24th July 2019
After my trip up the Heart of Wales Line I had a day to explore Shrewsbury. Whichever way you pronounce the town's name it's a really nice place to visit with historical buildings around every corner.
Starting (if you arrive by train) with the railway station which is as impressive as a London Terminus.
Built in 1848 and Grade II listed since 1969 its imitation Tudor style was intended to match the real Tudor Shrewsbury School opposite, which is now the library.
At the south end of the station is Severn Bridge Junction signal box, the largest surviving mechanical signal box is the world and the station has an interesting selection of upper quadrant and lower quadrant semaphore signals as well as some colour light signals, a result of its joint LNWR & GWR heritage. Elsewhere if you like old half-timbered building then this is your
kind of town. There's a castle too, obviously, an Abbey, and a Roman Catholic cathedral.
There's also more modern building too, this is a working town not an open air museum, with three shopping "malls" jointly managed, one of which seemed to be dominated by charity shops. Most of the usual chains and eating places are present (including Pret I was glad to see) and some nice pubs (better than Swansea, sorry Swansea) and I'd recommend The Loggerheads with it's multiple small bar rooms, and the Three Fishes Inn. Both have a good selection of real ales.
Most of the historic part of town is enclosed by a loop of the River Severn with the Welsh Bridge (5 arches) and English Bridge (7 arches) crossing the river on the west and east sides respectively. Given the very warm weather a boat trip on the Severn was an obvious choice of activity.
The Sabrina sails - or rather motors - around the loop of the river from Welsh Bridge to English Bridge and back again and was a pleasant trip with views of the town and riverside buildings.
Post voyage I went for a walk and a '99' under a shady tree in the large riverside park called The Quarry, part of which was being prepared for the big flower show and much of the rest was dotted with young mums'n'kids picnicking.
I spent much of the rest of the day exploring the town. There really is a lot of history here.
And here's the photos: