The pretty Georgian town of Stourport on Severn in Worcestershire sits on the UK’s longest river, the River Severn.
Unsurprisingly, many of the bustling town’s attractions are to be found around its unique, historic Canal Basins, which have remained largely intact since the golden age of the canals in the late 1700s.
Over 100 colourful boats including narrowboats and yachts are housed across the five basins and the riverside is a wonderful place to wander along past pretty meadows and beautiful Georgian architecture.
The Canal Basins play host to dozens of events including fun fairs and live musical performances. You can learn more about the town’s important maritime status at the heritage exhibition and along the Stourport Canal Basin’s Discovery Trail.
Many who visit Stourport-on-Severn start with tea and cake at the historical Blossom’s Tea Rooms. Housed in a Grade II listed former canal lock keepers’ cottage which dates back to 1854 it has a lovely old-world feel about it with old photographs and wooden tables and chairs.
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It is, however, temporarily closed and as yet, a re-opening date has not been revealed.
The town was largely built thanks to the coming of canals which turned a tiny rural village into a thriving, bustling town. It soon became the busiest inland port in the Midlands apart from Birmingham in 1771 after the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal arrived.
After a period of neglect in the early 2000s, the town has once again had a resurgence and the canals are a popular tourist draw. It has the atmosphere of a lively maritime resort, despite the fact it is so far away from the sea.
There are plenty of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants – even a floating coffee boat and the nearby Wyre Forest, a vast oak woodland, has endless trails for walking, cycling, and exploring on horseback.
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The town of Bewdley, gateway to the Wyre Forest, has an enviable position, right on the canal and reachable by bike along the canal cycle trail, and is brimming with listed buildings including the Bewdley Museum where you can watch craftsmen at work.
Bewdley is also home to the Severn Valley Railway, where steam train enthusiasts flock in their hundreds to enjoy trundling along the 16 miles of tracks to beautifully restored stations and through lovely surrounding villages.
Close by is Witley Court, a magnificent country house built in the 17th century with glorious gardens and woodland walks. The West Midlands Safari Park is a place the kids will love and can even stay the night in one of the onsite lodges.
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