Are you planning a day out in Shropshire or a longer break in the county? Here are 50+ of the top things to do in Shropshire, updated with prices and opening times for 2024.
Shropshire is one of those places you might have heard of but don’t quite know where it is. It’s become more popular recently but is still a hidden gem for many people.
Lying on the border with Wales but less than an hour’s drive northwest of Birmingham and the cities of the West Midlands, Shropshire is one of England’s most rural counties. I also think it’s one of England’s prettiest counties, but I am biased!
I’ve lived in the county of Shropshire for most of my life, and it’s easy to take it for granted. But there are many exciting things to do in Shropshire, from exploring medieval castles and award-winning attractions to kayaking down the River Severn. We have amazing landscapes, historic market towns, beautiful country houses and fantastic food festivals.
Whether you are going for a Shropshire day out, visiting in the summer holidays or planning a longer break in Shropshire, you’re sure to have a great time. Here’s my list of more than 50 of the best things to do in Shropshire:
In this Post:
Discover Museums in Shropshire
Whether you’re fascinated by natural history, obsessed with the Victorians or love a good ghost story, there’s something to suit every taste in Shropshire.
Here are just a few suggestions for museums in Shropshire to add to your itinerary:
The Iron Bridge
The Iron Bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage site and an iconic Shropshire tourist attraction. It was constructed in 1779 and opened to the public in 1781.
It was the world’s first major bridge made from cast iron, and the area became known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
The Bridge recently underwent a £1m renovation thanks to English Heritage. The wraps came off in late 2018, revealing the Iron Bridge in a return to its original red colour.
Update 08/01/2024: The Iron Bridge is open to the public at all times. The Iron Bridge Toll House is currently closed for the winter break. From 22nd January until 11th February 2024, it is open 10am to 4pm daily.
Cosford Royal Air Force Museum
Visit the RAF Museum at RAF Cosford for a fantastic day out for people of all ages.
The museum explores the story of the RAF and the thousands of men and women who have served in it. You can see many examples of planes dating back through the 100+ years that the RAF has been in existence.
The Cold War exhibition is a fascinating look back through a significant period of the 20th century, and you can also see the iconic Vulcan plane suspended from the ceiling.
Entrance to the museum is free of charge, although there is a small charge for parking. Cosford Royal Air Force Museum is just off Junction 3 of the M54 and also has a railway station on-site.
Update 01/01/2024: The RAF Cosford Museum is open for pre-booked visits. Book your tickets for free admission on the RAF Cosford Museum website.
Much Wenlock Museum
Who would have thought that a little Shropshire village would be the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games? At the Much Wenlock Museum, you can see artefacts from when Dr William Penny Brookes established the Wenlock Games, which sparked the modern Olympics.
There’s also a short walking trail, which starts at the museum and passes by the field where the first Wenlock Games took place and the old station where visitors to the games would have arrived.
Update 01/01/2024: The Much Wenlock museum is now open Friday to Sunday, from 10.30am to 1.00pm (closed 1.00pm-1.30pm for lunch) and 1.30pm to 4.00pm. Entry is free, but donations are welcome!
For a day out with a difference, why not take a jailhouse tour at the Dana prison, Shrewsbury?
The prison was constructed by Thomas Telford and was finished in 1793. You can take a guided or self-guided tour around the Victorian prison wings and down into the Georgian cells below. You’ll learn about the way prisoners lived in the prison and hear about the executions which took place there.
There are after-dark lights-out tours and even ghost tours if that’s your sort of thing, or you could try one of the escape rooms.
Update 01/01/2024: Shrewsbury Prison is now open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday, for guided and self-guided tours, escape rooms and activities.
Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
Shrewsbury is Shropshire’s county town and one of England’s finest medieval market towns. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery originally opened in 1835 and moved to the Old Music Hall overlooking the town centre Square in 2014.
Galleries cover Roman, Tudor and Stuart artefacts, as well as Shropshire’s famous mammoth. The museum’s collection contains over 300,000 items, ranging from fossilised raindrops to Queen Victoria’s stockings. Not all of the items are on public display, but you can arrange a private viewing.
