect position of defence.
The river loops completely around the town except for a short stretch of land that denies it the characteristics of being an island. As you can imagine, if under attack it would provide an immaculate stronghold against enemy armies and this was very important in its day.
Roger de Montgomery, a loyal friend to William the Conqueror, a Baron in the 11th century, was given the region under his caring and developed it from a military stronghold to a town like status that remains nowadays. At this day, he is buried in one of the towns most historical sites, The Abbey (the towns cathedral).
Also worth mentioning, Charles Darwin (the man who set out to prove the theory of evolution) lived and grew up in this town. He was schooled at Shrewsbury school and Im proud to say he actually lived a couple of houses down the road to where I used to live.
The name Shrewsbury evolved over time and was once Salopsbury, hence the term *salopian.
*A person referred to as a salopian is someone living in Shrewsbury. We call people who live in America, Americans and thus people who live in Shrewsbury, salopians.
~ General Information about Shrewsbury ~
The towns occupants in the historic ages were vast, ranging from Romans to Anglo Saxons to Normans. The Medieval occupants (Tudor England) are most evident as they left behind their black and white (magpie) timber houses and narrow streets and alleyways. These historic houses can be found on every corner, leaning crazily at inappropriate angles, just about ready to collapse. There are over 660 listed in Shrewsbury alone.
The Streets are just as historic, named after their original uses if you get my drift. This includes Fish Street (the place to go to buy fish) and Butcher Row (to buy meat), just two of the countless names.
~ Places to visit ~
The Benedictine Abbey was built on an old Anglo Saxon Church in the year of 1083, by Roger de Montgomery. It was home to many monks as a home for Prayer and thought. The abbey is magnificently decorated with dynamic stain glass windows, encrypted with some beautiful colours among with the usual splendid sights seen in any Catholic Cathedral. The mahogany pews are all hand crafted out of fine wood and expertise.
Outside is a graveyard, lined with beautiful flowerbeds full of Roses, lilies, Tulips and many more that my knowledge does not know the names of. Currently, the Abbey is being restored as some of the stone outside has toppled over; I do not know when it will be finished.
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The castle is another historic place of Shrewsbury. Built again by roger de Montgomery, the founder of Shrewsbury, the Castle has a red sandstone façade and again was originally an Anglo Saxon fortification. It has beautifully kept lawns and gardens, the groundsmen do a superb job of keeping the grounds neat and tidy.
Constructed on a narrow stretch of land on the highest point of Shrewsbury, it had the ever growing need of Defence and worked as an ideal lookout. Miles of Shropshire could be seen in a 360o view that overlooks the town and on-marching armies would be spotted legions away.
The castle has undergone many alterations over the many centuries, this includes when under the reign of Edward I as he completely rebuilt the structure to make it stronger. Again, some of it was demolished during the Civil war, but then repaired by Thomas Telford. More recently, the castle has undergone one of its darker moments of history. The IRA planted a fire bomb in the Regimental Museum completely destroying it, thankfully, no one was killed.
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Shrewsbury school is also worth mentioning. The oldest school in the county and one of the most well known, its famous for educating the likes of Charles Darwin (as mentioned before) and many more. The schools really aimed for those richer parents who can afford to send their children to this boarding school, especially if expecting their child to board (£7000 for boarders). The school owns 150 acres of beautiful land and can serve as a lovely walk, positioned just by the River Severn, overlooking the town.
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Pride Hill is one of the oldest streets in Shrewsbury and home to the towns prime shopping territory. The cobbled street is on a gradual slope and can provide quite an exercise if attempting to run up it, but the hard work pays of because theres a Burger King awaiting you after the ascent to buckle the lost calories back on. Pigeons are normally found clustered on Pride Hill due to the extent of food available from hungry people and they take advantage of the many catering services available. This street cannot be missed because its packed with history, as well as the shops.
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The towns main Park is called the Quarry and serves many uses. At the top of the park is a leisure centre while down nearer the river is a kids playground to amuse younger ones. In August the parks acres serve as the flower show, a popular event to cater for everyones likes. It has performances from all different acts, food catering, flower stalls, and craft stalls with sweet shops and general entertainment. At the end of each night of the flower show, magnificent fireworks take place and the whole town congregates in the park to view these special events, its magical. This also provides a lovely walk, I normally walked home through town and then down through the Quarry, theres nature and history all around you.
