Dalí, Darwin and Doodle Boy: an arty weekend in Shrewsbury, Shropshire | United Kingdom holidays


Make the journey for …

Shrewsbury, a beautiful medieval market city, was placed on the artwork map in 2021 with the launch of the Shrewsbury Arts Path. The occasion goes from power to power: this 12 months it boasts three sculptures by Salvador Dalí. Two are open air: the 5-metre-tall Surrealist Piano startles guests to the citadel grounds and Homage to Terpsichore dominates the courtyard of the Shrewsbury Museum and Artwork Gallery. Contained in the gallery, the Dalínian Dancer is a part of the Inspirational Exhibition, which additionally consists of work by LS Lowry, Man Ray, Barbara Hepworth, Damien Hirst and Banksy.

There are two works by the up to date sculptor Jacob Chandler in the Quarry park’s pretty Dingle backyard, which was designed by the previous TV gardener Percy Thrower. Different stops on the path embody Girls: Now, an all-female exhibition at the Hive; pictures of ballet dancers on the Theatre Severn; and summary landscapes on the Raven Studios Window Gallery. The path runs till the tip of the month, and will likely be again subsequent summer time with new headline artists.
Free, till 31 August; the Dalí sculptures are in place till 6 September

Surrealist Piano by Salvador Dalí
Surrealist Piano by Salvador Dalí within the grounds of Shrewsbury citadel. {Photograph}: Phil Blagg

What now?

There may be loads of artwork to see year-round. The Soden Assortment, a contemporary artwork gallery, options work by Miró, Picasso and Hockney, plus native artists together with the 12-year-old illustrator Joe Whale, “the Doodle Boy”. It holds an annual secret artwork sale with 250 “thriller” artworks, all priced £50 – savvy buyers might snap up a bit by an artist equivalent to Halima Cassell, whose work is within the V&A.

Callaghans of Shrewsbury, a pleasant positive artwork seller, specialises in European portray from the Nineteenth century to the current day, and up to date British bronze sculpture. It holds common exhibitions, equivalent to its present assortment of latest works by the wildlife artist Ben Waddams.

Shrewsbury is famend for its stained glass. St Mary’s church has an excellent vary of it, principally acquired from church buildings throughout Britain and mainland Europe within the Nineteenth century. Essentially the most celebrated work is the magnificent 14th-century Jesse window, depicting Christ’s ancestors. Shrewsbury Cathedral has seven arts and crafts home windows by the artist Margaret Agnes Rope, and there may be notable stained glass in Shrewsbury Abbey, too. The inaugural Stained Glass competition runs till 31 August.

The ceramics trade was huge enterprise in 18th- and Nineteenth-century Shropshire, and the Shrewsbury Museum has assortment of tea units and tiles by native corporations equivalent to Caughley, Coalport and Maw & Co.

Artworks at the Soden Collection
Artworks on the Soden Assortment

The founding father of the humanities path, Jess Richards, additionally runs a store known as Shrewsbury Arts and Crafts. She shares work by about 40 native makers, together with jewelry by the artist Andrew Logan. A print store just lately opened on the Soden Assortment, promoting limited-edition prints by artists equivalent to Paula Rego and Peter Blake. Costs begin at about £60.

Wyle Cop, a avenue lined with Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century timber-framed buildings, is believed to be the longest run of unbiased retailers within the UK (throughout Shrewsbury, indies outnumber chains by 50%). They embody Wyle Blue World, a world homewares store with a “secret” walled backyard housing the BlueBar, and Tanners, a wine service provider that runs guided excursions of its 14th-century constructing (subsequent tour 12 October).

Made in Shropshire’s artisan gala’s, with native makers (garments, homewares, ceramics) and producers (gin, macarons, ice-cream), happen on Shrewsbury Sq. on the second Saturday of the month (subsequent honest 9 September).

The Jesse window at St Mary’s church
The Jesse window at St Mary’s church. {Photograph}: Church buildings Conservation Belief

When to go

Shrewsbury is especially atmospheric at Christmas – and an important festive buying vacation spot. This 12 months, the lights switch-on is on 22 November, with Carols within the Sq. on 13 December. One other huge occasion is subsequent 12 months’s Darwin competition, celebrating the city’s most well-known son (12-18 February). Exterior the competition, guests can comply with the Darwin path.

Get exterior

Shrewsbury has practically 800 listed buildings; guests can uncover a few of them on a brand new heritage stroll by the centre, adopted by a riverside stroll – the city is sort of solely encircled by the Severn. Additional afield, the city of Church Stretton, within the Shropshire Hills space of excellent pure magnificence, is an effective place to begin for longer hikes (quarter-hour by practice).

Castle Street in the centre of Shrewsbury.
Citadel Avenue within the centre of Shrewsbury. {Photograph}: Joe Daniel Value/Getty Photos

Drinks and dinner

Doodle Boy was found, aged eight, drawing on the wall at Quantity 4 Butcher Row – diners can see his work over breakfast or lunch, or dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. CSONS, one other all-day cafe/restaurant that serves dinner at weekends, has a very ingenious breakfast menu, from Lebanese and Scandinavian to an Indian-inspired vegan possibility. The Shrewsbury Coffeehouse has nice espresso, artwork exhibitions and common gigs.

Salopians know summer time is right here when Ted Bowen, the Ice-Cream Man, arrives on his trike. Shrewsbury Market Corridor isn’t the best-looking constructing on the town, however it is likely one of the finest bets for lunch, with a variety of world avenue meals: selfmade pasta, Chinese language dumplings, Punjabi house cooking and Thai curries …

Glou Glou, a bar serving wine from small and natural producers, has month-to-month “drink and draw” nights (£12 for supplies, tuition and a drink; subsequent occasion 13 September). Dough & Oil specialises in sourdough pizza and has a sister bar over the street, Oil, serving cocktails and internet hosting reside music. The Loggerheads has been a pub for the reason that 18th century; it has acoustic nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Rhubarb, the restaurant on the Sixteenth-century Drapers Corridor, is run by a pair who beforehand traded out there corridor. They now serve seasonal, domestically sourced meals, equivalent to duck breast with duck croquette, beetroot and blackberries (£29), at a 500-year-old eating desk that runs the size of the wood-panelled room.


A bedroom at Drapers Hall, Shrewsbury
A bed room at Drapers Corridor. {Photograph}: Darren Musgrove

The Grade II-listed Drapers Corridor, which continues to be a gathering corridor for the Shrewsbury Drapers’ Firm, reopened late final 12 months as a restaurant with rooms. The constructing is stuffed with historic options – beams, vintage furnishings, inglenook hearth – paired with fashionable artwork from Callaghans. There are six luxurious bedrooms, together with one with a four-poster mattress and one suite (doubles from £120).

Love2Stay, a glampsite in Emstrey, simply exterior Shrewsbury, has pitches for tents, camper vans and caravans, plus lodges. Services embody a pure swimming pool, seashore, assault course and pizzeria (pitches from £30 an evening, lodges from £125).

The English bridge over the River Severn in Shrewsbury
The English bridge over the River Severn in Shrewsbury. {Photograph}: George-Standen/Getty Photos/iStockphoto

Getting there

There are direct trains from locations in Wales together with Cardiff (two hours), and from Birmingham, Manchester and Chester (all about an hour).


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