You can also book tickets for 90-minute guided tours, which are available 7 days a week and offer occasional workshops. Click here to see upcoming events at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.
Update 01/01/2024: Shrewsbury Museum is now open for walk-in visits on Spring/Summer hours: 10:00am – 4:00pm Monday to Saturday and 11:00am – 4:00pm on Sunday. Entry is free of charge, but donations are welcome!
Soldiers of Shropshire Museum
The Soldiers of Shropshire Museum is housed in the grand red stone fortress of Shrewsbury Castle, overlooking the town.
Its collection contains pictures, uniforms, medals, silverware, weapons and other artefacts dating from the 18th century to the present day. The exhibits pay tribute to the soldiers of several Shropshire-based regiments from the 1700s onwards, and there’s also a Modern Army collection.
There’s also information about the history of the castle and the Lords Lieutenant of Shropshire.
Update 01/01/2024: The Soldiers of Shropshire Museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10:30am to 4pm, but is closed on Thursdays and Sundays; check the website for more details. Admission is £5.50 for adults, £4.50 for concessions and £3 for children aged 5+. Family tickets are also available.
Acton Scott Working Farm
Get an insight into Victorian rural life at Acton Scott Working Farm. Daily activities, demonstrations, and special events show how traditional 19th-century farm life would have looked while the land around the farm was worked by heavy horse teams.
Acton Scott Estate is a few miles south of Church Stretton in the Shropshire Hills.
Update 01/01/2024: Unfortunately, Acton Scott farm is still currently closed, but hopefully, it may re-open in Spring 2024. In the meantime, you can still stay in the accommodation and enjoy the tours.
Blists Hill Victorian Town
Go back in time when you spend a day at Blists Hill Victorian Town. This recreated Victorian town lets you step back in history to when Queen Victoria was on the throne.
Meet the townsfolk in their authentic shops and cottages and watch demonstrations from the tradespeople in their workshops. You can visit the baker to pick up your daily loaf, indulge your sweet tooth at the sweetshop and tuck into fish and chips for dinner.
Blists Hill is just outside Ironbridge and is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. An annual passport costs from £33 for adults and £20 for children, or you can save money with a family pass. There are often special offers – click here for more details.
Update 08/01/2024: Blists Hill Victorian Town is now closed for the Winter break until 23rd January 2024. From 24th January until 11th February 2024, it will be open on Winter hours – 10am-4pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
Jackfield Tile Museum
Discover the skills and artistry of Victorian tile makers at Jackfield Tile Museum. This museum is in Jackfield, just a couple of miles outside Ironbridge, and it is a fascinating look at one of the industries that made the area famous.
Learn how the files were made, and see examples of world-class tile design from artists, including William Morris. The museum also has a walk-through gallery with tiles displayed in mock-ups of a church, a pub and more.
Opening times vary by season. Like the Museum of the Gorge and the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, this museum is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust annual pass scheme – click here for more details.
Update 08/01/2024: Jackfield Tile Museum is now closed for the Winter break until 23rd January 2024. From 24th January until 11th February 2024, it will be open on Winter hours – 10am-4pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre
If you’re interested in the natural history of Shropshire, then the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre near Craven Arms is an ideal place to start.
The Shropshire Hills Through Time exhibition explores Shropshire’s natural history from the Ice Age to today. It includes a replica of the Shropshire mammoth, the fossilised remains of an adult mammoth discovered near Condover in 1986.
There is an award-winning cafe offering homemade cakes, locally sourced produce and cream teas, and 30 acres of riverside meadow to explore on foot or on bike. Have a go at orienteering or try your hand at geocaching – book in advance to reserve a GPS for your visit.
Entrance to the centre and meadows is free, and there’s a small charge for access to the exhibition.
Update 01/01/2024: Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is open 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm.
Historical Attractions in Shropshire
Shropshire has a fascinating history that goes back through the centuries. It was vital to the Romans, saw battles between the English and Welsh, and played a crucial part in the English civil wars.
Check out some of these historic sites during your visit to Shropshire.
