Shrewsbury (England)

A view of the town square and old corn market.

Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire in England. It is a very traditional market town, with a lot of mediaeval architecture and feel to the town. Historically, Shrewsbury was a vital town in the wool trade with Wales. Due to its extremely good strategic geography, it was used as a garrison town and was part of the "Ring of Iron" of Edward Longshanks. It is pronounced either as "Shrewsbury" or as "Shrowsbury".

Understand

Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, which is a large and rural county in what is known as the Welsh Marches. The border with Wales is only 9 miles away and there is considerable Welsh influence in the county. The town even has a Welsh name - Amwythig - and many other towns in Shropshire have Welsh names as well as their English ones.

The population of the town is now just over 70,000. It is not the largest town in Shropshire - that is Telford.

Get in

By train

With the demise of 'Wrexham & Shropshire Railways' in early 2011, Shrewsbury no longer has a direct rail link with London. However, there are frequent trains from London Euston to Birmingham where there are connections to Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury's railway station is a large, imposing, Victorian building, opened in 1848. It is located on Castle Gates, right next to the castle, just north of the town centre, within easy walking distance of the town centre, shops and many of the town's attractions. Shrewsbury acts as an interchange for many rail lines, including the beautiful Heart of Wales line and Cambrian Coastal line and Shrewsbury is easily reached by rail from most of England and Wales. There are frequent services to Manchester, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Crewe, and other services to Chester, Wrexham Aberystwyth, Swansea, Pwllheli, and Cardiff.

The famous Heart of Wales Line runs between Shrewsbury and the sea-side city of Swansea, passing through some of Wales' most spectacular scenery and picturesque towns during its three hour and forty minute journey.

By car

Access via the M54 from the West Midlands conurbation, then the A5 from Telford. Parking in the town is notoriously difficult, therefore Park & Ride schemes operate National Park and Ride Directory, which enable the visitor to park outside the town in a large car park, and take a bus costing £1 per person (children under 16 are free; students 50p), into the town centre. The park & ride bus goes all round the town centre, and has stops outside most attractions, shops, etc. Park & Ride car parks are located at Meole Brace (to the south of the town), Harlescott (to the north), and Oxon (Shelton) (to the east).

By bus

Shrewsbury is on the route of the London - Aberystwyth and the London - Wrexham coach services (operated by National Express).

There are various local bus services, mainly linking Shrewsbury with other towns and villages in Shropshire and the surrounding area.

Get around

Park and Ride services from Oxon, Harlescott and Meole Brace to the town centre and back (Monday-Saturday) (free parking at Oxon, Harlescott and Meole Brace). Other bus services go from the bus station in the town centre to places in town and further out in the county.

Cabs available at the train station on Castle Gates. Otherwise there are numerous taxi companies.

Roads inside the town centre are to be avoided if travelling by car. Please park outside the town centre in the many car parks available - St Julian's Friars, Abbey Foregate, Frankwell, etc.

See

Do

Learn

Shrewsbury is home to Shrewsbury School, a public school, where Sir Philip Sydney, Charles Darwin, Michael Palin, John Peel, Nick Hancock and Michael Heseltine were educated. It is on a large commanding site ("Kingsland") just south of the town centre overlooking the loop of the Severn. The school was once located in the town centre, in the buildings that are now the main county library on Castle Street. Opposite it on the other side of the river is Shrewsbury High School, a private girls day school. However the majority of the town's resident children attend one of the town's seven comprehensive schools. The comprehensive schools of the town include:

The post-16 education is handled by Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology.

Buy

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

As a historic town Shrewsbury is well-endowed with traditional pubs serving various beers including real ales, many of which are Shropshire-brewed.

Cafés

Sleep

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Stay safe

Shrewsbury is comparatively safe relative to towns of a similar size; there is rarely a noticeable police presence in the town. Friday/Saturday evenings in the town centre are typical of any modern British town; night life activity is focused in the Claremont St/Bridge St and Raven Meadows area. Visitors should exercise caution when visiting The Quarry area at night.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 05, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.