15 Unusual Things to Do in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury, one of England’s finest historic towns, is a treasure trove of unusual and offbeat attractions waiting to be discovered.

Indeed, Shrewsbury isn’t just about half-timbered buildings and old-English charm.

There’s so much more to uncover if you decide to venture off the beaten track.

For this article, we signpost some of the most unusual things to do in Shrewsbury.

If you’re wondering about what to see in Shrewsbury beyond the usual tourist spots, this guide is for you!

1. Walk the Town Walls

Tucked away in the heart of Shrewsbury, an adventure steeped in history awaits.

The Town Walls, a near-complete circuit dating back to the 13th century, offers an intriguing journey through time.

As you meander along this ancient fortification, you’ll be following in the footsteps of medieval guards, gaining a glimpse into Shrewsbury’s past.

Each stretch of wall holds a tale, from Bear Steps, a charming jumble of half-timbered buildings, to the fortified Town Wall Tower.

The walk also offers stunning views over the townscape and the River Severn.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply seeking a tranquil stroll, the Town Walls walk provides a fantastic opportunity to explore historic Shrewsbury.

2. Marvel at the Laura’s Tower at Shrewsbury Castle

Laura's Tower

Poised atop Shrewsbury Castle, Laura’s Tower is a hidden gem in Shrewsbury that offers a different vantage point on the medieval town.

This red sandstone turret, commissioned by Sir William Pulteney for his wife Laura, presents a blend of history and romantic allure.

Ascend the spiral staircase to the turret top, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Shrewsbury and beyond.

The sprawling townscape, River Severn, and encircling hills come together in a picturesque scene worthy of any traveller’s album.

The aura of history, the architectural beauty, and the charming backstory contribute to a memorable experience.

The tower truly encapsulates the charm of the town and is one of the more unusual things to do in Shrewsbury.

3. Take a Guided Tour of Shrewsbury Prison

Ready for a unique historical journey? Venture into Shrewsbury Prison, a captivating attraction that takes you behind the scenes of a Victorian jail.

Guided tours led by ex-prison officers provide an authentic, visceral look into prison life, exploring themes from incarceration to execution.

The austere prison walls echo with tales of past inmates, offering a sombre yet fascinating insight into Britain’s penal history.

From the cells and exercise yard to the execution room, every corner reveals an intriguing narrative.

For the daring, night tours offer a chilling exploration into the prison’s eerie underbelly.

A guided tour of Shrewsbury Prison promises a riveting journey into the past – ideal if you’re looking to visit some of Shrewsbury’s unusual tourist spots.

4. Explore the Secret Hills at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Embark on a journey into England’s past at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, where the stunning landscape of the Secret Hills unfurls.

It’s an immersive trip back in time, as you delve into 650 million years of history depicted through interactive exhibits.

At the heart of the experience is a virtual balloon ride.

Soar above the Shropshire Hills in a simulated hot air balloon, taking in panoramic views of the beautiful countryside.

Then, wander through the meadows on-site, marvelling at the diverse wildlife and local flora.

The centre also features a café offering local cuisine and a shop filled with artisan crafts.

One of the more unique activities in Shrewsbury that’s prefect for history buffs, thrill-seekers and casual visitors.

5. Join a Ghost Tour of the Haunted Town

Shrewsbury Street at Night

Brace yourself for a thrilling ghost tour that will tingle your senses – a spectral journey through Shrewsbury – one of the UK’s most haunted towns.

You’ll tread the ancient alleyways and streets, taking in Shrewsbury’s creepiest places.

Guides, often in Victorian attire, blend history with spine-tingling tales of the supernatural.

You’ll hear stories of restless spirits, unexplainable occurrences, and eerie hauntings that will leave you checking over your shoulder.

The Prince Rupert Hotel, known as one of the most haunted hotels in the UK, is a highlight.

Then there’s the Dana Prison, where many executions took place, and some claim to have seen apparitions.

Another stop might be the English Bridge, where a mysterious figure in black has been reported.