Wroxeter Roman City
Discover urban living from 2000 years ago at Wroxeter Roman City. Viriconium (Wroxeter) was once the fourth-largest city in Roman Britain, nearly as large as Pompeii.
Learn about the daily lives of the people who lived in Viriconium through an audio tour and the objects discovered there. Wander around the remains of the bathhouse and explore a reconstructed townhouse.
Entry starts from £8.60 for adults and is free for English Heritage members; check opening times before you visit.
Update 01/01/2024: Wroxeter Roman City is open from 10:00am to 400pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Explore the remains of an Augustinian abbey at Haughmond Abbey, including the abbot’s quarters, cloister and refectory.
The abbey’s chapter house is largely standing, including its timber roof from around 1500, and medieval carvings and statues can be seen on the house’s frontage. There’s also a picnic area nearby with beautiful views over the countryside around Shrewsbury.
Entry to this English Heritage site is free of charge, and there is free parking on-site.
Update 01/01/2024: Haughmond Abbey is open from 10:00am to 4:00pm daily.
Lilleshall Abbey was an Augustinian abbey founded around the year 1148. It became a private residence after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, and suffered severe damage in the process of a Parliamentarian siege during the English Civil War.
Much of the church survives to this day, along with a lavish processional door and other buildings.
Entry to the site is free, with limited free parking available. In the winter months, parking is at the gateway entrance.
Update 01/10/2023: Lilleshall Abbey is open 10am to 4pm daily.
Visit the beautiful town of Much Wenlock and explore Wenlock Priory, much of which still stands.
The remains of this Norman priory reflect the elaborate decoration loved by the Cluniac monks. In the priory’s library, the original floor tiles have been re-laid to give an idea of how they would have looked in medieval times.
Entry to Wenlock Priory costs from £7.70 for adults and is free for English Heritage members – click here to check opening times before you visit.
Update 01/01/2024: Wenlock Priory is open 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Mitchell’s Fold is a Bronze Age stone circle built over 3000 years ago using dolerite stones from nearby Stapeley Hill.
The circle once included around 30 stones, and 15 of these are still visible today, including one of the impressive entrance stones. There may also have been a stone in the centre of the circle.
While you’re in the area, Mitchell’s Fold is just one of the prehistoric sites in this area. The Hoarstones circle is just a couple of miles away and is also worth a visit.
Mitchell’s Fold is open any reasonable time in daylight hours, and entry is free of charge.
White Ladies Priory
White Ladies Priory was a small nunnery of Augustinian canonesses, known as ‘white ladies’ due to their undyed habits.
In 1651, King Charles II briefly hid at the priory after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester before moving on to nearby Boscobel House. Most of the convent buildings were taken down after the Dissolution of the Monasteries; however, the ruins of the 12th-century church of White Ladies Priory are still standing today.
White Ladies Priory is open at any reasonable time during daylight hours, and entry is free of charge. Free parking is available at Boscobel House, a 20-minute walk away.
20 minutes walk from White Ladies’ Priory, you’ll find Boscobel House. It’s most famous for being where Charles II hid, trying to avoid capture by Parliamentary soldiers following his defeat in the Battle of Worcester.
At Boscobel House, you can see a descendant of the Royal Oak and the priest-hole where Charles hid, and you can tour the manor house and gardens. You can also visit the Victorian farmyard, and a tearoom in the old stables offers light lunches, snacks and drinks.
Boscobel House is near Bishop’s Wood, around 8 miles from Junction 3 of the M54. The House is only open at weekends through the winter, so click here to check opening times before your visit. Entry for adults costs from £10, and English Heritage members get in free.
Update 01/01/2024: Boscobel House is open for visitors, 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The ruins of the 12th-century Cistercian abbey at Buildwas Abbey are considered some of England’s most important Cistercian remains.
You can see the abbey’s 12th-century church, the vaulted chapter house with its original tiled floor, and the recently re-opened crypt chapel. It’s a fantastic example of the Cistercian order’s early architectural style.
Entry to Buildwas Abbey is free of charge, but if you’re not a member of English Heritage, there’s a small fee for car parking.
While you’re in the area: Buildwas Abbey is just a few minutes’ drive from the Iron Bridge and the Ironbridge Gorge museums.
Update 01/01/2024: Buildwas Abbey is open 10am-4pm daily.
Explore Castles in Shropshire
With such a rich history, it’s no surprise that you’ll find plenty of castles in Shropshire to explore. Some are in better condition than others, but they’re all worth visiting during your holiday in Shropshire.
Stokesay Castle is renowned as the best-preserved fortified medieval manor house in England.
The castle has been carefully restored and is one of the best places in England to see what medieval life was like.
There is plenty to do on a day out at Stokesay Castle, and the castle’s tearoom serves delicious lunches, snacks and cakes.
Adult entry costs £10 and is free for English Heritage members. Parking is free for members, but there is a charge for non-members.
Update 01/01/2024: Stokesay Castle is open 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Opening times vary throughout the year – click here to visit the Stokesay Castle website.
Shrewsbury Castle is situated in the centre of Shrewsbury, close to Shrewsbury railway station and the town’s independent shops.
The oldest parts of Shrewsbury Castle were constructed between 1067 and 1074, after the Norman conquest. The Castle was gradually rebuilt in stone and became a major fortress overlooking the Welsh border in the Middle Ages.
While you’re visiting: Don’t forget to check out Laura’s Folly, built by Thomas Telford in honour of Laura Pulteney, daughter of the local MP William Pulteney. You can climb the steps to the folly’s entrance, but the folly itself is not open to the public.
Access to the castle grounds is free of charge, and entrance to the castle costs £5.50 for adults; concessions are available. Opening hours vary throughout the year; check the website before visiting.
Update 01/01/2024: Shrewsbury Castle is open from 10.30am to 4.00pm on Monday to Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Castle is closed on Thursdays and Sundays.
Ludlow Castle dates back to the years following the Norman conquest in 1066. It was built as one of a string of castles to guard the border between England and Wales.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Ludlow Castle became important as the centre of administration for the Marches and Wales, but in 1689, the castle was abandoned and soon became dilapidated.
The castle also hosts several festivals and public events throughout the year. Entrance costs £8.00, and concessions are available. You can also save money with a season ticket – click here to check prices and opening times.
Update 01/01/2024: Ludlow Castle is now open 10am – 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Acton Burnell Castle
Acton Burnell Castle is a late 13th-century castle built by Edward I’s Lord Chancellor, Bishop Burnell. Parliaments were held at the castle in 1283 and 1285, but by 1420, the castle had been abandoned.
Today, the red sandstone shell of Acton Burnell Castle remains a fantastic example of a fortified medieval manor.
Acton Burnell Castle lies around 10 miles south of Shrewsbury. It is open at any reasonable time during daylight hours, and entry is free of charge. Limited parking for cars is available at the entrance to the site.
Foodie Days Out in Shropshire
Food festivals are held all over the UK now but did you know they started in Shropshire? Ludlow Food Festival was the UK’s very first food festival and celebrated its 25th year in 2019.
Why not see if one of the county’s food festivals are taking place during your visit to Shropshire?
Shrewsbury Food Festival
Shrewsbury Food Festival is held in the county town of Shropshire every June. It takes place in the beautiful setting of the Quarry Park and throughout the town’s streets.
Over 200 food, drink and craft exhibitors participated in the 2018 event. Visitors enjoyed demonstration stages, live music, a chef school, and a big screen showing World Cup matches.
There was also free kids’ entertainment, bubble football, go-karting, and much more.
The 2024 Shrewsbury Food Festival is due to take place on 29th and 30th June 2024. You can buy tickets on the day or save money by buying your tickets in advance – click here for tickets.
Ludlow Food Festival
Two Ludlow Food Festivals are held each year in the grounds of Ludlow Castle and among the town streets. The Ludlow Spring Festival takes place in May, and September sees the three-day Ludlow Food Festival.
At both of these events, you’ll be able to taste the very best food and drink that the region has to offer. There are also classic cars, live music performances, and of course loads of opportunities for shopping.