The dingle owns itself an acre or so of the park because it is a floral enclosure. Made famous by Percy Thrower who was superintendent of the Dingle for 28 years, the floral area lays host to many spectacular flowers, ranging from Lavender to Orchids to Daffodils. The Dingle is encircled by a large hedge that isolates the Dingle from the park, inside is a large pond with friendly ducks and geese. Benches are positioned around the park and it really is lovely to sit, reading a book for an hour or two in the summer, watching the flowers bloom.
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St. Chads church, another building overlooking the quarry is the oldest and most historically elegant church I think I have ever visited. It has existed for over 1000 years and was originally built in the centre of town until its main tower collapsed destroying the church. Over years of debate and controversy, the old site was discarded and the church moved to its new premises. The new construction included a 150ft tower and a circular design with a diameter of 100ft, one of the most original designs I have yet seen, a spectacular church.
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The town square is a heavy rock structure built about 500 years ago. Now a renovated cinema, it used to be used on a Sunday morning as a market space where salopians from all over would come to sell goods. This starred as a big role in a latest edition of scrooges A Christmas Carol, as did most of Shrewsbury.
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Well, those are the main places to visit while in Shrewsbury, the Towns most exciting locations.
~ Shopping ~
Shrewsbury plays host to an endless array of shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs or anything else you may be into. The prime shopping territory being Pride Hill, focuses at all customer demands. Theres a Marks and Spencer, WHSmith, Woolworths, various phone shops, MacDonalds, Post Office and a Burger King, that being a small majority of the outlets available.
There are two Shopping Centres on Pride Hill, my favourite being Darwin centre, providing shop relief from Pride hills compact space. It has a JJB sports shop; T.K. Maxx., Gadget Shop, Dixons, and fashionable clothe shops to name a few.
"The parade" is the other Shopping mall but I find it a bit dull, focused at older ages. It sells crafts and collectibles but sometimes I give it the occasional roam.
Pride hill isnt the only place for shops. Clustered around different parts of the town are a Toys R Us shop, Waterstones, Antique retailers, Art shops and furniture stores, all you have to do is look around to find the real gems.
~ Nightlife ~
Shrewsbury isnt just a sweet, historical town it knows how to party! Well, maybe.
Just on the outside of town is the Frankwell area where towns night life is situated. It has Flares, a tacky chain disco that you can boogie on down to if you want a night out on the town. Unfortunately, its a dismal attempt to be cool and attempts a retro attitude that fails miserably. If youre young and just out for a bit of fun with some mates it could be just right., If youre a bit more mature and just looking for a place where you can hang out, have a drink with some friends and talk, this is the worst place imaginable.
Just next door is Bar Med, I havent actually been in here but it looks quite trendy. A new development, this takes on a modern approach with style and class. This seems a better place to relax in with large sofas and lounges, generally a comfier environment to be in while having a drink.
Around the Frankwell area are bars and clubs, open to early hours, some popular and thriving with business and others not so well known but quieter. I personally tend to like night outs quieter, away from all the noise and action but others may disagree, Shrewsbury has the options to suit anyones tastes.
~ Final Opinion ~
Whether its a night out on the town, a peaceful walk, shopping needs, entertainment, just interested visit, Shrewsbury can provide. Its fun, friendly, clean, tidy and generally a charming atmosphere, a perfect day out in a perfect town. (The council even put in an effort to make it lovely too!)
This is my hometown, whats yours?
