Shrewsbury is like England’s hidden gem. I had never heard of it until my friend popped it into my itinerary as a stop between my Wales wanderings.
It’s just 9 miles east of the Welsh border, but the accents are notably different (posh, like Windsor status a bit) and the weather warmed up nicely – except for the freak showers in the evening. Always happens when I choose to take out my rainjacket and umbrella from my pack…
It’s a beautiful little town, renowned as the birthplace of Charles Darwin (hence the Darwin Shopping Centre), its floral displays, and medieval architecture. Like a good chunk of English cities, the city walls surrounded the basis of the centre and the Shrewsbury Castle was basically right next to the train station.
Even though it boasts a mere population of 72,000, it’s still a large enough town with enough to keep you entertained for a few days. The riverfront (Victoria Quay and The Quarry) was picturesque and very similar to Cambridge, which is why I loved it. I loved the willow trees that hung down into the river – it added such a beautiful detail to the overall view. And of course, there were multiple bridges (English Bridge, Kingsland Bridge, Welsh Bridge) along the River Severn. Absolute tranquility. I’d be happy just walking the Riverside path every day if I lived out here.
The narrow lanes of boutique stores and independent shops were so cute – especially the Bear Steps, my favourite. All the historical buildings that had been converted for businesses looked Dutch-influenced. The architecture is just so strinkingly different out here because of all the history from centuries ago. The Parade shopping centre looked like a large governmental building with tiny shops inside. After only an hour of walking around the town centre, it was obvious that Shrewsbury is known for its shopping- both high-end and quirky stores.
The Shrewsbury Market Hall was so lovely – very similar to the food and crafts markets in Vancouver and Melbourne. I love me a great market, even though I’m refraining from spending all my money on food…
The Shrewsbury Library was also a lovely attraction to browse around, mainly because it used to be a school. The architecture and interior beams once again left me in awe – because we definitely don’t have libraries with historical significance like this back home.
I only had a few hours in this beautiful town – because once again, my day was half gone once I trained from Barmouth to Shrewsbury and then dropped off my things in All Stretton, my accommodation for the evening. My bunkhouse is situated in the most glorious backdrop ever – rolling green and golden hills with sheep everywhere. Even though it was quite a trek to get here (a 35-min bus, plus a 10-min walk through gravel and 200m up a steep hill – remind me again why I chose to listen to friends and opt for a suitcase), the views were worth it.
And cheers to yet another bunkhouse (more like a fancy cabin) that I have all to my glorious self again. Why isn’t there more time to just stay and explore these beautiful places forever?