Shrewsbury is a popular market town in Shropshire. Surrounded by a loop from the River Severn, featuring Medieval castle, towers, Tudor houses, and picturesque Riverside parks, this town has won over the heart of many.
The river Severn acts as a water hindrance to little passageways thereby preserving over 600 historic buildings. Visiting these buildings is just the least of many fun things to do in Shrewsbury.
The famous Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, you could see places he stayed, visited, worked and the church he was baptized.
You will find Historical museums, ancient landmarks having special significance, parks, hills, and many more to keep you engaged. For the best of a vacation, here are the best things to do in Shrewsbury.
Things to Do in Shrewsbury
1. Hawkstone Park Follies
Moving further away from Battlefield is a landscape park called Hawkstone Park. It is 100 acres in size, used to be joined to the nearby Hawkstone Hall, and contains four steep hills.
The park which was opened by Sir Rowland Hill (the 1st Baronet Hill of Hawkstone) in the 18th century is popular for its shiny follies.
You will find them all on the spot of the Norman Red Castle, now a deteriorating stronghold. You will be thrilled to uncover by foot a Gingerbread Hall, Grotto, Hermitage, Swiss Bridge, Gothic Arch, Greenhouse, Urn, and a White Tower.
Part of the excitement offered by Hawkstone Park is its geology and the empty cliffs that supply the sandstone need for these follies.
A visit to this park makes one of the unique things to do in Shrewsbury, do check out the area.
2. Ditherington Flax Mill
The Ditherington Flax Mill (recently bearing the promotional name, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings), is a flax mill in Shrewsbury.
It is the first iron-framed building in the world and is also recognized as the world’s first skyscraper, fondly called “the grandfather of skyscrapers”, despite having a maximum height of a modern-day five-story building.
This building was designed using an iron-framed structure by Charles Bage, an architect. He drew his inspiration from William Strutt and his work. This construction took a year (1796-1997) at a cost of £17,000.
Ditherington Flax Mill became listed as a Grade I building in the 1950s. Currently, the site is under restoration and has some restricted public entry. There is a visitor center and guided tours are carried out around the facility.
It open on Saturdays from November through March and on Fridays and Sundays from April to October.
3. The Shrewsbury Darwin Walk
You are welcome to the birthplace of the great naturalist and explorer, Charles Robert Darwin. He was born on 12th February 1809 and spent his first 27 years in this town.
His life was inspired by fascinations and inquisitiveness about nature which led to his evolution theory.
The Darwin Town Trail leads you through the important places around the town that affected a young Charles Darwin thereby shaping him into one of the most popular persons in the world.
While in Shrewsbury, do walk the Darwin Town Trail.
4. Climbing The Walls
One of the best things to do in Shrewsbury is a fun time at “Climbing The Walls”. This is a state-of-the-art indoor climbing center situated in Shrewsbury. The center has over 8,000 sq ft of massive climbing space. You can choose bouldering, climbing, or mixed packages.
It was purposefully built to cater to all ages and different abilities.
For experienced climbers, you can polish your skills on the lead walls while improving your strength on the Moon board. Amateur climbers can learn on the Action Walls despite the age. It’s fun and very safe!
Other amenities in the building include shower facilities, function classes and rooms, and a cáfe, this makes what to do in Shrewsbury for a fun time, do consider for your checklist of things to do in Shrewsbury.
Address: 1 Battlefield Road The Market Place, Shrewsbury.
5. Shropshire Regimental Museum
The Shropshire Regimental Museum has a unique collection of the four Shropshire Regiments – Shropshire Yeomanry, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 4th Bn King’s Shropshire Light Infantry TA and Shropshire Royal Horse Artillery.
This museum starting from 1985 is housed by the Shrewsbury Castle to date.
You will find on exhibit, treasures assembled over the years, through hard-won battles but beautifully restored in the museum. Items include uniforms, silverware, pictures, weapons, medals, and artifacts traceable to as far as the 18th century.
You will love the ‘Modern Army’ display (revealing data of The Rifles), collections from the lords lieutenant of Shropshire, and the castle’s history.
They are open Mon-Wed (10:30 AM – 4:00 PM) while Fri – Sat (10:30 AM – 4:00 PM)
6. Stiperstones National Nature Reserve
Here is an atmospheric landscape and wild having a geology that bears national relevance.
Making up the ridge is the Ordovician ‘Stiperstones Quartzite’, shattered during the old ice age and thus creating the jagged landscape we currently see.
This reserve is habitat to the common frog and common lizard and some local birdlife like the raven, red grouse, skylark, red kite, and stonechat. Then invertebrates like hairy wood ants, emperor moths, and exceptional green hairstreak butterflies are featured.