Surely, Shrewsbury is one of the most pleasant towns in England. I’m very fond of all the towns situated along the marches bordering Wales. From Chester in the north to Chepstow in the south there are some beautiful places to visit, Oswestry, Ludlow, Hereford and Monmouth are all regular haunts, but to my mind there’s nowhere quite like Shrewsbury for a day out. It has everything, beautiful surrounding countryside, historic buildings, a castle, a meandering river, a lovely park, an impressive collection of shops and some great places to eat and drink. I quite often go with my wife and daughter to Shrewsbury on a Saturday (when it doesn’t clash with a home match!) and they go shopping while I go for a walk and explore the town and its surroundings. Shrewsbury is situated on a hill, with the river creating an almost complete loop around the town and forming an island except for about 250 yards. Bursting with medieval charm, Shrewsbury has a wealth of timber-framed buildings, some of which lean so crazily that they look as if they’re going to topple over, and a visible history, which is present wherever you turn. If like me you are interested in history or you just fancy a nice walk around a friendly town with lots to see and do, here is my suggested itinerary. During busy periods, it is often preferable to enter Shrewsbury using one of the three convenient ‘Park and Rides’ as parking is a problem in the town and because it’s nearly an island, there are a limited number of roads into Shrewsbury. Buses run every 10 minutes from 7.30am to 6.30pm daily except Sundays and the last time we went the return fare was only 75p. In quiet periods, on a Sunday or a summer’s evening there’s plenty of parking available and we usually park in the car park in Frankwell, by the famous Welsh Bridge - £2 all day and very handy for the shops, park and river. Whichever me
thod you choose to visit this is an ideal starting place for a lovely walk around the town. From the Welsh Bridge, you are within easy walking distance of all of Shrewsbury’s attractions. These are my particular favourites: The Park A pleasant walk along the river to Shrewsbury’s park, the ‘Quarry ‘ home of Shrewsbury flower show is an absolute must on a sunny day. It occupies a sizeable chunk of the town embracing most of the bottom part of the ‘ox bow’ bend in the river and has all the usual facilities – children’s playground, bowls, tennis and boating and a wonderful aspect across the river to Shrewsbury school. Best of all though it has the Dingle a beautiful floral area made famous by Percy Thrower, the original TV gardener, who was Park Superintendent here for twenty eight years. The hedged circle which forms the Dingle, is a lovely place to sit for a while and enjoy the formal flower beds, the pool with its fine trees and mallards and to see the effigy of Sabrina, goddess of the river. The sunken Dingle was the original quarry for the town's first building stone. The whole park is a beautiful experience in itself, quiet and tranquil, its wonderful to sit by the river watching the boats from the rowing club go by with ‘trainer’ cycling along the tow path issuing instructions from a megaphone, just like a clip from the old Ealing movies when they were trying to portray a typical English scene. There’s a pub on the opposite bank, I think its called the Boathouse. They used to have a folk club there in the 70’s, which I used to go to. I can still remember sitting outside the pub on one barmy summer evening, pint in hand, listening to someone singing when the music was interrupted by a traditional jazz band playing from a boat cruising up the river. A simple pleasure, but a delightful memory, which has for some reason remained with me, and one
which sums up the essence of the park. Architecture This is what I like best about Shrewsbury, its full of architectural gems. With over 660 listed historical buildings in the town centre, you can easily see the influence of all who settled here, the Romans, the Normans, and the list goes on. These days, Tudor England is the most evident, with black and white half timbered buildings at seemingly every turn, no matter which medieval passage you duck down. The narrow alleyways are known as "shuts". The Square in the centre of the town is dominated by the Old Market Hall, a heavy-looking stone structure built in 1596. This part of Shrewsbury played a prominent role in the 80’s film version of a ‘Christmas Carol’ an ideal location for an excellent film. The streets of Shrewsbury have ancient and evocative place names, similar to York –Claremont, Murivance, Mardol and Shoplatch, to name but a few. The Bear steps link the Square with Fish street which has some fine examples of half-timbered architecture, and Fish street winds into St. Alkmund's Square were St. Alkmund's cathedral, founded in Saxon times has stunning stained glass. From St. Alkmund's Square, you can head down Butcher Row, which offers more fine examples of medieval buildings to admire and on to St. Mary's street where St. Mary's Church built around 1200 has one of the tallest stone spires in England - the stained windows are amazing. Shrewsbury really is a town of intrigue, full of charm and character. The Castle With it's beautifully kept gardens, and delightful grounds, the red sandstone castle is one of Shrewsbury's historical treasures. Built by the Norman, Roger de Montgomery, who was Shrewsbury’s founder and became the first Earl of Shrewsbury, the castle was erected on a narrow spit of land to protect the growing settlement. The castle ha
s been altered considerably over the centuries, and the oldest parts now visible probably date from the time of Henry II in the 12th century. Most of it was dismantled during the Civil War, but was later rebuilt by Thomas Telford. Today, it houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum. A free tour of the grounds and a short climb up to Laura's Tower provides some stunning views of the town, river and the countryside The Abbey To the east of the town across the English Bridge stands the Abbey which although founded in 1083 has, more recently, found world wide fame as the home of Ellis Peters’ fictional character, Brother Cadfael, whose chronicles are set in and were inspired ny the town. The Abbey has a history almost as long as the castle itself. Roger de Montgomery founded the Abbey, and even entered as a monk shortly before his death. He is buried there, but the spot not known today. One of my intentions this year is to go on one of the Cadfael guided tours of Shrewsbury – they sound really good. Rowley’s House Museum This is a fine building in itself, a timber framed warehouse of the 1590’s, which shows fine collections and galleries displaying the rich history of Shrewsbury and Shropshire, especially strong on the Romans, medieval Shrewsbury and the geology of the area. Shopping Shrewsbury has some very impressive shopping areas, two huge malls and a wealth of specialist shops often situated in historic buildings or located in the “shuts”. Tons of charm and character, selling everything from second hand books to art deco, geological specimens to musical instruments and antiques. My own favourite is the “Parade” converted, I think from the old hospital. Thirty shops selling crafts, original collectables and fashionable clothing. A great place to go for a cup of tea, there are wonderful views from the balcony to the river below. Even th
e MacDonalds is a bit special. There you are, a whistle stop tour around one of my favourite towns, ideal for a day out, even better for a weekend. Charming, safe, friendly and lots to see, what more could you ask for?