Dates for the 2024 shows are as follows:
- Ludlow Spring Festival: 10th, 11th and 12th May 2024
- Ludlow Food Festival: 13th, 14th and 15th September 2024
While you’re in the area: It’s worth paying a visit to the Ludlow Food Centre. More than just a farm shop, it’s a unique food experience where farming, food production and retail all come together.
The Magnalonga is organised by the same people as the Ludlow Food Festivals and takes place every August.
It’s a very popular food walk of around 8-10 miles through the unspoilt Shropshire countryside. At each stop along the way, walkers enjoy a course of a meal featuring food and drink from the region.
The Magnalonga is based upon an event held in Ludlow’s twin town of San Pietro in Cariano, near Verona, and is now in its 16th year.
The 2024 Magnalonga will take place on 11th August 2024
Newport Food Frenzy
The Newport Food Frenzy is my home town’s own food festival, which usually takes place in September each year.
The town’s High Street is filled with local artisan food vendors, and there’s all sorts of entertainment to fill the day as well. You can sample the produce, buy some treats to take home and watch food demonstrations and talks in the food theatre.
A date for the 2024 event will be updated here as soon as it is available – visit the Facebook page for more details.
Market Drayton Ginger and Spice Festival
The small market town of Market Drayton is known as the Home of Gingerbread, and the sticky treat has been baked in the town for over 200 years. Each year, Market Drayton plays host to its Ginger and Spice Festival during the British Food Festival in late September. It celebrates the town’s social history and culinary heritage through a popular food festival and fringe events.
You’re sure to have a good time sampling local producers’ food and drink, exploring the Canal basin’s floating market and enjoying live music performances.
The 2024 Market Drayton Ginger and Spice Festival will take place on and around 28th September 2024. Visit the Ginger and Spice Festival website for more details.
Big Events in Shropshire
Shropshire plays host to some big annual events that are definitely worth planning a visit for.
And if you’re travelling to Shropshire for one of these events, why not make a weekend of it and explore more of the county while you’re here?
Shrewsbury Flower Show
The Shrewsbury Flower Show is one of the UK’s top flower shows and takes place over two days in August each year.
It has been held in the Quarry Park for over 130 years, making it the world record holder for the longest-running horticultural event held in the same location. As well as the horticultural displays and competitions, you’ll also see top chefs, entertainment, fireworks and educational talks.
The Shrewsbury Flower Show 2024 will take place on the 9th and 10th of August 2024.
Newport Show prides itself on being Shropshire’s best one-day agricultural show. This annual event has been taking place for over 100 years and is held on the Chetwynd Deer Park just outside Newport.
As well as the livestock and horticultural competitions, you can also watch equestrian and dog agility competitions. There’s also the Festival of Food, with street food to sample, cookery demonstrations, and plenty of shopping opportunities.
The Newport Show 2024 will take place on 13th July 2024 – click here to read about my visit to Newport Show 2022
RAF Cosford Air Show
Enjoy a thrilling day out at the RAF Cosford Air Show, the only official Royal Air Force air show.
It takes place at RAF Cosford, just outside the village of Albrighton, and features six hours of flying displays from vintage and modern aircraft.
You’ll also be able to wander around the Vintage Village and enjoy a cup of tea and a spam sandwich. Browse through the RAF Cosford museum, or take a ride around the surrounding Shropshire countryside in a helicopter.
The next Cosford Air Show will take place on 9th June 2024.
Go Walking in Shropshire
Shropshire is England’s most rural county, so it’s no surprise you’ll find plenty of opportunities for walks and other outdoor activities.
If you love walking, then you really have to visit Shropshire’s most famous hill – the Wrekin. It forms the basis of a well-known tale of the giant Gwendol Wrekin ap Shenkin ap Mynyddmawr.
He had a grudge against the town of Shrewsbury and set off with a giant-sized spadeful of earth, planning to block the Severn and flood the town. On the way, he met a cobbler returning from Shrewsbury with a sack full of shoes to be repaired, so he asked him for directions. The quick-thinking cobbler told him it was a long way to Shrewsbury, “Just look at all the shoes I’ve worn out walking back from there”.
The giant dumped the spadeful of earth on the ground, forming the Wrekin. And he scraped the mud off his boots, which became the smaller Ercall nearby!
The Wrekin is ideal for a short walk, and there are places to eat nearby.
The Stiperstones is an exposed rocky ridge topped by the Devil’s Chair. This is the rock where legend says witches would meet up with the Devil.
Lead was once mined in this area, but now it’s an excellent location for a walk. And you can take a break from your walk to call in for refreshments at the Bog Centre.
The Clee Hills
The Clee Hills is an area of uplands just north of Ludlow. It was formerly a mining area, but now the quarries are silent, and nature has taken over the area once more.
This area has several walks that take in Brown Clee Hill, the highest point in Shropshire.
Click here to discover some of the trails you can follow in this area.
A day spent walking the Long Mynd will give you stunning views out over the county. Whether you climb the hills or stay down in the valleys, you’ll be amazed by the scenery in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There are some pretty challenging walks and others that are a little easier. But the views from the head of Carding Mill Valley will make the effort worthwhile.
Hawkestone Park is a historic woodland fantasy landscape, 100 acres of parkland full of cliffs, crags and caves. It’s also the home of the Hawkstone Park Follies, a series of extraordinary monuments added to the site in the 18th century.
You are free to explore the park as you wish, and there are several suggested walks around the Hawkestone Follies, ranging from 1 hour to 3 hours long. There’s also a hotel and three golf courses within the grounds, and you can enjoy lunch, afternoon tea or dinner in the 1792 restaurant.
Entrance to the park costs £7.75, and family tickets and annual memberships are available.
Update 01/01/2024: Hawkestone Park will re-open for general walks in February 2024 – click here for more details.
Severn Valley Country Park
Located close to Bridgnorth, Severn Valley Country Park offers fabulous walking, cycling and horse riding opportunities in 126 acres of Green Flag award-winning countryside. There are plenty of walking and mountain bike trails to follow, including wheelchair and pushchair-accessible trails, plus picnic areas, playgrounds and educational activities for kids.
The visitor centre and cafe are open Friday-Sunday during winter months and will open daily during February half term. Paid car parking is available on-site and nearby, and toilets are available daily from 10am to 4pm.
Wenlock Edge is an 18-mile-long limestone escarpment running from Craven Arms to Ironbridge. Footpaths and bridleways along Wenlock Edge take you through ancient woodland and flower-filled grasslands.
This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and you can see evidence of the old quarries and lime kilns that used to operate along the way.
The National Trust owns 8 miles of Wenlock Edge, and there are car parks on Wenlock Edge and at Wilderhope Manor.
Climb to Caer Caradoc, the site of Caractacus’ last stand against the Romans.
Caractacus was a 1st-century British chieftain who resisted the Roman invasion for a decade. Legend has it that Caractacus’ last stand against the Romans occurred at Caer Caradoc, a hill that overlooks Church Stretton.
From here, you’ll be able to see over to the Wrekin and the Long Mynd. And on a clear day, you may be able to see as far as the Brecon Beacons in South Wales and Birmingham over to the east.
Oswestry Hill Fort
The 40-acre Iron Age hill fort at Oswestry was probably the main settlement of an Iron Age tribe. It is one of several hillforts in the Marches area and was in use between 800 BC and AD 43.
Excavations carried out in 1939 revealed complex defensive ramparts around the hillfort. It’s a great place for walking, but the ground is often uneven, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. Cycling and mountain biking are not permitted on the hillfort.
Old Oswestry Hillfort is open at any reasonable time during daylight hours, and free parking is available around a quarter-mile walk from the hillfort.
Out and About in Shropshire
Shropshire is ideal for a road trip, but there are plenty of other ways to see the county. Here are a few suggestions for different ways to get out and about in Shropshire.
If you’re visiting Shrewsbury, why not see the town from a different point of view on Sabrina.
River trips depart every hour from the Welsh bridge, travelling down river to the English bridge and back again. And the evening cruises let you watch the sunset over the Severn.
They also offer weekly cruises with dinner or Sunday lunch included, and monthly themed cruises are also available.
Sabrina’s season runs from 1st March to 31st October. Tickets start from £10.50 for adults and £5.50 for children, with concessions, family tickets and group pricing available – click here to book tickets.
