(Shrewsbury to Ironbridge)


WHERE IS IT?: Shropshire. This is just a short stretch of the longest river in Britain.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Shrewsbury has its own boat yard and launching ramp in the centre of town just across the Welshpool bridge, the council car park very gives good access.

The take out point is either next to the Ironbridge museum where there is a carpark for general useage, or you can carry on down stream pass the Jackfields Rapids and take out at Jackfields Rapids itself. Jackfields is free parking whereas the car park at Ironbridge is pay and display.

APPROX LENGTH: About 13 to 15 miles.

TIME NEEDED: I was paddling mostly myself (as my lad is only young!) it took about six hours, but you could do it in four.

ACCESS HASSLES: Right of navigation; full access to the river.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Can be paddled at all levels. Water levels vary due to the weather, when we paddled the river was at its lowest at some points down to approx 6 inches deep. When the river is in flood it runs very fast and has very strong under current. So its worth checking whether the river is in flood or not. The river is topped up from the welsh hills.

GRADING: When low, grade 1 going to a 2 or even 3 in places when in flood. Jackfields Rapids a grade 2 when in low flood.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:Jackfields Rapids is a harder rapid. There's only one hazard you have to get over and that is a weir which stretchs right across the river just before you leave Shrewsbury, there is easy access to leave and enter the river.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: On the start at Shrewsbury you paddle the outskirts of the town then straight into countryside. As said, the river shallows out in a few places. There is only one public house on route and that is about one and half hours outside of Shrewsbury on your left hand side. There are some wonderfully built bridges to pass under not, forgetting the Ironbridge itself. See the Jackfields Rapids guide for more information on this possible finish.

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 above Shrewsbury.

Jim Thornton (April 2004)...'I have put together an itinerary for the Severn.'

Also, take a look at this.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Ken Richards - not a club member as yet, just starting in the sport with the kids. Email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also, Jim Thornton.



Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: River Severn - Shrewsbury to Ironbridge -- Rae1
2019 Mar 21 07:08:15 PM
Could you explain what is the problem with Ironbridge now please?

Who is this 'ban' affecting?

I've been there in the last year. got on in Ironbridge with no problem, others were doing the same.

Where is it where we are now banned from?

The Wharfeage car park is one of the get ons, but I was under the impression that that is a Council car park. There is another around 50/ 100 metres further up, Dale End, is this affected?
Re: River Severn - Shrewsbury to Ironbridge -- honda1999
2019 Mar 21 12:08:58 PM
Access at Ironbridge: by Honda 1999, I'm in contact with Chantelle Grundy British Canoeing Access & Environment Officer Places to Paddle, can members of this forum help me to provide evidence of over 20 years at Ironbridge. Any contacts who can provide written or photographic evidence in order to present this information. In addition, any person attending the RDT development day on the 7th April at Buildwas, Ironbridge to inform Clare Dallaway Chair, so that we can move on this matter such as Chris Bolton has suggested a local who can contact his local counsellor. Merrythought have not encouraged any solution to this issue, so it is up to paddlers to find one and provide the information to British Canoeing to take action. Looking forward to a response, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Re: River Severn - Shrewsbury to Ironbridge -- honda1999
2019 Mar 04 11:52:43 AM
Over the last 12 months I have been chasing various organisation from Telford Council, Home England enquiries and British Canoeing. At present we are waiting for British Canoeing to establish evidence for Public Rights of way at Ironbridge, which has been a long winded affair with me contacting them every 3 months to see if there is any progress. Furthermore, the issue is with Merrythought Village and Shropshire Raft Tours who hire the Wharfage for access. Apparently another company was parked on the car park and was challenged about leaving his trailer there, he responded in an abusive manner to the owner of Merrythought. Lets hope the situation has been clarified before the summer.
Re: River Severn - Shrewsbury to Ironbridge -- Mark Gawler
2018 Dec 13 08:50:24 AM
I do not know the area, but back in March 2018 I was forwarded ( vi Ben Seal - BC Places To Paddle), a message from a director at Merrythought. The message was regarding access to a river somewhere. I can only guess that the access issue is related to this section as the business contact address for Merrythought has a post code is TF8 7NJ, which is across the river from the one mentioned in the post above by as not having access.

Ben's message annoyed me at the time as he implied I would be in touch to sort the issue, i.e. doing British Canoeing's job for them.

If someone would like to update the guide with accurate information please get in touch. Given that there seems to be a established access point here I would not expect to see it removed from the guide.
Re: River Severn - Shrewsbury to Ironbridge -- Tom Docherty
2018 Dec 12 08:52:58 PM
"Al B" wrote:


I've been using the museum beach for access and egress regularly for a number of years and am concerned to see the post last September claiming it was closed.

It's the safest and easiest beach in most water levels, for a considerable distance, not the precarious boulders of Jackfield. It is also very civilised for tourers to pull off there and get an ice cream.

I've emailed the local access officer to see if any actions are underway, but it looks like there is a good case to get it made official of there is 30+ years of proven usage.


I’ve had no issues there recently, three of us coming out of the river around 9/10pm
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