Looking for things to do in Bridgnorth? The Bumper Crew has it covered! Split into two parts on either side of the River Severn, High and Low Town offer plenty of things to see and do, including leaning castle ruins, cobbled streets, and a rich history with the rail network, where it’s home to the steepest railway in inland Britain. Bridgnorth is full of interesting architecture and history and was home to the famous engineer Thomas Telford. And if you like to buy locally, Bridgnorth has some great independent retailers, including butchers, wine merchants, and florists!
Read on to discover the very best things to do in Bridgnorth!
Things to Do in Bridgnorth
1 | Take a Trip on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway
Bridgnorth is home to the oldest and steepest incline railway in inland Britain and has been running for over 100 years – since the 7th of July 1892, to be precise. The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway was constructed to connect Bridgnorth High and Low Towns in another way other than climbing the 200 steps up the side of the sandstone outcrop that Bridgnorth High Town sits on.
So, for a bit of nostalgia, take a trip up and down the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway. You’ll find the entrances at Stoneway Steps (bottom entrance) and the end of the Castle Walk (top entrance)
2 | Wander Bridgnorth Castle & Gardens
The gardens at Bridgnorth Castle & Gardens are well-kept and beautiful at any time of year. The gardens are also home to Bridgnorth War Memorial, which overlooks the Severn Valley Railway. But above all, Bridgnorth Castle & Gardens is famous for a castle, but not because it’s a castle that saw battle or because of preserved ruins, but because it looks like it’s going to fall over! There has been a castle on this spot since the 12th century, but after the Civil War in 1646, Parliament ordered the castle to be demolished, and all that remains today is the ruins of the Great Tower, where you can still see some doorways, windows and damage caused by cannonball fire.
3 | Visit St. Leonard’s Close & Church
St Leonard’s Close is one of the most beautiful parts of Bridgnorth. It’s peaceful and quiet and contains some of the best architecture in the town. And the history of the close is pretty interesting, too – it was built in the 13th century and rebuilt twice. It was also the location of a battle between the Royalist and Parliamentarian troops during the Civil War in the 1600s.
Keep an eye out for the unmistakable and photo-worthy six-gabled building at the far side of St Leonard’s Church (as you approach from High Street). It was once part of the old grammar school where the headmaster and priest lived. It now serves a different purpose in the form of a care home.
4 | Take the Castle Walk
As you know, we love a stroll. So, while you’re in Bridgnorth, take a stroll along Castle Walk from Bridgnorth Castle & Gardens back to the town centre. Along the way, you’ll pass St Mary Magdalene Church, get a great view over the Severn, and pass Bridgnorth Cliff Railway Top Station before stumbling into the cute courtyard on Castle Terrace, where you’ll find some cute shops.
5 | Find Lavington’s Hole & the Face
Beneath High Town is a red sandstone rock face made, where, 400 years ago, soldiers dug a 70-foot tunnel under St Mary Magdalene Church, which sits atop the hill because it was soft enough to do so. They had the intention of blowing up opposing forces’ explosives. They also dug storage rooms and made their homes in the rock.
Although you can’t get into Lavington’s Hole, you can see the remnants of the caves – some of which are still used and incorporated into the houses along the ridge above.
And rather unusually, if you look at Lavington’s Hole from the right direction, you can see a face. Look at the picture below. Can you see it?
6 | Catch a Train at Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway is Shropshire’s heritage steam railway and, unsurprisingly, is in the same location as Bridgnorth train station. So, if you’re not after a tourist ride on a steam train, you can wander the platform and enjoy the railway station. Stepping into the station is like stepping back in time, where you can soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era and the golden age of the British railway network. Bridgnorth is famous for a particular locomotive – read on to discover what it is.
But if you want a ride on a steam train, you can embark on a murder mystery journey or enjoy afternoon tea. The station also has a great pub called The Railwayman’s Arms. It’s full of atmosphere and railway memorabilia and serves a great pint. And if a pint isn’t your thing, there’s a cafe selling refreshments and a gift shop. Bridgnorth Railway Station and the Severn Valley Railway are places that rail enthusiasts can’t miss!
7 | Follow the Bridgnorth Art Trail
It turns out Bridgnorth has a rich history with the railways. Not only does it have the steeping incline railway in inland Britain, but it was also where the world’s first locomotive was produced to haul fare-paying passengers, named Catch Me Who Can.
To celebrate this, the Bridgnorth Art Trail was created. The Bridgnorth Art Trail consists of 13 aluminium cast train statues spread across a 2-mile loop, designed and painted by a local artist and placed in historical spots around the town. Can you find them all?
8 | Visit East Castle Street & St Mary Magdalene Church
East Castle Street is our favourite street in Bridgnorth. It’s lined with beautiful period houses and ends with the striking St Mary Magdalene Church. The church is a Grade 11 listed building designed by Thomas Telford, a famous Scottish civil engineer and architect who happened to be a resident of East Castle Street in 1792 – keep an eye out for a blue plaque on the wall as you wander the street.
9 | Explore Bridgnorth Northgate Museum
If you’re interested in the history of Bridgnorth and the local area, the Bridgnorth Northgate Museum is a must-visit. Inside, you’ll find a coracle, archaeological finds, roman coins, maps, paintings, a turret clock, plus loads of other stuff.
10 | Visit Daniels Mill
Just outside Bridgnorth town is Daniels Mill. It’s a beautifully restored working water mill.
Daniels Mill is home to the largest waterwheel in England that still powers a corn mill, and you can even buy some wholemeal flour to take away with you.
If you catch a steam train from the Severn Valley Railway, you might catch a glimpse of Daniels Mill as you pass over the viaduct. There’s also a cute tea room that sells a unique and delicious range of homemade cakes.
Note – Daniels Mill isn’t open all year. Check the website for the latest opening times.
11 | Visit Dudmaston Hall
If you’re a National Trust pass holder, Dudmaston Estate is a must-visit if you’re looking for things to do in Bridgnorth. Offering a beautiful hall, garden, park and Dingle to wander, you can spend a few hours on the peaceful grounds. As you’d expect from a National Trust site, you’ll find a second-hand bookshop and tearoom to get your fix of tea (or coffee) and cake! Check the National Trust website for the latest opening times.
Where to Go for Great Coffee
If you’re after a coffee, we recommend popping to Sherbert Events – the little caravan in Bridgnorth Castle & Gardens. You can’t miss it – it’s a little red caravan. They are known for their gelato (which they produce themselves), but they also serve great coffee. And when you have your coffee in hand, you can wander the grounds and onto Castle Walk.
Things to Do in Bridgnorth Map
Things to Do in Bridgnorth, Shropshire
- Take a Trip on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway
- Wander Bridgnorth Castle & Gardens
- Visit St. Leonard’s Close & Church
- Take the Castle Walk
- Find Lavington’s Hole & the Face
- Catch a Train at Severn Valley Railway
- Follow the Bridgnorth Art Trail
- Visit East Castle Street & St Mary Magdalene Church
- Bridgnorth Northgate Museum
- Daniels Mill
- Dudmaston Hall
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