BRENDAN EXPLORES THE SEVERN WAY IN SHREWSBURY

BY

Brendan James Profile Image

BRENDAN JAMES

01/03/2021

On a beautifully bright sunny day in Shrewsbury our adventure starts in the Monkmoor area as we hug the river along the Severn Way.

The Severn Way stretches for over 200 miles from Powys to Severn Beach near Bristol, but in this journey we are covering the Shrewsbury segment that incorporates beautiful countryside and quaint town views.

The start of the journey at Monkmoor River Ground

The start of the journey at Monkmoor River Ground

A woodland stretch of footpath on the Severn Way

A woodland stretch of footpath on the Severn Way

As we carry on along the River Severn we are treated to some lovely views of people kayaking and fishing. The one shining thought that comes to mind when taking in these experiences is the feeling of normality and hope. Sometimes taking a walk along the river can be all that’s needed to mentally transport you to somewhere else entirely.

A kayaker on the river

A kayaker on the river

Crossing over to the other side of the river at Telford Way bridge, our walk joins onto the Shropshire Way, which will take us right into the heart of Shrewsbury town to the Dingle Garden, with the Quarry Park. This is my favourite part of the walk as we enter more populated areas and see the culture of Shrewsbury itself.

Walking along the river path leading into Shrewsbury

Walking along the river path leading into Shrewsbury

Continuing our adventure, we reach the well-known landmark of the weir. The weir was built in 1910 and was designed to raise the river levels passing through the town, and rumour has it that the reason it was constructed was so that the river levels wouldn’t drop too low in the summer for the rowing clubs to be obstructed. In later years, after multiple floods of the town, this decision has been criticised. Looking past the floods though, it’s certainly a welcome architectural addition to the town that provides some entertainment in the summer when a common practice is to “walk the weir” where individuals walk from one side to the other. Another common sight to be seen every October at the weir is the leaping of salmon as they make their yearly migration upstream to lay their eggs. You can see photographers and members of the public sometimes waiting for hours on end for the perfect sight/photo.

An aerial image of the weir

An aerial image of the weir

Leaving the weir and continuing up the river pathway, our walk passes some eye-catching landmarks, one of which is the English Bridge. The bridge that stands today was rebuilt in 1926 but the original design had stood from the Norman era. Historically it was known as “The Stone Bridge” and is a grade two listed building. As we glance over to the other side of the river we can see the Shrewsbury United Reformed Church. One of the many beautiful buildings that bless this walking route of ours. Worship has taken place at the church since the later end of the 19th century with some believing much further back than that.

The English Bridge, spanning the River Severn

The English Bridge, spanning the River Severn

Finally, as we near the end of our adventure we come into the heart of Shrewsbury town, the Quarry. The Quarry was created in 1719 whilst formerly being used as a flood plain. The additions of the Dingle and Bandstand were later introduced in 1879 by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. One of my favourite events in the Quarry is the Shrewsbury Flower Show, a world-famous event that attracts visitors globally and finishes with the crescendo of a spectacular firework display.

Thank you for escaping with me on this adventure and I hope you join me on the next one!

A swan on the River Severn

A swan on the River Severn

This article appears in the following categories - click to see more like this.

All images are by BRENDAN JAMES unless otherwise stated.