-Things to Do in Shrewsbury, Shropshire-
Shrewsbury is Shropshire’s premier town, there’s no doubt about that, and with a rich history stretching back to at least 901, there are plenty of things to do in Shrewsbury to keep you occupied. Shrewsbury is supposedly famous for its wool industry, which is what led to the town flourishing in the 13th century, but closer to the modern day, Shrewsbury was also the birthplace of one of Britain’s greatest scientists – Charles Darwin. You can even catch a glimpse of him (in bronze, obviously) outside Shrewsbury Library, where his statue proudly sits. After all, he wrote the book On the Origin of the Species, which changed the way humans thought about the world.
Anyway, back to Shrewsbury! It’s a cracking town with loads of things to do, so read on to discover the very best things to do in Shrewsbury to make the most of your visit! And if you’re looking for other places to visit in Shropshire, read our post about Ironbridge, Ludlow and Bridgnorth – three other fantastic towns to see in this beautiful county.
The 16 Best Things to Do in Shrewsbury
1 | Wander the Tudor Town Centre
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know we love to explore places by foot, and Shrewsbury is another one of those places best explored by foot. That’s because it’s not that big and there are tons of interesting places to see around the town, such as Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury Square, which was the epicentre of the town.
We recommend parking by Shrewsbury Abbey and walking over English Bridge into the town. From there, walk along Town Walls to see The Crescent and immediately opposite, take a look up Belmont to see the beautiful row of houses on the corner.
After you’ve admired these spots, keep walking to Saint Chad’s Church and turn right down Claremont Hill. This will bring you to the bottom of town and to the next spot on our list of things to do in Shrewsbury.
2 | Visit Shrewsbury Market Hall
We love a good market here at The Bumper Crew, and Shrewsbury comes to the rescue with its fantastic Market Hall. Established in 1869, this multi-award-winning indoor market has over 50 independent retailers ready to serve you almost anything you could possibly want. Inside, you’ll find butchers, bakers (but probably not candlestick makers!), and tons of stuff in-between. And if you fancy coffee and a sweet treat, we recommend you head upstairs to The Market Cafe, where you will find awesome coffee and insane cakes and bakes!
Shrewsbury Market Hall is easy to find, too! Just look for the massive clock tower with the classic 1960s architecture. It’s inside that building! Shrewsbury Market Hall also has a snazzy website, which will also give you more information about the place.
Address: Shrewsbury Market Hall, Claremont St, Shrewsbury, SY1 1HQ
3 | Have Coffee at a Cat Cafe
We love coffee, and we love cats, and this place combines the two! And if you love cats, this is something in Shrewsbury you simply can’t miss! Paws Cafe is Shropshire’s original cat cafe and is home to over 10 cats. So, here’s the concept – you pay for your time in Paws Cafe, not your drinks, of which you can drink as many non-alcoholic beverages as you want. After your time is up, you can extend it by paying a little extra, or you can leave. Simple. Thankfully, Paws Cafe also does great coffee and not just great cats, so it’s win, win! They also run a loyalty scheme and host some events, such as the over 60s coffee morning.
We’ve visited a few cat cafes before, but this is the best we’ve ever been to. Why? Because the cats seem to have an interest in you even if you aren’t feeding them. Maybe this is because they could smell our cats. Either way, we’re sure you’ll get to interact with the gorgeous cats in Paws Cafe.
Address: Paws Cafe, 53 Mardol, Shrewsbury, SY1 1PP
4 | Delve Into an Antiques Treasure Trove
If you’re into antiques, this one of the things to do in Shrewsbury is for you! Step inside and head downstairs to a world where your eyes won’t be able to keep up with the amount of stuff to look at. Get lost amongst the treasure trove of stuff, from military memorabilia to vintage clothing, cameras and cabinets. We’re sure you’ll find something inside Shrewsbury Antiques Centre that catches your eye. And here’s a question: why do we all love antique shops so much? Comments at the bottom of the post, please!
