(Melverley to Shrewsbury)


WHERE IS IT?:From the Welsh border down through Shropshire Shropshire.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: We tackled it in two separate half-day stages, but younger and more energetic could do it in one, thus: Crew Green / Melverley bridge (just off B4393 10 miles west of Shrewsbury) to Montford Bridge (B4380 5 miles NW of Shrewsbury) and from there to Frankwell, by the Welsh Bridge in Shrewsbury.

At Crew Green: layby just N of bridge, put in from public footpath alongside river at that point SJ 330158 (technically you still need permission, but the locals use that field for picnicking and swimming from so no objection likely if you are discreet). At Montford Bridge (the old bridge), we used the campsite below the bridge, N bank, with permission - Severn House, 01743-850229. The owner is retired Environment Agency contractor and used to dredge and maintain the the banks, and is knowledgeable and friendly)Also possible to land with permission in camp site above bridge, S bank. At Shrewsbury, public slipway just above Frankwell footbridge , S bank, next to Frankwell car park SJ 490128.

Using these points it is possible to return to the car by bus; Arriva 70 Oswestry - Montford - Shrewsbury, half-hourly weekdays, two-hourly Sundays, and Tanat Valley Coaches 74 Shrewsbury - Crew Green - Llandrinio two-hourly weekdays. Shrewsbury bus station is 2 minutes walk from the slipway

APPROX LENGTH: 10 miles (first half) plus 12 miles (second half). Don't be fooled by road distances - the river winds a lot!

TIME NEEDED: Even at low water there's still a good current, so assume 4 mph i.e. about 3 hours each half.

ACCESS HASSLES: Public navigation.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There should be enough water in all conditions. Could be lively after heavy rain in the mountains.

GRADING: Grade 1 low water. Refer to other contributors for other conditions.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Shrawardine dismantled railway bridge (2 miles above Montford) has masonry midstream, not mentioned in other guides, which could damage canoe at low water. Be prepared to get out and push in shallows below river Perry confluence (1 mile below Montford).

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A very quiet and placid stretch of river, not without wildlife interest - especially herons, and we also saw magpies mobbing a buzzard.

This complements Jim Thornton's itinerary and the Guide to the River Severn (below).

OTHER NOTES: The river when low is a very good start river for beginners, and changes into a very fast river for the more adventurous out there. Well worth a day out, as Shrewsbury and Ironbridge have a lot to offer other than paddling. Shrewsbury: good shopping centre and night life for the day and night before starting. Ironbridge: very historic.

Also consider the section from Shrewsbury.

Jim Thornton (April 2004)...'I have put together an itinerary for the Severn.' (original link invalid, recovered from archive)

Also, take a look at this.

CONTRIBUTED BY: David and Rhoda Wilson. Also, Jim Thornton.