A medieval gem that can't be beat
Being real foodies, one of the main draws for our visit to Shrewsbury (24-25 June 2016) was the annual Shrewsbury Food Festival, a food lovers delight with more than 200 exhibitors showcasing the best in food and drink. Last year the festival drew 20,000 visitors and this year it was rumoured to attract double that.
Renowned as a foodie destination, people flock to the area each year to taste Shropshire’s finest food and drink offerings.Whether you’re a fan of delectable desserts, cider, sausages, artisan cheese and much more, you’ll find it here. To keep people entertained, there was also live entertainment, activity tents for children, and stalls selling a variety of crafts.
No trip to Shrewsbury is complete without a trip down the River Severn. Once the boundary between England and Wales, this peaceful river is located in the heart of the city. Catch a ride on the Sabrina Boat (named after the nymph that’s said to guard the river) and take in the willow-tree lined banks and the historical buildings and cute houses that hug its banks.
Having reopened in 2015 following a £10.5 milion restoration project, the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is a great option to while away the hours – especially during inclement weather (open Sun 11am-3pm). Unfortunately, during the time of our visit, the gallery was closed, but ensure you pop by when they have an exhibition on as it's an impressive space.
We loved the abundance of quirky shops and independent boutiques found down the winding streets and passages. From vintage clothes to antiques to high-end homewares and furnishings, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Our favourite shops were Brok for men's footwear and casual clothing; The Blue Lemon for handmade soaps, Shrewsbury Antiques for vintage treasures, and Esperar Boutique, a unique retail offering, which consisted of a hair salon that also sold a selection of women’s clothing.
Visit a historical castle
The town’s oldest landmark, the castle was built by Roger de Montgomery, William the Conqueror's right hand man, then rebuilt by Edward I, two hundred years later. The Shrewsbury Castle is a popular local attraction, which features houses the spectacular collections of the Shropshire Regimental Museum Trust including pictures, uniforms, medals, weapons and other equipment from the 18th Century to the present day.
The Armoury, Victoria Quay
The Armoury is a truly impressive space, illuminated by windows looking out over the river, with a good bar and bookcase-lined walls. While trying the beers, take in the scenery and enjoy a casual meal.
Bear Steps Coffee House, St Alkmonds Square
Have a cuppa at this gorgeous little café situated in a Tudor house. Cafes don’t get any cuter than this!
Henry Tudor House, Barracks Passage
This restaurant, bar and live music venue boasts a cool decor and a buzzing atmosphere. Definitely a great place to check out during your visit to Shrewsbury!
Blind Tiger, 17A Hills Lane
Set in a characterful heavily timbered 17th century building, this bar is perfect with its low lighting, cosy corners and comfy seating. Play a game of scrabble while sipping on a Jumbled Fruit Julep.
The Libertine Cocktail Bar & Tea Room, 16-17 Butcher Row
The talented team at the Libertine on Butcher Row make a mean Mojito, Cosmo and Daiquiri, to name just a few.
St Nicholas’s Café, Bar & Spa, 24 Castle Street
Tucked away in an Old Welsh Chapel, St Nick’s is well worth a visit for some great cocktails and live music.
Shrewsbury’s newest boutique hotel, Darwin's Townhouse is a 20-room B&B in a Grade 2 listed building, which oozes quirkiness and beats staying in cookie-cutter accommodation.
During our stay, we stayed in room 5, a hexagonal shaped superior room with high ceilings, which was bursting with character and original features including a marble fireplace and a gorgeous ceiling with original cornicing.
We loved having a tasty breakfast in the conservatory each morning, followed by a short walk to the high street to walk off the ample breakfast!
- Shrewsbury Fields Forever: September 16th-18th
- Shrewsbury Chocolate Festival: November 12th and 13th
- Shrewsbury Winter Festival: December 10th and 11th
For further information on Shrewsbury visit www.originalshrewsbury.co.uk.
Top Tips for your visit to Shrewsbury