shrewsbury school is a reasonably large public school with exellent facitities.there are about 750 pupils. the school has got an exellent gcse and a-levls grades and has numerous pupils going to oxbridge.there are 11 houses i which each hold around 60 people. unfortunately the headmaster is leaving this year and being repaced with a younger one.it does latin, spanish, french, german, and all of the usual subjects. it is abording school but does have two days boy houses.it sits on the edge of the pretty town of shewsbury.
Shrewsbury is only about 60 miles due west of Birmingham more or less on the Welsh border. It isn't a city, more of an oldie worldie quaint little town stuck in a 300 year old time warp. It was relatively easy to get to the town by car although there is no direct motorway link, but the scenic A & B road route is well worth the effort. Not really remembering much about the place from my youth I couldn't recall what landsights to look out for. However, the River Severn cuts right through the centre of the town which adds a little excitement to the relative calmness of the area. There are not too many new buildings fortunately. It still retains its Medieval looks throughout, which gives you an instant sense of time & history. However, there are a couple of nightclubs to visit, along with the usual contemporary shops & businesses you would find on any High Street. Shrewsbury is very popular with the tourists, especially St Chads Church, the Abbey & nearby Castle. It can get a little crowded at peak times inspite of all the traffic calming measures. there is plenty to do if you want a laidback afternoon, but there isn't much if you have a car full of kids bored out of their tiny minds. Even though there were many modern buildings built at least the town has been relatively unscathed by architectual progress, and its a place we will certainly be returning too very soon.
It's basically a beautiful little town in the hook of the severn. It's full of interestng things to see and do, - including some really great architecture, all these black and white tudor buildings and also little wynds or shuts which give you short cuts. Cadfael was based here,and it isn't easy to rememebr the past as you wander the streets. There's lots of good places to eat and drink- and the shops tend to be more unusual than the run of the mill stuff.It's like a smaller version of Chester. There's a surprsising amount of things to go to- regular concerts by musicians, theatre etc. The Castle is worth a visit and during the summer roaming theatre groups play out door performances. It's more a town for wandering that visiting attractions- but get a weather report first- the floods are awful and seem to be more regular as the years progress
The trouble with Shrewsbury is ,its to easy to miss now the M54 and ring road carry those heading for Mid Wales away from this quaint,old county Town.. And for those who love, or have an interest in timber framed buildings Shrewsbury should not be by-passed.. The place is steeped in history..With the ancient Abbey walls and ruins and its fine examples of Elizabethan architecture, and of course it is only a few miles from Ironbridge which has an industrial museum, and Brunel's first bridge.. For those who love walking, Shrewsbury is an ideal base from which to explore the beauty of Shropshire..The hills of Church Stretton are ideal for those not yet fit enough to do the Pennine Way, or for the hardier types the Wenlock Edge walk is reckoned to be fairly challenging.. Or if you prefer a gentle stroll in pleasant surroundings,a short walk through the Quarry,,Shrewsbury's park, to sit by the rivers edge should be sufficient.. There are plenty of shops for the shoppaholic, including a place called Charlie's..A veritable cavern filled with bargains of every kind.A great indoor market..And plenty of cheerful cafe's and tea bars for when the feet need a rest.. All in all Shrewsbury is well worth a visit..But if you are planning a short stay..Take a tip use one of the Park and Ride carparks....
The home town of Darwin, is in fact, Shrewsbury. Located close to Telfore industrial town & is 1 of the smallest town in tht UK. It's quite beautiful & also self-sufficient in many ways though... Not many knew this place after all but here it is, the little town. People do live in the country side & so is such a town mentioned. It's also well known for a college, named Concord somewhere situated in the Acton Burnell, about half's hour drive by car from town. Prestigeous as it may seem but nevertheless, plenty of wonderful but crazy things happening there, as 1 would have seen if 1 stayed there. Old buildings as well as new, can be found there too. A days walk in the town area would be sufficient to conclude the town's life as a whole & it's recommended for quite town or country side walk really...