Shropshire Raft Tours
A little further down the River Severn at Ironbridge, you can go kayaking, canoeing or rafting on the Severn with Shropshire Raft Tours.
You can take a trip down from the centre of Ironbridge to Jackfield with an informative and entertaining live commentary from your tour guide. There’s also kayak and mini-raft hire, or you could take out a mega SUP or even a traditional coracle to explore the river on your own.
Prices and availability can be found on their website here. Early booking is recommended, especially for larger groups and during school holidays.
Update 01/01/2024: Bookings can be taken by phone on 01952 427150 or by email in the off-season, subject to availability. Online bookings are available between 1st April and 30th September.
Severn Valley Railway
Take a journey by steam train through the beautiful Shropshire countryside on the Severn Valley Railway.
Trains leave from stations at Kidderminster and Bridgnorth, and it takes just over an hour to travel the entire distance. But a Freedom of the Line ticket allows you a day of unlimited travel between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. It also includes free entry into The Engine House Visitor Centre at Highley.
So you can get off the train and explore the stops in between, enjoying food at the cafes and restaurants along the way.
First-class travel is also available, and there are many special events run throughout the year. You can book a short trip between two stations along the line or buy a Freedom of the Line ticket, which costs £25 for adults and £16.50 for children aged 4-15. This allows you to travel along the full length of the line all day and gives you a free return visit. Click here to see full details of fares.
Update 01/01/2024: Trains run on selected days – visit the SVR website to check for timetables and upcoming events.
Explore the Mere
The Mere in Ellesmere is one of the UK’s largest glacial lakes outside of the Lake District.
A mere is a shallow lake compared to its breadth, and there are nine of these meres in the area around Ellesmere. The Mere is the largest of the nine, covering a space the size of 17 football pitches.
It’s ideal for a relaxing stroll, and in the summer months, you can also take a boat out on the Mere.
Bridgnorth Cliff Railway
Take a ride on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, England’s oldest and steepest inland electric funicular railway.
It has been in operation for over 100 years, transporting people up and down the 111ft sandstone cliffs separating High Town from Low Town.
The two carriages counterbalance each other – as one rises, the other descends. A return ticket costs just £2, and children under 6 travel free of charge.
It’s a quirky trip that’s well worth checking out while you’re in Bridgnorth.
Update 01/09/2023: The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway is currently closed due to vital restoration works. They hope to re-open as soon as possible.
Beautiful Houses and Gardens in Shropshire
Visit the 18th-century mansion and estate at Attingham Park. You can look around the beautiful mansion, built in 1785, or walk around the walled garden and fruit orchard. The parkland is home to around 180 fallow deer, and you can join the ranger at feeding time.
There’s also a selection of places to eat and shop, or you could take a course at the Brompton Cookery School, run by chef Marcus Bean.
Attingham also runs events throughout the year; click here to see more details of upcoming events.
Attingham Park is a National Trust property around 6 miles west of Shrewsbury. Entrance for non-members starts at £10 for adults (grounds only).
Update 01/01/2024: Attingham Park is open to visitors daily from 8am, and the rest of the site opens later. The front gates are shut at 4.30pm, and the whole site closes at 5pm. Click here for ticket and complete opening information.
Weston Park is a 17th-century mansion set in beautiful Capability Brown-designed gardens. It’s an ideal day out, with plenty to entertain visitors of all ages.
The house is beautifully decorated with an impressive art collection. The grounds include historic woodlands, a walled garden, an adventure playground and even a miniature railway.
Places to eat include the Granary restaurant, and events run throughout the year, including seasonal fairs, guided tours and regular dine-and-stay events.
Weston Park is just a few minutes from Junction 3 of the M54. Opening times and prices vary throughout the year – click here to check before your visit.
Update 01/01/2024: Weston Park is currently closed for the winter and will open again for the Easter holidays in April – click here to check opening times.
Benthall Hall sits above the gorge of the River Severn near Broseley and Ironbridge. It is a fine example of Tudor architecture with mullioned and transomed windows, decorative ceilings, a carved oak staircase and oak panelling.