Access to this reserve is open and well-used. Like the 8km Stiperstones Stomp path which exposes the ridge and countryside amongst others.
Address: Shrewsbury SY2 6AH.
7. Attingham Park
In the late 18th century, this mansion was designed and constructed for Noel Hill. He helped William Pitt the Younger in restructuring the East India Company.
The Attingham park had its design done by Humphrey Repton -a Greta landscape designer of the 18th century- with a deer park and a woodland to peruse.
While on a tour, you will get to learn about the Berwick family, see their lovely painting collections and furniture, and listen to the story of how they lost their fortune.
Of special note is the circular boudoir which you will see and also learn how during the 1940s, the hall was transformed into an education college for adults.
You will also bump into a walled garden and a fruit orchard. The garden was restored in 2008 after a gradual transition while the fruits are served in the estate’s tearooms.
Attingham Park is full of varieties and you’ll never get tired.
Address: Attingham Park Estate Office, Path, Attingham, Shrewsbury SY4 4TP.
8. Haughmond Hill
Take a drive to the East of Shrewsbury, just a few miles to locate the Haughmond Hill. A low hill, 150 meters in height having a broad base and rise.
The Haughmond Hill is kind of a country park for Shrewsbury, with the hill close to the town and wrapped in a forest. From here you can get an excellent view of the town and also the Shropshire countryside.
For any geologist or as one, you will be intrigued by this hill as it is made of very old Precambrian Turbidite which were deposited in the formation of a continent and into the ocean.
You will see benches by the sides where you can relax and meditate on the views down the west. You can also walk into the woodlands where you can spot some wild like deers.
9. St Mary’s Church
One of the top things to do in Shrewsbury is a visit to St Mary’s Church. In 1987, this church, which was known to be the largest in Shrewsbury was declared redundant, currently it is placed under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
This building has an architectural design of Norman and Gothic styles with stories having that it was founded in the 10th century by the Anglo-Saxon King Edgar.
St Mary’s Church stands today as the only complete Medieval church in Shrewsbury town, with the building full of both interior and exterior characteristics to keep her visitors in awe.
The stained glass is unique especially those at the chancel’s east window. They have the 14th-century drawings depicting the Tree of Jesse, that is, the ancestors of Christ.
You will also be happy seeing the tower, showing different shades of sandstone and featuring Norman windows on its lower floors. Another great art in the nave is the coffered ceiling, hewn from oak trees in the century.
St Mary’s church has numerous curiosities amongst which is an epitaph on the tower. This epitaph in remembrance of an 18th-century tightrope walker, Robert Cadman, who died when his rope broke.
Address: St Mary’s Pl, Dogpole, Shrewsbury SY1 1DX, UK.
10. Market Hall
The Market Hall is an inviting shopping attraction in Shrewsbury. It is positioned under the popular clock tower and is filled with stalls for seafood, fruits and vegetables, meat, flowers, specialist foods, nice confectionery, and baked goods.
Aside from the provisions and fresh produce, you can still check out the photography, art and crafts, or vintage and vinyl clothing area.
The food served in the Market Hall is a reflection of their cosmopolitan and stylish ethics. They serve oysters, tapas, Thai street food, and they have the appealing Bird’s Nest Cafe and a Chinese teahouse.
They are open, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 4pm
Address: 4 Claremont St, Shrewsbury SY1 1HQ, UK.
11. Clivewood Farm
One of the fun things to do in Shrewsbury is visiting Clivewood Farm.
They specialize in using the fleece obtained from their herds of alpacas and converting them into special handmade products.
You will meet a farm on a 60 acres space where alpacas are raised (started in 2012) and a weaving studio. Products range among various alpaca fibers used for hand-spinning, felting, and weaving.
Check out the alpacas on the farm, both the stud males and breeding females. Visitors are allowed to feed them, this makes what to do in Shrewsbury with the kids, sure your kids will love it here.
Visiting Clivewood Alpacas is an interesting Shrewsbury activity but this is done on appointment only!
Address: Clivewood Farm Wem Road, Shrewsbury.
12. St Chad’s Church
St Chad’s Church is a listed Grade 1 church situated at the top of the Quarry Park. This structure was built in 1792 to take the place of a 13th-century building which was ruined after the collapse of its tower.
This church is built in a Neoclassical Georgian architectural style and there are several things that make this masterpiece unique.
First is that in the whole country, St Chad has got the largest circular nave. There is a gorgeous space with slender Corinthian columns and a gallery. There suits no organ recitals of concerts better than here
Do you know that in 1809, Charles Darwin was baptized here? During his childhood, he attended this church also. On Fridays, there is a free lunchtime concert more like a local tradition now, don’t miss out.
