It takes just seconds to fall in love with the spaghetti-bowl tangle of medieval streets in the heart of Shropshire’s most picturesque town. Time-worn Tudor buildings tilt their ponderous frames over mysterious passageways; dusky-red sandstone warms an ancient abbey and castle, and sweeping gardens run down to the River Severn.
Nestled in a horseshoe bend of the river, Shrewsbury was for many centuries a critical defensive point to help keep the Welsh in line. Then in medieval times the town grew fat on the wool trade. It is also the birthplace of Charles Darwin (1809–82), whose theory of evolution left the world reeling.