For those seeking unusual things to do in Shrewsbury, a ghost tour of promises a rather memorable evening.

6. Visit the Quantum Leap Sculpture

This offbeat Shrewsbury point of interest is a structural ode to Charles Darwin and can be found next to the banks of the River Severn.

Its abstract design sparks conversation and thought, embodying the spirit of evolution and scientific curiosity.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a science aficionado, this strikingly unusual landmark provides an intriguing fusion of both worlds.

Stand beneath it, ponder its symbolism, or simply admire the interaction of this modern structure with its historic surroundings.

The Quantum Leap Sculpture is among the more controversial Shrewsbury attractions (quite expensive to construct) that’s well worth a visit.

7. Visit the Unusual Darwin Gate Sculpture

Step off the traditional tourist trail and set your sights on the Darwin Gate Sculpture, a captivating and often hidden gem in Shrewsbury.

Nestled near the heart of the town, this avant-garde work of art is a tribute to the town’s renowned native, Charles Darwin.

Crafted from corten steel, the sculpture presents an abstract rendition of Darwin’s tree of life, embodying the notions of evolution and the survival of the fittest.

The extensive, intertwining branches represent the vast spectrum of life on our planet.

Pause to take in this distinctive homage, and ponder Darwin’s enduring influence on our perception of the biological world.

As you wander around Shrewsbury, you’ll uncover more signs of Darwin’s legacy, but none quite as abstract or stimulating as this.

This unusual Shrewsbury point of interest is sure to lend a unique twist to your visit.

8. Learn about Medieval Medicine at The Brother Cadfael Tour

Shrewsbury Ruins

Delve into a unique chapter of Shrewsbury’s past with The Brother Cadfael Tour.

Inspired by Ellis Peters’ novels, the tour offers an intriguing glimpse into medieval medicine practices via the lens of fictional monk, Brother Cadfael.

The tour takes you around the ancient Shrewsbury Abbey, where you can soak in the atmospheric surroundings.

You’ll discover how the monks cultivated medicinal plants in their gardens and hear tales of the fascinating, sometimes gruesome treatments concocted.

The Brother Cadfael Tour is a captivating blend of history, literature, and botanical knowledge.

This offbeat Shrewsbury attraction is sure to enrich your time in this wonderful town.

9. Picnic by The Sabrina Riverboat

In the heart of Shrewsbury, alongside the calm flow of the River Severn, you’ll find the perfect spot for a tranquil picnic by the Sabrina Riverboat.

This picturesque location offers a unique setting for a leisurely lunch or a sunset supper.

As you spread your blanket on the riverbank, you’ll enjoy the view of the charming Sabrina Riverboat, moored gracefully in the water.

The scene, framed by leafy trees and historic architecture, feels almost like a painting.

Watch as the boat casts off for its cruises, providing an ever-changing backdrop to your meal.

You might even spot some local wildlife, like the elegant swans that glide across the river’s surface.

So, pack your favourite snacks, grab a comfy blanket, and head to the riverbank for an offbeat Shrewsbury experience.

A picnic by the Sabrina Riverboat promises a peaceful retreat amidst the town’s vibrant hustle and bustle.

10. Explore the Independent Shops in Wyle Cop Street

For a distinctly offbeat experience, make your way to the historic Wyle Cop Street.

This charismatic thoroughfare is a treasure trove of independent boutiques, antique shops and delightful eateries.

As you stroll along this charming street, let the window displays draw you in.

From vintage clothes and handmade jewellery to local art and unique homewares, there’s a delightful surprise waiting behind each shop door.

And with its traditional timber-framed buildings and cobbled pavements, the street itself is a joy to explore.

Take a break in one of the cosy cafés, or indulge in a locally sourced treat from a deli.

Wyle Cop is more than a shopping destination – it’s a chance to experience the creativity and community spirit that pervades one of tje most charming Shrewsbury visitor attractions.

11. Climb The Bear Steps

Shrewsbury

Exploring Shrewsbury off the beaten path is of course a great way to truly get a feel for the town. And the Bear Steps allows you to do just this.

