At less than three hours from Port Talbot by train, a visit to the beautiful mediaeval town of Shrewsbury is perfect for an afternoon spent exploring its ancient streets and byways - or even a delicious long weekend.
Take advantage of our free onboard Wifi to help plan your time in this unforgettable place, or just relax with your favourite tunes whilst we whisk you there. When EM Forster wrote of ‘astonishing Shrewsbury’, he wasn’t exaggerating. This picturesque county town, in the heart of Shropshire, is simply bursting with history and culture. Situated on the River Severn, just nine miles from the Anglo-Welsh border, Shrewsbury has played a pivotal role in the stories of both nations. Left largely unscathed by the bombings of the Second World War, its centuries-old street plan remains intact and is lined with original timber-framed buildings - just a few of over 650 listed properties within the town.
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At only a few moments’ distance from the railway station, the exquisite Shrewsbury Castle suggests itself as your first port of call. This stunning red sandstone edifice stands on the site of a long-gone Anglo-Saxon timber fortification, strategically placed to defend the ancient settlement of Scrobbesburh. Rebuilt by Sir Roger de Montgomery in the 11th century, the castle was captured by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War and remained in their hands until the Restoration. It was opened to the public in 1926 and now houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum.
When it comes to famous former residents, Shrewsbury can count itself blessed, but it’s arguably proudest of pioneering evolutionist Charles Darwin, who was born in the town and spent the first 27 years of his life there. A statue commemorating Darwin stands outside the Grade I listed Shrewsbury Library in 1897 and is just one memorable feature of this incredible facility, which housed Shrewsbury School from 1550 and became a free public library and museum in 1885.
Look up and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the Middle Ages - after all, Shrewsbury Abbey and its environs are the setting for the Brother Cadfael novels, upon which the beloved TV series is based. But at street level, Shrewsbury couldn’t be more modern - with independent shops outnumbering chain retailers by almost half! Artisanal studios, quirky vintage outlets and unique bookshops are crammed throughout its cobbled ‘shuts and passages’ - the local name for the crooked alleyways that run throughout this proud market town.
After a day spent discovering this unforgettable location, what better way to unwind than to enjoy stellar cuisine and a drink in one of Shrewsbury’s archaic pubs - some of which have been trading since they first opened several centuries ago. Henry Tudor House is a popular venue incorporating a full bar and restaurant, and once paid host to Henry VII. Or, for a pint of local ale in traditional settings, visit the Wheatsheaf - there’s live music several nights a week.
We think you’ll agree that there’s much more to Shrewsbury than meets the eye - so why not start planning your next visit with our free downloadable app? Whether it’s a solo voyage, a romantic break or a time away with friends, we’ll have a travel option to suit you, from Off-peak to Group tickets. With so much on offer, we know you’ll have a trip to remember.