Bewdley to Shrewsbury
Take a scenic route through the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution
Bewdley to Shrewsbury itinerary
Follow the route - Bewdley to Shrewsbury
Bewdley to Bridgnorth
> From Bewdley take the B4190 towards Kidderminster turning left on to unclassified roads towards Shatterford, then turning left on to the A442 to Bridgnorth.
There are two parts to this historic market centre, connected by a winding main road, a cliff railway and a steep flight of steps. The original settlement was in the High Town, where Bridgnorth Castle was built. The only remaining fragment is the leaning tower, which is set at a steeper angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The most graceful building is Italianate St Mary Magdalene’s Church, built in 1792 by Thomas Telford. For railway enthusiasts there is not only the Severn Valley Railway, but also the funicular, linking the upper and lower parts of the town. In Low Town is Bishop Percy’s House, a fine half-timbered building of 1580.
Places to stay near Bridgnorth
Bridgnorth to Shipton
> Leave Bridgnorth on the A458, then after 3 miles (5km) turn left at Morville on to the B4368 to Shipton.
Set in the heart of Corve Dale, with views of Brown Clee Hill to the south, this small village sits snugly in the midst of the green fields and valley. Shipton Hall is the focal point, a beautiful complex of stone buildings dating from 1587. There is an attractive walled garden, medieval dovecote and old parish church, as well as a fine 18th-century stable block.
Places to stay in the area
Shipton to Much Wenlock
> Take the B4378 to Much Wenlock
Visiting Much Wenlock
This charming market town has many half-timbered buildings, notably the Manor House, the Guildhall and Raynald’s Mansion. Ruined Wenlock Priory was founded by St Milburga in the 7th century as a convent and destroyed by Danes in the 9th century. It was rebuilt by Lady Godiva and her husband, in the 11th century, though it was soon destroyed again by the Normans.
Benthall Hall, 4 miles (6.5km) northeast, is a 16th-century house with fine panelling and mullioned windows.
Places to stay in the area
Much Wenlock to Ironbridge
> Leave Much Wenlock on the B4376, turning left on to the B4375. In a short distance turn left on to an unclassified road to Ironbridge.
Ironbridge was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. Its splendid iron bridge over the River Severn, the first of its kind in the world, was built in 1778 by Abraham Darby to enable traffic to pass across the river without interrupting its navigation.
West of Ironbridge, the B4380 brings you to Buildwas, where the bridge over the Severn is a 1906 replacement of Telford’s original one. The ruins of nearby 12th-century Buildwas Abbey, now roofless and without its aisle walls, are a striking contrast to the enormous cooling towers of the power station downstream. Stone from the ruin was incorporated in the local church.
Places to stay near Ironbridge
Ironbridge to Wroxeter
> Continue for 2 miles (3km) on an unclassified road to take the B4380 to Wroxeter.
Near this quiet little village is the Roman town of Viroconium, which was the fourth largest town in Roman Britain. A walk round the site reveals the baths, a market hall and fragments of other buildings. The most impressive relic of the baths is the 20-foot (6m) wall, where a square entrance once had double doors leading to the frigidarium or ‘cooling off’ room. A museum displays pottery, painted plaster and coins from the site.
Two miles (3km) northwest on the B4380 is Atcham, where Attingham Park features magnificent gardens, woodlands and a deer park. The gardens are open throughout the year, and the house contains a fine collection of early 19th-century English and Italian furniture. Parts of the red sandstone 13th-century Church of St Eata were built with stones from the ruins of Viroconium.
Places to stay near Wroxeter
Wroxeter to Shrewsbury
> Continue along the B4380 to return to Shrewsbury, 5 miles (8km).
Shrewsbury looks to be on the brink of becoming an island, almost completely surrounded by the River Severn, or as A E Housman put it in A Shropshire Lad: ‘High the vanes of Shrewsbury gleam, Islanded in Severn Stream’. Fames for its array of steeples and towers, with the Severn forming a protective moat, Shrewsbury is among England’s finest Tudor towns, boasting almost 700 listed buildings, including many stunning black-and-white timber-framed residences.
Places to stay in Shrewsbury