The Times drifts down The Severn with Shrewsbury Canoe Hire
Turns out you don’t need to navigate the Nile or the Amazon for a wild expedition. You can fulfil that dream on the Severn, the UK’s longest river, which meanders 220 miles from Wales’s Cambrian Mountains to the Bristol Channel. This year Nigel Conway, owner of Shrewsbury Canoe Hire, launched bespoke multiday trips along a 125-mile stretch of the river: the Big Severn Adventure.
That first evening saw us sweeping into Shrewsbury, a town huddled in a meander so tight it’s almost an oxbow lake. Wandering into the half-timbered old centre, our legs creakily remembered their purpose as they carried us to a big, warm room at Darwin’s Townhouse, with underfloor heating that was perfect for canoe-dampened feet, and, later, to a big, warm slab of sticky toffee pudding. Walking it off, up the indie-shop-lined Wyle Cop, Grope Lane and the church-flanked Bear Steps, I got the feeling Shrewsbury had changed little since Henry Tudor marched through in 1485 en route to Bosworth Field.