The Best Things To Do In Shropshire
Welcome to Shropshire, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of England. This stunning county boasts a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it the perfect destination for any traveller. From medieval castles to picturesque market towns, there are plenty of places to explore in Shropshire. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing break, this county has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the must-see places to visit in Shropshire, from the Ironbridge Gorge to the quaint village of Much Wenlock. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the wonders of Shropshire.
Top historic sites in Shropshire
Shropshire is a county steeped in history, with a rich heritage that can be seen in its many historic sites. One of the most famous is the Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Here, you can explore a network of museums and heritage sites, including the Iron Bridge itself, which was built in 1779 and is the world’s first cast iron bridge.
Another must-see historic site in Shropshire is Ludlow Castle, which dates back to the 11th century and was once a royal residence. Today, visitors can explore the castle’s ruins and enjoy stunning views across the surrounding countryside. Other notable historic sites in Shropshire include Shrewsbury Castle, Stokesay Castle, and the ruins of Wenlock Priory.
Natural wonders of Shropshire
Shropshire is also home to some of the UK’s most beautiful natural landscapes. One of the most popular natural attractions is the Long Mynd, a range of hills that offer spectacular views across the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Long Mynd is also a great place for hiking, with plenty of trails to explore.
Another natural wonder of Shropshire is the Carding Mill Valley, a picturesque valley that is home to a stunning waterfall and a range of wildlife. Visitors can explore the valley’s many trails, take a dip in the river, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.
For those who love the great outdoors, Shropshire also offers plenty of opportunities for cycling, horse riding, and fishing, with a range of trails and waterways to explore.
Best castles to visit in Shropshire
Shropshire is home to some of the UK’s most impressive castles, each with their own unique history and architecture. One of the most famous is the aforementioned Ludlow Castle, which dates back to the 11th century and was once the home of royalty. Another notable castle is Clun Castle, which was built in the 13th century and was once an important strategic stronghold.
Other impressive castles in Shropshire include the ruins of Acton Burnell Castle, the fortified manor house of Moreton Corbet Castle, and the stunning Stokesay Castle, a 13th-century fortified manor house that is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind in England.
Family-friendly attractions in Shropshire
Shropshire is a great destination for families, with plenty of attractions that are sure to keep both kids and adults entertained. One of the most popular family-friendly attractions is the Severn Valley Railway, a heritage railway that runs steam trains between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. Kids will love the chance to ride on a real steam train, while adults can enjoy the stunning views of the Severn Valley.
Another great family-friendly attraction in Shropshire is the Wonderland at Telford’s Telford Town Park, a theme park that is based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Here, visitors can explore a range of themed attractions, from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to the Queen of Hearts’ Maze.
Other family-friendly attractions in Shropshire include the Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom, the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, and the RAF Museum at Cosford.
Unusual things to do in Shropshire
If you’re looking for something a little more unusual to do in Shropshire, there are plenty of quirky attractions to explore. One of the most unique is the British Ironwork Centre, a sculpture park that is home to some of the most impressive metalwork sculptures in the world. Here, visitors can explore a range of exhibits, from giant gorillas made out of recycled metal to a life-size Spitfire that has been crafted entirely out of spoons.
Another unusual attraction in Shropshire is the Land of Lost Content, a museum that celebrates British popular culture from the 20th century. Here, visitors can explore a range of exhibits, from vintage toys and games to retro household appliances.
Finally, for those who love a good ghost story, Shropshire is home to a range of haunted locations, including the Tudor mansion of Chavenage House and the medieval castle of Stokesay.
Must-visit towns and villages in Shropshire
No visit to Shropshire would be complete without exploring some of its charming towns and villages. One of the most picturesque is Much Wenlock, a quaint village that is steeped in history and boasts a range of beautiful architecture. Here, visitors can explore the ruins of Wenlock Priory, visit the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games, or simply take a stroll through the village’s many picturesque streets.
Another must-visit town in Shropshire is Bridgnorth, a historic market town that is split into two halves by the River Severn. Visitors can explore the town’s many historic buildings and landmarks, including the ruins of Bridgnorth Castle and the impressive St Mary’s Church.
Other towns and villages in Shropshire worth visiting include the medieval town of Shrewsbury, the market town of Ludlow, and the picturesque village of Church Stretton.
The best museums in Shropshire
For those who love history and culture, Shropshire is home to a range of impressive museums and galleries. One of the most popular is the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, which is housed in a beautiful Victorian building and boasts a range of exhibits that explore the county’s rich heritage.