One of Shrewsbury’s unusual tourist spots, these ancient steps are tucked away in the town’s historic centre and are steeped in history and charm.

Each step, worn smooth by centuries of foot traffic, takes you closer to the heart of the old town.

Halfway up, take a moment to appreciate the view of the higgledy-piggledy rooftops, a characteristic sight in this medieval town.

At the top, you’ll find Bear Steps Hall, a beautiful half-timbered building now home to a local history gallery.

Explore the quaint displays and learn more about Shrewsbury’s past, from its foundation to present day.

The Bear Steps offer a truly offbeat experience in Shrewsbury, an unforgettable blend of history, architecture and stunning views.

They’re also a great way to discover Shrewsbury’s medieval history

12. Find the Sabrina Goddess Statue

Away from Shrewsbury’s bustling streets lies an often-overlooked piece of local folklore, the Sabrina Goddess Statue.

Representing the mythical goddess of the River Severn, this statue is one of the lesser-known Shrewsbury points of interest.

You’ll find Sabrina nestled in a quiet corner of Dingle Gardens, a serene spot in The Quarry park.

Here, she sits on her shell, hair flowing, capturing the river’s ever-changing nature. Take a moment to admire her, maybe even make a wish.

With flowers blooming around her in spring and summer, and colourful leaves forming a backdrop in autumn, any season is the right time to visit.

Finding the Sabrina Goddess Statue might be a small adventure, but it’s one that rewards you with a delightful encounter with local myth and a peaceful moment in the park.

This offbeat Shrewsbury attraction should bring a touch of magic to your itinerary.

13. Explore Hawkstone Park Follies

Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of Hawkstone Park Follies.

This isn’t your typical park; it’s an intriguing landscape filled with peculiar structures, craggy cliffs and an intricate network of caves.

Each step on your journey reveals a new surprise, whether it’s a mysteriously tucked away grotto, the beguiling Swiss Bridge, or the commanding White Tower.

Their unique appeal makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a different era.

One of the thrilling highlights of your visit would be the exploration of the atmospheric caves.

Remember to bring your torch as you navigate these captivating caverns carved out over centuries.

Hawkstone Park Follies offers one of the most unconventional, unique Shrewsbury experiences.

14. Visit Ebeneezer’s Grave

One of the more unconventional Shrewsbury activities is Ebeneezer’s Grave – the final resting place of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Yes, you heard right, the infamous character from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

It”s located in the grounds of the historic St Chad’s Church and is a unique, somewhat eerie slice of literary history.

The ‘grave’ is actually a prop left behind from the 1984 filming of the classic Christmas tale.

Over the years, it’s become a popular and unusual sight for Dickens fans and curious visitors alike.

Definitely worth a visit if you’re hunting for quirky sights in Shrewsbury.

15. See Darwin’s Bellstone

Find your way to Shrewsbury’s market square, and you’ll encounter an intriguing piece of the town’s history and scientific legacy – Darwin’s Bellstone.

This modest-looking chunk of rock may not seem like much at first glance, but its significance is monumental.

The Bellstone is an ancient glacial erratic, transported from afar by glaciers during the last Ice Age.

It’s named after Shrewsbury’s most famous son, Charles Darwin, who studied the stone in his early investigations into the forces of nature.

Darwin used the Bellstone’s existence to support his theory of glaciation, sparking a keen interest in geology.

Now safely housed under a protective glass cover, the Bellstone offers a fascinating insight into Darwin’s early scientific studies and the remarkable power of natural forces.

Don’t miss this unique Shrewsbury attraction. It’s a small but important reminder of the town’s contribution to our understanding of the natural world.

For more information about unusual things to do in Shrewsbury, visit the official tourist site: https://www.visitshropshire.co.uk

Top Shrewsbury Experiences - Deals

Dale Shelabarger

Dale is the owner and founder of Cottages to Rent which he launched back in 2005. As well as promoting holiday cottages, Dale blogs regularly about top UK holiday destinations, visitor attractions and places of historical interest.