Posted 16 May 2024

3 Shrewsbury restaurants that prove historic towns can be accessible

For the second blog in our Accessible Shrewsbury series, accessibility campaigner Claire Dellar highlights three of her favourite accessible spaces to eat & drink in the town centre.
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Orchard Café

Tucked down the side of Shrewsbury Cathedral, Orchard Café is a fully wheelchair-accessible café that serves drinks, cakes and light lunches. The car park outside has a disabled space, drop curbs and a smooth black path that stands out from the boarders, making it easy to follow.

The café has exemplary access throughout, from the low-level counter to the excellent accessible toilet. Everything has been thoughtfully designed and the red emergency cord even has a sign reminding people not to tie it up. Manouvering to the toilet is simple and everything is in reach.

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The herbs outside create a sensory border around outside seating, ideal for neurodivergent visitors. There’s seamless access Inside and out. All tables are wheelchair-height, well-spaced and easily moved.

As well as the chalk board menu provided, I was able to use my screen reader to listen to the seasonal menu on their website.

The café takes cash and card. Its staff are helpful without making assumptions, demonstrating experience with several access needs.

Visit Orchard Cafe


CSONS is a wheelchair-accessible café and restaurant in the heart of Shrewsbury. The historic eatery has step-free access to the restaurant, courtyard and toilets. It is close to blue badge parking on both the High Street and Princess Street.

The friendly and empathetic staff are happy to accommodate access needs without making assumptions. Much of the furniture can be moved to allow me a choice to sit in a chair or stay in my wheelchair. Small, easier to hold glasses are available and the plates have a very handy rim that keeps food from slipping off.


Across the courtyard, CSON’s accessible toilet is appropriately kitted out with a correctly hung red cord. There is plenty of space for me to easily transfer from my chair to the toilet and the sink is in easy reach. The non-slip surface makes me feel safe.

On less busy days, the staff are happy to allocate quiet tables in the back room, helping those with sensory impairments or neurodiversity. The website has the latest seasonal menu, which works with a screen reader. Payment is cash or card and bookings can be made online or over the phone. Either way, there are opportunities to tell CSONS about your access needs, whether physical, sensory or neurospicy!


The Loopy Shrew

Loopy’s is making a real effort to corner the market in accessible hospitality, in keeping with their inclusive and adaptable ethos. Loopy’s open plan, multi-zone environment mixes a pavement café-bar, coffee shop, traditional pub, restaurant, and cocktail and wine bar.

Loopy’s staff were ready to ask what help I needed, without assuming. Blue badge parking is just across the road and the side entrance ramp was waiting for me, giving access to the bar, snug, restaurant and accessible toilet. Staff are aware which tables a wheelchair user will fit under and account for turning spaces and not wanting to feel like an obstacle to weave around.

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During the day I love the co-working space, with large tables and plenty of sockets within reach of the accessible tables. The current accessible toilet can be reached in a standard-sized wheelchair and is suitable for people who can rotate from their chair to the toilet. The toilet has appropriate amenities and safety features and, for once, I could see my face in the mirror!

For those needing a quieter environment for hearing impairment or neurodivergence, the mezzanine level provides space for quiet lunches through to family dinners of locally-sourced produce, without the intrusion of too much noise. Menus are also online, easy to access with assistive technology. Cash and card are both accepted.

Visit The Loopy Shrew


About the author

Our thanks to Claire for contributing this blog post to Original Shrewsbury for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD).

Claire Dellar is a Digital Nomad who was attracted to settle in Shrewsbury by the beautiful architecture, vibrant culture and independent shops and restaurants.

She works for the NHS, leading the creation of accessible and inclusive digital products and systems like the NHS App, website and cancer screening. Her neurodiversity gives her a personal stake in making the NHS digitally accessible.

As an ambulatory wheelchair user, she also campaigns for better understanding and access for people with all forms of disability or impairment.

Follow her at Wheelchair Tango Foxtrot on Instagram

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