Shepherd's huts in Shropshire with fishing

Industrial heritage meets unexplored English countryside in this West Midlands county.

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Popular camping styles for Shropshire

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Shepherd's huts in Shropshire with fishing guide

Overview

Shropshire might not top the list of UK destinations, but this pint-sized landlocked county still packs in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and 18 historic market towns. Bridging the gap between Birmingham and the Welsh border, west-heading road trippers will find plenty of spots to park their caravan or campervan along the way, and the verdant Shropshire countryside affords myriad opportunities to get outdoors. If you’re in Shropshire to walk in the hills, kayak down its canals, or cycle along its country lanes, camping is the perfect partner, offering a way to enjoy the outdoors for longer. Summer is peak season for campers, especially if you want to pitch a tent, but the mild Midlands climate means that hiking and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round.

Where to go

Shrewsbury & West Shropshire

The medieval market town of Shrewsbury is Shropshire’s main hub, renowned as the birthplace of Charles Darwin and dotted with historic buildings. The Welsh border is just minutes away, and the Eryri National Park (Snowdonia) and Clwydian Range, and Dee Valley AONB are both within day-trip distance. Alternatively, set sail on a cruise along the River Severn, or hit the canals. The Shropshire Union Canal is a popular place for narrowboating holidays, but you can still enjoy it during a Shopshire camping holiday. The canal towpaths make a peaceful place for level walking or cycling, and there are plenty of slipways if you want to launch your own vessel. Kayak, canoe, or cruise, it’s a great place to take to the water. Waterbabies might also like to call in at Ellesmere. As the name suggests, this place is built by a mere, or lake, where you can hire rowing boats, but it’s also got a canal and a marina too.

North Shropshire

Northern Shropshire is the county’s agricultural heartland and the place to escape the crowds. Time your visit to Oswestry for market day, climb the ramparts at Whittington Castle, then continue to Market Drayton to sample the local gingerbread produced in the town for more than 200 years.

East Shropshire

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ironbridge Gorge is the star attraction of East Shropshire, an impressive symbol of the Industrial Revolution that spans the Severn Valley. Built in 1779, it’s not just any bridge—this was the world’s first bridge made of iron and a symbol of development in both architecture and technology. You can walk across it, stand under it, and find out all about the history in a series of attractions that are together called the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. Then, stop by the market towns of Telford and Newport, take a ride on the famous Severn Valley Railway from Bridgnorth, then continue to Birmingham, less than an hour’s drive away.

South Shropshire

Idyllic country hills, historic castles, and lively market towns make up the rolling landscapes of the Shropshire Hills AONB in southwest Shropshire—and they’re a magnet for campers. Check into a rural campsite, caravan park, or glamping pod near towns like Church Stretton, Bishop’s Castle, and Much Wenlock, then take your pick of walking, biking, and horseback riding trails. Offa’s Dyke National Trail, which follows the English-Welsh border, runs along the western edge of the hills and is a great starting point for hiking in the area. The Wrekin, an isolated wooded ridge, is another popular place to walk that’s family-friendly with great views.

Family camping in Shropshire

There’s no denying the appeal of camping, and we can’t recommend camping with kids enough. The pure joy of camping means most campsites are pretty kid-friendly, but some in Shropshire designed with children in mind. You may find play areas and activities laid on for younger visitors, while other campsites are set close to family-friendly Shropshire attractions like the living museums at Ironbridge Gorge and the Severn Valley Railway. Whether your kids are tiny tots or turning into teenagers, camping in Shropshire offers a great family holiday.

Adult-only camping in Shropshire

While a majority of campsites welcome campers of all ages, there are a few spots in Shropshire that keep their camping sites for adults only. These can be precious bolt holes for those on romantic weekend breaks or campers who just want a quiet getaway. And whether your adults-only camping trip to Shropshire is a romantic break, a holiday with friends, or a solo camping trip, the county offers both plenty of places to explore. The fascinating history of the industrial revolution is explained for all ages at Ironbridge, but without kids in tow, you can take your time to learn more about how Shropshire helped change the world. You can also take on more adventurous hiking, cycling, and adventure on the water when you don’t have to worry about little legs getting tired. Or, of course, you could just kick back at your campsite with blissfully little responsibility but your own rest and relaxation.

Top towns and villages in Shropshire

There are, blissfully, no cities in Shropshire. Instead, its main population centres, outside of modern Telford, are historic market towns and villages. For campers, Telford’s main lures are simply as a place for picking up supplies and, perhaps, the cinema, swimming pool, or ice rink. Nearby Ironbridge is, rightfully, popular too, as is Shrewsbury, a market town known for pretty medieval buildings tucked among “shuts and passages” (alleyways). Whatever you do, don’t get chatting to the locals about how to pronounce Shrewsbury (or is it Shrowsbury?)—it’s been an on-going row for years.

Top regions in and near Shropshire

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