Another must-visit museum in Shropshire is the Royal Air Force Museum at Cosford, which is home to a range of historic aircraft and exhibits that celebrate the history of the RAF. For those who are interested in archaeology, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust is also worth a visit, with a range of exhibits that explore the history of the Industrial Revolution.
My Favourite Tourist Attractions In Shropshire
Ironbridge Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and industrial heritage. The gorge is home to the world’s first iron bridge, built in 1779, which spans the River Severn. Visitors can explore the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, which tells the story of the Industrial Revolution and the impact it had on the local area. There are also plenty of walking trails in the surrounding countryside, offering stunning views of the gorge and the river.
Ludlow Castle is a medieval fortress that dates back to the 11th century. The castle is located in the town of Ludlow, which is known for its quaint streets and historic buildings. Visitors can explore the castle’s towers, halls, and courtyards, and learn about its fascinating history. There are also regular events and activities held at the castle, including live music, theatre performances, and medieval re-enactments.
Shrewsbury Abbey is a beautiful medieval church that dates back to the 11th century. The abbey is located in the heart of the historic town of Shrewsbury and is one of the town’s most popular tourist attractions. Visitors can explore the abbey’s stunning architecture, including its impressive stained-glass windows and intricate carvings. The abbey also hosts regular concerts and events throughout the year.
Wroxeter Roman City
Wroxeter Roman City is an ancient Roman settlement that dates back to the 1st century AD. The site is located just outside the town of Shrewsbury and is one of the best-preserved Roman sites in the UK. Visitors can explore the remains of the settlement, including the impressive bathhouse and the forum. There is also a museum on site, which tells the story of the Roman occupation of Britain.
The Long Mynd
The Long Mynd is a stunning area of upland heath and moorland, located in the Shropshire Hills. The area is popular with walkers, offering a range of trails for all abilities. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside, including the Stretton Hills and the Welsh mountains. The Long Mynd is also home to a variety of wildlife, including red grouse, curlew, and skylarks.
Hawkstone Park Follies
Hawkstone Park Follies is a unique attraction that offers a range of activities for all ages. The park is set in 100 acres of stunning woodland and features a range of follies, including caves, grottoes, and towers. Visitors can also explore the park’s beautiful gardens and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There are also plenty of activities for children, including a maze, adventure playground, and mini golf.
RAF Cosford Museum
RAF Cosford Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in aviation history. The museum is located on the site of the RAF Cosford airbase and features a range of aircraft, including Spitfires, Hurricanes, and a Vulcan bomber. Visitors can also explore the museum’s exhibitions, which tell the story of the RAF and its role in British history. There are also plenty of interactive displays and activities for children.
Attingham Park is a beautiful Georgian mansion and estate, located just outside the town of Shrewsbury. The mansion was built in the late 18th century and features stunning architecture and interiors. Visitors can explore the mansion’s rooms, including the impressive Picture Gallery and the Regency Boudoir. There are also plenty of walking trails in the surrounding estate, which offers stunning views of the River Severn and the surrounding countryside.
Where to eat in Shropshire
Shropshire is home to a range of excellent restaurants and eateries, serving up everything from traditional British cuisine to international dishes. One of the most popular restaurants in the county is the Michelin-starred Forelles at Fishmore Hall, which is known for its modern British cuisine and stunning views across the surrounding countryside.
Other top restaurants in Shropshire include the Smokehouse Deli in Ludlow, which serves up delicious smoked meats and cheeses, and the Riverside Inn in Cound, which is known for its traditional pub food and excellent beer selection.
Accommodation options in Shropshire
Shropshire offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and tastes. For those who are looking for luxury, there are plenty of high-end hotels and guesthouses to choose from, including the aforementioned Fishmore Hall and the Castle Hotel in Bishop’s Castle.
For those who are on a budget, there are also plenty of affordable accommodation options in Shropshire, including campsites, hostels, and budget hotels. For a unique experience, visitors can also stay in one of the county’s many glamping sites, which offer everything from yurts to shepherd’s huts.
How to plan your trip to Shropshire, UK
If you’re planning a trip to Shropshire, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The county is well-connected by road and rail, with good transport links to major cities such as Birmingham and Manchester. There are also plenty of accommodation options, including hotels, B&Bs, and self-catering cottages. When planning your itinerary, be sure to include a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, as the county offers a range of attractions to suit all interests.
Shropshire is a county that truly has something for everyone, from its rich history and culture to its stunning natural landscapes and charming towns and villages. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing break, there are plenty of places to explore in Shropshire. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the wonders of this hidden gem.