River Severn, Shrewsbury Town Centre, Shropshire
Paddle Guide - River Severn, Shrewsbury
At 220 miles in length the river Severn is the longest river in the UK starting it's journey at it's source in the Cambrian mountains in Wales and flowing through Powys, Shropshire, Worcestshire and Gloucestshire before reaching the mouth of the river in the Bristol Channel. The river also has the highest volumous flow of all rivers in England and Wales and has of the largest tides in the world with water levels varying by 15 metres between high and low tide.
The river is a popular location for paddlers taking part in multi day trips. As you head downstream you get to see beautiful countryside full of wildlife, small villages and historical towns and there are many options for overnight stops near the river. Focusing on Shrewsbury in particular we asked our good friend Carole who is a member of SUP Shropshire and a paddlesport instructor to share her favourite paddle on the Severn. Here's what she had to say:
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire and it’s protected on most sides by being in a loop of the River Severn. It is where Charles Darwin was born, and it’s steeped in history and historic buildings. I can’t recommend Shrewsbury enough as a go-to medieval market town you really must visit.
But back to paddling, and back to the river (as that is why we are here; for the water!)
Head for the Frankwell car park (SY3 8RD) by Welsh bridge and the eye catching Theatre Severn; lots of opinions to be had on that one! There are two slip ways for handy access. For long stay – head for the footbridge that you can see and park near there, the slip way is then obvious. Parking costs 70 pence per hour to a max of £5.60 and is free of charge before 8 am and after 6pm, bank holidays and on Sundays.
For shorter stay, head right, towards the exit and you will see a JOBE sign (sorry!). Park near there and you’ll see another slip way. Again, this is free on Sundays, Banks Holidays and after 6 pm or 70 pence per hour for a max of 3 hours.
To start your paddle launch on this gorgeous calm ungraded river and head right with the flow taking you under Welsh Bridge which is a Grade II listed building constructed in 1927. As you continue down the river you will see the famous Quarry Park on your left and St Chads Church with the real gold leaf dome. Shrewsbury Rowing Club will be on your right which is a great place to stop and mull or have a snack in either direction.
As you keep going you see the old versus the new houses, under a foot bridge which is often decorated with yarn bombs, the Abbey is on your right along with the castellated Dana prison which closed in 2013.
Now you get a WARNING. There is a weir ahead. You cannot paddle down it, but you’ve done almost 2 miles so you can decide whether to portage around it and keep going or not, but we turned and set off back against the flow (no problem under normal circumstances) and back to Frankwell stopping for a coffee and snack on the way.
If you want to go further then you can go past the car park and paddle further upstream. This will take you out of the town and into the countryside. There’s a couple of little beaches on your left to stop on when the sun is out.
A bloomin' enjoyable and really scenic trip out!
Before You Go:
- Paddling on the river Severn between Welshpool and Stourport does not require a license however if you extend the journey south between Stouport and Gloucester then the river is managed by the Canal & River trust and a license is required.
- Due to the high volume of flow on the river Severn it is essential to check the water levels in Shrewsbury before planning your journey.
- Along with all moving water we recommend wearing a quick release waist leash.
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