The house also has a beautiful garden with fabulous displays of crocuses in the spring and autumn. You can also explore the plantsman’s garden, the kitchen garden and a Restoration church. There’s also a cosy tea room serving drinks and cakes.
Benthall Hall is a National Trust property and entrance for non-members starts at £8.50 for adults. There’s also a car parking fee for non-members.
Update 01/01/2024: The house and gardens at Benthall Hall are currently closed for the winter months. The countryside is open from dawn til dusk, and the car park is open from 8am until dusk – please check opening times before you plan to visit.
Stokesay Court is a late-Victorian mansion set within extensive landscaped grounds. It’s a a beautiful Grade II * listed private home which opens on selected dates for guided tours.
Stokesay Court has magnificent architecture and was a filming location for the film ‘Atonement’. Guided tours take you through several of the ground floor rooms, as well as the service wing and old kitchens.
Visitors will also be served afternoon tea in the Dining Room before exploring the grounds and gardens.
Update 01/01/2024: This page will be updated with 2024 events when details are available. Click here for the latest updates.
Cronkhill is an unexpected piece of Italy in the Shropshire countryside. It was one of the first examples of Italianate architecture in the UK, designed by John Nash in 1802.
Cronkhill is a National Trust property, open only on a few selected dates each year. You need to pre-book for the tour, which features a selection of rooms, including the Drawing Room, Dining Room and library.
Cronkhill is located around 6 miles south-east of Shrewsbury. As tenants live in the house, you cannot take pictures of the interior. But you can take photos of the architecture and it’s a great spot for views out over the Shropshire countryside.
Update 01/10/2023: Dates for 2024 will be confirmed when they are available.
Sunnycroft is a Victorian villa built in the late 19th century in Wellington, Telford. Apart from minor cosmetic changes and the addition of electricity, little has changed at Sunnycroft since the early 20th century.
The house was built to impress, and a dramatic staircase leads up from the entrance hall, with a floor lined with Maws tiles. Sunnycroft is a treasure trove, with over 8000 period items left to the National Trust by its former owners.
Opening days and times vary throughout the year; click here to check before your visit. Sunnycroft is a National Trust property, and entrance for non-members starts at £8.15 for adults.
Update 01/01/2024: Sunnycroft is closed throughout January and February and will be open on 1st-3rd March 2024. Tickets can be booked through the Sunnycroft website.
David Austin Roses
If you love roses, then a trip to David Austin Roses is a must!
If you love roses, then a trip to David Austin Roses is a must!
David Austin Roses is famous across the world for developing stunning roses. At their site in Albrighton, you can see over 700 different varieties of roses planted in a garden of around 2 acres. The garden is divided into smaller sections, each with its own character and style.
Once you’ve viewed the gardens, you can buy roses to take back to your own garden and enjoy tea in the restaurant and tea room.
David Austin Roses is just a short drive from Junction 3 of the M54.
Update 01/01/2024: David Austin Roses will re-open after Christmas on 4th January, but the restaurant will be closed until 8th January 2024. You don’t need to book ahead except for the pruning workshops being held between Monday, 8th January and Sunday, 3rd March. Group visits or coach parties cannot currently be accommodated.
Dorothy Clive Garden
The beautiful and tranquil Dorothy Clive Garden lies near Market Drayton and is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll.
Within its 12 acres, you’ll find various areas like the rose walk, a woodland quarry complete with a waterfall, an edible woodland and the new winter garden. The garden also boasts several notable collections including camellias, azaleas and hydrangeas.
You can explore the garden at leisure or follow one of the self-guided trails, and refreshments are available from the tea room. Dogs on leads are welcome in the garden but are not allowed in the tea room.
Update 01/01/2024: The Dorothy Clive Garden is open from 10am to 4.00pm on Friday-Sunday until 29th February 2024. The tearoom closes at 3.30pm each day.
This guide has hardly scratched the surface of things to do in Shropshire; there’s so much more that I could have included. So whether you’ve booked a February Half Term holiday in Shropshire or are planning a Spring day out in Shropshire, you’ve got lots to look forward to!