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Things to do in Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Shrewsbury is one of the country's most famous and picturesque market towns. In an idyllic border location, it is cradled by the rolling hills and plains of Shropshire. Famous for being the birthplace of Charles Darwin who was inspired by the Shropshire landscape.

Shrewsbury is a town of intrigue. With its narrow, cobbled streets and distinctive black and white buildings, it's easy to believe that you've stepped back into the mists of time to emerge in Tudor England. As you delight in the old world atmosphere, explore the town's countless hidden shuts and passages, you'll discover the charm and character of Shrewsbury. There are no fewer than 660 listed buildings in the town centre, marking Shrewsbury out as a stunning historic destination.

Think of Shrewsbury, think of Brother Cadfael, Ellis Peters' Chronicles of the twelfth century detective monk are set in and inspired by the medieval town. Ellis Peters novels have been adapted as television dramas, starring Sir Derek Jacobi. Shrewsbury Abbey is at the very heart of the Cadfael tales. Founded in 1083, the Abbey Church remains a place of worship to this day.

Away from Shrewsbury itself, monastic Shropshire boasts castles and monasteries - many of which feature in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael - evoking images of life, conflict and civil war from the past centuries.

Shrewsbury's red sandstone castle, a fortress of great strategic importance in past times, guards the only land approach to the town. The Medieval Great Hall is home to the Shropshire Regimental Museum, which features two centuries of treasures from military campaigns. In the grounds you can see the moat of the first Norman castle.

Rowley's House Museum, has fine collections and galleries and the building itself is part of Shrewsbury's history - a timber-framed warehouse of the 1590's.

New to the town is Mythstories, six galleries of fables that have inspired writers throughout the ages and made the county a home of storytelling.

Shrewsbury is surrounded by fascinating attractions - Four miles from the town is the splendid National Trust property Attingham Park. You will not want to miss the Roman city of Wroxeter, the fourth largest city in Roman times, which was built alongside Watling street, or the atmospheric ruins of twelfth century Haughmond Abbey, and the Priory of Wenlock with its trim topiary, all under the care of English Heritage.

Shrewsbury has an unusual wealth of shops of real character - the kind of independent specialist stores which have been lost from many High Streets.

Shrewsbury and surrounding area, offer a wide range of pursuits for the adventurous and energetic. You can try canoeing, kayaking or rock climbing. There's also quad-trekking in the border hills, and many treks and rides available around the area. You may visit the Swimming and Fitness centre, or enjoy a game of golf at one of the local courses.

Many of Shrewsbury's inns restaurants and cafes use local produce. There are restaurants and bars within sight of the Severn, even a floating restaurant. Old traditional style inns serve excellent food and provide a friendly atmosphere throughout the town and countryside.

Admire Shrewsbury's centuries old beauty by taking a river boat trip, or delight in the town's magnificent riverside park - home of the world famous Shrewsbury Flower Show. Near to the town itself, you can experience the sprawling majesty of the heather-clad Long Mynd.

Photograph courtesy of Shropshire Tourism.

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