Address: Shrewsbury Antique Centre, Princess House, 15 The Sq, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JZ
5 | Explore Prison Life at Shrewsbury Prison
You may have seen the inside of Shrewsbury Prison and not even known. That’s because it’s featured in a few TV series, including BBC’s Time with Sean Bean, ITV’s Prey and Most Haunted. Look for cell 39 – it was used for BBC’s Time and was the cell Sean Bean’s character used throughout the series.
As crazy as it may sound, you are taken on a journey of the history of hanging in Shrewsbury Prison, and it’s more fascinating than you could imagine. You even get to see the cell and the hole in the floor where the prisoners were hung. And did you know the last hanging at Shrewsbury Prison was of 21-year-old George Riley on the 9th February 1961?
Address: Shrewsbury Prison, The Dana, Shrewsbury, SY1 2HP
6 | Escape a Prison Cell
If you’ve been following us for a while, you might know we are huge fans of escape rooms, like the one in Birmingham. And Shrewsbury is home to a pretty unique one where you get to escape from a prison cell! Despite the small size of the cell and the small number of things in there, the team have done a good job making it interesting, entertaining and quite difficult! Ha! The other benefit of the Shrewsbury Prison escape room is that you get access to Shrewsbury Prison included in the ticket price, winner!
Address: Shrewsbury Prison, The Dana, Shrewsbury, SY1 2HP
7 | Visit Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
Nestled on the edge of The Square sits the Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, also known as SM&AG. Established in 1835 elsewhere in Shrewsbury, SM&AG is now housed in the Music Hall, a rather fancy Victorian building redeveloped in 2009.
In the museum, you’ll find a selection of exhibits showcasing archaeology, geology and fossils, decorative arts & ceramics and the social & industrial history of Shrewsbury, which, collectively, contains more than 300,000 items.
Address: Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, SY1 1LH
8 | Walk the River Severn
Shrewsbury sits within a loop of the River Severn, which is Britain’s longest river, did you know? So if you just fancy a peaceful stroll, this is for you. A mosey along the river is nothing more than one of life’s simple pleasures. We recommend you start at Welsh Bridge and follow the river path until you reach the weir and Weir Cafe, then wander back into the town, past Shrewsbury Prison.
9 | Go Canoeing
If you don’t fancy walking along the river and would prefer to get on it, Shrewsbury offers you the chance to get on the water! You can hire a canoe (or bring your own). Click here for more information on canoe hire in Shrewsbury. Another great place to get on the water in Shropshire is Ironbridge.
Address: Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, SY3 8LG
10 | Visit Shrewsbury Castle & Soldier of Shropshire Museum
Shrewsbury Castle is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Shrewsbury, dating back to circa 1067 and is home to a couple of other bits mentioned below. The grounds are free to enter, but you’ll have to pay to enter the castle. If you don’t fancy going in, just grab your lunch and head for the benches inside the grounds – it’s a beautifully peaceful spot away from the bustling town.
You’ll also find the Soldiers of Shropshire Museum located inside Shrewsbury Castle, which is a collection of weapons, uniforms, medals and silverware that showcases the evolution of over 300 years of the British Army and the sacrifices made by Shropshire Soldiers. Well worth a visit if you’re interested in the military and military history.
Address: Shrewsbury Castle, Castle St, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AT
11 | Climb Laura’s Tower
Inside the grounds of Shrewsbury Castle sits Laura’s Tower. It doesn’t offer much other than some awesome panoramic views over Shrewsbury, and that’s enough to make it worth your time to pop up.
Address: Shrewsbury Castle, Castle St, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AT
12 | Visit Quarry Park & The Dingle
Quarry Park has been a recreational ground for Shrewsbury since the 16th century and offers the perfect place to relax, walk or enjoy a picnic on a summer’s day. You can even fish along the banks of the River Severn!
The Quarry is also host to some events, including music events, a food festival, Oktoberfest and even a flower show.
