There was a time when the place in Shropshire now known as Ironbridge Gorge was the centre of the world. At least in industrial terms. This is where in 1709 Abraham Darby I discovered a process for smelting iron with coke instead of charcoal and, with his revelation, brought about the principles of mass production.
In recognition of the region’s contribution to life as we know it, Ironbridge Gorge is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has a thriving tourist trade and, incorporating Coalport, Coalbrookdale, Jackfield, Broseley and Madeley, ten wonderful museums. Not to mention the world-famous iron bridge itself, majestic over the River Severn.
Outside of Ironbridge we have Telford, the bright hopeful ‘New Town’ named after the famous engineer Thomas Telford. Here’s a perfect stop for shopping and leisure activities that include bowling, cinema, indoor snowboarding and skiing, and soft play. Telford is an ideal Shropshire destination for a rainy day, especially if you have children.
Officially part of Telford but with a character of its own is the friendly market town of Wellington nestled at the foot of The Wrekin, Shropshire’s ‘beloved little mountain’. The Wrekin, for many Salopians, represents home and no visit to Shropshire should be complete without climbing it. The Wrekin, and many other walks in this ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town are easily accessible from Wellington train station. Visit Wellington for great pubs and the historic indoor market with its food court offering street food from all corners of the globe and popular late-night openings.
Check out Love Wellington, whether you’re a native or a newcomer or just passing through, this website is your guide to our historic town. Here you find everything you need to know about where to buy your sausages and ceramics, real ale and restored furniture.
Find out more about Wellington here
Other lovely places to explore in this region of Shropshire are Albrighton (near Wolverhampton – there’s another Albrighton near Shrewsbury!) and Shifnal – both close to a fascinating RAF museum, Weston Park and the famous Royal Oak that shielded Charles II from Parliamentarians.
Are you ready to explore Ironbridge, Telford and Shropshire’s stunning Severn Valley?