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13. The Quarry Park
The Quarry Park is situated on the western stick out of Shrewsbury’s loop in the River Severn. The park occupies 29 acres of space and from the town center, one can embark on a leisure walk.
If you wish for a moment of relaxation you could go on a picnic by the Severn or walk along its avenues.
In 1719, the Quarry was landscaped with the Dingle (a stone quarry gotten from between the 16th century) being the center.
The 1870s experienced the first planting of this sunken garden and there is a statue placed among the flowerbed representing Sabrina, a mythological nymph who is believed to have drowned in the Severn.
Visiting the Quarry is special, as the summer calendar is dotted marking events like the Shrewsbury Regatta in May, the Shewbury’s Food Festival in June, the Let’s Rock Music Festival in July and the Shrewsbury Flower Show in mid-August,
14. Shrewsbury Abbey
The Shrewsbury Abbey used to a Benedictine monastery, dating from the 11th century. This building was lucky to survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries after it was converted into a parish church in the year 1540.
While other buildings with monastery inclinations were razed down, the church still stood. You will still see most of the original Norman structure intact. The Gothic transepts and the piers in the eastern part of the nave all preserve this history.
The whole image of this Abbey is the Decorated Gothic west window of the 14th century, It was glazed around 1388.
Between 1910 and 1918, Wilfred Owen -who is perhaps recognized as the best of Britain’s First World War poets- lived in this parish. You will see a memorial tablet placed at the west end of this church in his honor.
The abbey is open Tuesday through Thursday and then Sunday.
Address: 25 Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6BS, UK.
15. Shrewsbury Castle
The Shrewsbury Castle was erected in 1070, during the Norman conquest by Roger de Montgomery. It is a red sandstone fortress that guards the head of River peninsula in Shrewsbury.
This current remains is from the 13th century during the reign and conquest of Edward I over Wales.
However, in the 1790s after the English Civil War in the 17th century, this monument was rebuilt by the celebrated architect and civil engineer, Thomas Telford.
The Shrewsbury Castle now houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum, where you can find displays of uniforms, regalia, paintings, and weapons.
Also, you will see the Thomas Telford’s Gothic Revival Laura’s Tower which is mounted at the exact location of the original Norman motte (mound) with its terrace giving you a view of the countryside and townscape in a panorama.
The castle is open from Monday through Saturday between 10:30 am and 4pm. Do visit as it makes one of the top things to do in Shrewsbury.
Address: Castle St, Shrewsbury SY1 2AT, United Kingdom
16. Town Walls Tower
Built between the 13th and 14th century, this fortified structure is an essential part of the Shrewsbury county.
The Town Walls Tower, officially called Wingfield’s Tower is a preserved defensive tower that was built with sandstone, it has a height of 9 meters.
From here, one can observe the land in the southern area of the town and as far as the River Severn.
This is the last of all the medieval watchtowers which belonged to the former Shrewsbury town walls and is taken care of by the National Trust.
17. Sabrina Boat Trips
Just like the Severn is a major element of Shrewsbury’s past, going on a river trip is necessary if you are in Shrewsbury on a sunny day.
Sabrina Boat Trips is there to give you the perfect treat. Departing every day from the Victoria Quay, from the beginning of March to the ending of October, the Sabrina goes on a tour between 11:00 and 16:00.
It is a worthwhile 45 minutes trip, availing you lots of photo opportunities on this journey, but it returns with a running commentary done by the captain. You will enjoy every bit of this experience.
This makes what to do in Shrewsbury for fun seekers, there is also a bar on board that serves both hot and cold drinks. You can as well enjoy special dinner cuisine prepared for Tuesday evenings, a ghost cruise for Monday nights, and a lunch cruise on Sundays.
18. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
Established in 1835, this historic attraction is housed the Music Hall. They recently relocated to this location, a building built in a grand style architectural design and is situated in the city center of Shrewsbury.
This museum has gathered more than 300,000 objects over the past 200 years and more are still added to this growing list as the year goes by.
You will find a recent acquisition in the “Shrewsbury Hoard” in this museum. This was gotten from reserve Roman-era bronze coins uncovered by one metal detectorist in 2009. It is a must-see for anyone who checks in.
Just like the Shrewsbury Hoard, you will still see some other historical object placed in the very strong archaeology department, these include a Hadrianic forum inscription obtained from the closeby Roman town of Wroxeter, a Roman Mirror, and a Bronze Age hoard.
There is also an abundant display of Caughley ware, these are porcelain materials and wares produced at the Caughley China Works during the 18th century.
One thing for the kids to get along with is the “Maximo Mouse” trail running through the museum. It keeps them aware of the happenings but at their own pace.
The museum is open from morning to evening every day of the week. Take advantage of this!
Address: The Square, Shrewsbury SY1 1LH, UK.
19. Dana Prison
Dana Prison was in operation for 220 years until 2013 when it was shut down. This prison is situated at the head of the town’s loop in the River Severn and was formerly the HM Prison, Shrewsbury.
Ever since it was closed, plans have been made to turn this dominant building into a gym, housing, and shops. But, until then you have the opportunity of going inside in the company of ‘Jailhouse Tours’, a tour company.
You will be shown the communal areas, the Hanging Room, the governor’s office, and around the cells. All these are done by a guide who paints a real and well-detailed picture of how the inmates lived their lives, their normal routine as well as that of the prison officers.
You can also explore the tunnels under the prison, but you’ll need a hardhat and a lamp as you visit historic cells and observe the squalid prisons where inmates were kept some 200 years back.
Dana Prison is open seven days a week, do spare that time.
20. Historic Town Centre
How about taking a delightful course to the oldest quarter of the Shrewsbury town? It is simply one of the fun things to do in Shrewsbury!
Shrewsbury takes huge pride in its unique 660 listed buildings, a massive part of them are black and white. A handful of these houses are half-timbered and were erected during the blossoming era of the wool trade during the Tudor Times.
It was also from that period that Shrewsbury’s “Shuts”, comfortable passageways bearing evocative names like Grope Lane”, “Peacock Passage” and Gullet Passage” all came into view.
While you walk through this area, you will spend most time tilting your head behind as you examine the carved and patterned timbers, the historic reliefs, and flourishes.
At the Square, you will observe that the Old Market Hall is traced to the 16th century a has an autonomous cinema and cafe. This Town Centre is surrounded by the Severn.
One of the leisure activities to embark on in Shrewsbury is visiting the Historic Town Centre.
21. Theatre Severn
Welcome to Shrewsbury’s premier performing arts center, the Theatre Severn. This theater has a main auditorium with a 635-seat capacity and a Walker Theatre accommodating 250 seaters and standing of close to 500.
The complex was opened in 2009, a has massive pull in the region, with an audience from the mid-Wales and West Midlands being attracted.
As of 2015, more than a million persons had visited here. So, if you need some entertainment, the Theatre Severn is very ideal.
You would watch Shrewsbury’s Symphony Orchestra as they perform and you could meet the gala concert season which holds in July.
Theatre Severn is a venue for popular touring comedians, musicals, tribute bands, dance companies, talks featuring cultural figures, and stage for matinee shows.
A visit here makes one of the fun things to do in Shrewsbury, do consider for your bucket list.
Address: Frankwell Quay, Frankwell, Shrewsbury SY3 8FT, United Kingdom
22. Battlefield Falconry Centre
Battlefield is an old village in the northern suburb of Shrewsbury. One major reason for visiting here is because of its birds of prey attraction.
In the Battlefield Falconry Centre, you will see over 30 different owls, falcons, and hawks. These are all preserved in big considerate aviaries. You have a vast range of experience to profit from these birds, most especially the Hawks on Walks.
This implies you moving to the woodlands of the Albrighton Estate in the company of Harris hawk and a falconer.
While on this walk, the bird will fly into the forest and still return to its glove directly on its perch.
You can as well come for some bird handling sessions and spend the rest of your day learning about the best points of the falconry, this makes one of the top things to do in Shrewsbury for bird lovers, do consider for your bucket list.
Address: Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury SY4 3DB, United Kingdom
23. The Bog Visitor Centre
The Bog Visitor Centre was once a school built in Victorian style, it is one of the few remaining buildings existing in a faded village known for the mining of lead and barite.
The Bog mine at one time had 200 buildings and a wonderful aerial ropeway.
Set in a historical geological landscape and recognized for the heroics of Wild Edric, the center has a staff strengthened by local helpers who excitedly always want to share their knowledge of the area.
The center welcomes close to 23,000 visitors yearly with some locally baked refreshment. There is enough space for car parking and this provides your ideal starting point to around the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve. Pets are welcomed too!
Open every day of the week, 10am to 5pm except on Mondays by 12pm.
Address: The Bog, Stiperstones SY5 0NG, United Kingdom
Plan a Trip to Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is full of exciting and captivating areas which you may not exhaust while in town. So, seize any opportunity to have at least an experience whilst you get it ticked on your checklist.
Why not make the most of your vacation by planning ahead of time. This piece can always act as a guide for you.
Do come along with your loved one and even the kids. They will certainly love the experience and even want more.