The latter is because in the very heart of The Quarry lies the Dingle – a beautiful sunken landscaped garden which was cultivated by world-renowned gardener Percy Thrower. It’s pretty and peaceful and worth a wander in.
Address: The Quarry Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 1JA
13 | Take a Sabrina Boat Tour
No, not Sabrina the Teenage Witch, just a normal boat tour around this Tudor town that’s named after the nymph of the River Severn, Sabrina (you can see the sculpture of Sabrina in the Dingle!).
The Sabrina boat sails daily from Victoria Quay. The trips depart on the hour between 1000 and 1600 and operate between March and the end of October.
The tour will take around 45 minutes and sails around to English Bridge and back, complete with an audio tour from the captain.
You’ll find a bar on board serving drinks and snacks, and they run special cruises, including dinner cruises, Sunday lunch cruises and even a ghost cruise!
14 | Marvel at Shrewsbury Abbey
Similarly to Shrewsbury Castle, Shrewsbury Abbey is another of Shrewsbury’s oldest buildings, dating back to 1083, when it was founded as a Benedictine Monastery by Roger de Montgomery. Surviving parts of Shrewsbury Abbey was used as a Parish Church and are still being used today.
Address: Shrewsbury Abbey, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6BA
15 | Enjoy a Night Out
For the night owls among you, this is one of the things to do in Shrewsbury for you! Shrewsbury is a pretty upmarket town, and that’s reflected in its nightlife. You can guarantee a great night out in Shrewsbury with the town’s various pubs and bars.
For cocktails, we recommend visiting Blind Tiger Bar (they do an amazing spin on the espresso martini, the hard-nut espresso), Albert & Co Frankville and The Libertine Cocktail Shrewsbury.
16 | Find the Deer at Attingham Park
Last but certainly not least on our list of things to do in Shrewsbury is Attingham Park. Last, because it’s not in Shrewsbury itself but a short 15-minute drive from the town centre and not least because it’s a remarkable place that we recommend you take the time to visit. Attingham Park has a fantastic manor house where you can discover how the wealthy used to party back in the day and, more impressively, a wander around a walled garden and gigantic 200-acre parkland – a parkland which is home to Attingham Park’s very own herd of deer, which you are almost guaranteed to see!
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know we are loyal National Trust pass holders and love a good NT site, so check out our in-depth post about Waddesdon Manor.
Address: Attingham Park, Atcham, Shrewsbury, SY4 4TP
If you’re looking for other things to do in Shropshire, check out our guide to Ironbridge, Shropshire’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Is Shrewsbury worth visiting?
Yes, absolutely! Shrewsbury is definitely worth visiting. There’s so much to see and do, and the town itself is lovely to simply wander around because of its age and interesting range of buildings, from classic Tudor architecture to gorgeous brick buildings.
What is Shrewsbury good for?
Shrewsbury is good for all sorts! Shrewsbury has a great cafe scene, superb nightlife and loads of things to keep you occupied for a day or two. Shrewsbury also has a lovely array of Tudor buildings spread throughout the town.
Is Shrewsbury a medieval town?
Yes, Shrewsbury is a medieval town, specifically a Tudor town. Tudor architecture was the final development of medieval architecture in England and Wales, and Shrewsbury has some fine examples of it spread throughout the town.
16 Things to Do in Shrewsbury
- Wander the Tudor Town Centre
- Visit Shrewsbury Market Hall
- Have Coffee at a Cat Cafe
- Delve Into an Antiques Treasure Trove
- Explore Prison Life at Shrewsbury Prison
- Escape a Prison Cell
- Visit Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
- Walk the River Severn
- Go Canoeing
- Visit Shrewsbury Castle & Soldier of Shropshire Museum
- Climb Laura’s Tower
- Visit Quarry Park & The Dingle
- Take a Sabrina Boat Tour
- Marvel at Shrewsbury Abbey
- Enjoy a Night Out
- Find the Deer at Attingham Park
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