A winter weekend in Shrewsbury? No, really.
My first assignment of the new year took me to the Shropshire market town for a UK staycation.
The town is closely associated with the story of the naturalist Charles Darwen, Shrewsbury’s most famous son [pictured above].
It hosts an annual festival of natural sciences, coinciding with the February 12 birthday of man whose 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, forms the basis of our understanding of evolution.
“Darwen was a human being with human failings, but he simply couldn’t stop himself asking questions all his life,” says Jon King, whose book, Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury – The Making of a Marvellous Mind was recently published by Amberley Publishing.
But the town is also booming as a hub for independent businesses with boutique galleries, cafes and shops doing a busy trade, notably along historic Wyle Cop.
The historic market town, set within a loop of the River Severn, first made its money from the wool industry in Tudor times.
Today the half-timbered shopfronts of Wyle Cop, said to be the street with the longest uninterrupted row of independent shops in the country, are again alive with home-grown businesses.
“Shrewsbury is booming with quirky, independent businesses,” says local shopkeeper, Simon Perks. “Like a rubber band, it keeps bouncing back.”
Read the full story via Telegraph Travel, Visitors Thought Shrewsbury was like Middle Earth for years