Canoe Days Out

Shropshire - River Severn - Montford Bridge to Shrewsbury

This page was submitted by David and Rhoda Wilson (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Coming from Shrewsbury on B4380 (old A5) either left just before the old road bridge at Montford (The Wingfield Arms) or right just after (Severn House campsite). Please ask owner's permission in either case; the camp site owner used to work for the Environment Agency and is river-friendly.

For those with SatNav the postcode is SY4 1EB

Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - From either of the above down a fairly steep slope to the river.

General Description - A downriver trip of about 12 miles, with a surprisingly fast current assisting even in low water conditions. A very shallow section just after river Perry confluence (1.5 miles from Montford); best to get out and wade on left to prevent being swept under trees on right. A 'Canoeist's Guide to the River Severn' by Sue Drummond tells you which side of islands to go (see links for downloadable version).

The river forms a great loop round 'The Isle', with the river taking some 6 miles to do 1/2 mile as the crow flies. More wooded, with 'hanging' woods on river cliffs, than the upriver section from Crew Green, but with the same variety of wildlife. We saw a buzzard being mobbed by two magpies.

Land at public slipway, right bank just by Frankwell footbridge on outskirts of Shrewsbury, next to public car park in Frankwell.

Return to Montford Bridge on Arrive service 70 from Shrewsbury bus station, just across footbridge from Frankwell. You could make a long day out and do Crew Green to Shrewsbury in a day, taking 6 hours or so paddling.


Comments on this trip

C J Knight
29 Aug 2017
I used my (reasonable quality) inflatable and went as far as the fast stretch after the confluence with the Perry and made a hasty turn back as my car would have been locked in to the car park at the Montford picnic area.the flow was moderate but not too taxing going back upstream I think the paddle time for the trip was about one and a half hours, It would of course have been pleasanter if the current had reversed!

Mark C
08 Sep 2015
We hired a couple of 2 man Canoes from Drummond Outdoor in Shrewsbury and they were there to meet us at the Wingfield Arms car park in Montford Bridge. We were going to canoe the section from Montford Bridge to Frankwell, Shrewsbury. The canoes and equipment supplied by Drummond (www.docanoe.com) was very good and a short briefing was given to us before entering the water just upsteam from Telford's bridge at Montford Bridge. This is a 4 mile journey by road but 12 miles by river which gives an idea of how much of this section of river meanders and all the more interesting for it. We had 2 cars so were able to leave a car at each end although Drummond will take give a driver a lift from Frankwell in the event there is only 1 car. Leaving a car at Wingfield Arms seems currently to be a problem (I had to leave mine at the local A5 services) so the option to leave one or both cars at Frankwell might be the best anyway. Drummond have an agreement to leave cars at the cricket ground, just off Frankwell car park.So anyway, we took to the water and passed under the old bridge. It is only when you are under the bridge you realise how old it is, from above it has a modern roadway and railings. Within 5 minutes we were past the Severn House campsite and complete tranquillity. This stretch of the Severn really is very peaceful and a lovely way to see the nature of the river at close quarters.The distance is around 12 miles and for the first couple of hours we took things very easy so had to put in a couple of stints of paddling so we could be in Frankwell for around 4pm. There were a surprising number fallen trees blocking one side of the river at various points but none more significant than just after the confluence of the River Perry an hour or so after setting off, there is a small island just before the confluence here. It is not apparent why the river suddenly speeds up at this point as it becomes quite wide but the water is only inches deep and there have been previous comments about wading here but apart from touching the bottom briefly we were able to paddle normally. There are fallen trees to the right so it is essential to keep left otherwise it would be easy to get caught in the trees. I was with my 8 year old daughter and I was conscious we would need somewhere for us to stop for lunch, we did manage a couple of brief stops in calm waters by holding the canoes together but we would need a proper stop and rest, this was to prove a little tricky but we managed it. The man from Drummonds said since foot and mouth there were now less farm animals on this stretch of the river and therefore more vegetation on the banks. The banks are predominantly steep and covered in tall vegetation. After about 6.5 miles and just over half way round we finally found a place on the left just after the first house we had seen also on the left. We managed to drag both the canoes out of the water and have lunch on the bank. There were several places we could have moored the boats just after this house but you need to be on the lookout to see them.We saw some wonderful nature, we had a couple of sightings of Kingfisher, Buzzard, Otter, Several pairs of Swans, some with Cygnets in tow and plenty happy cows. A solitary fisherman excepted we did not see a single person, we did not see any other vessels on the river and the first sign of any vehicles was the sound of cars up above the river at Bicton 10 miles in. My daughter had a lovely day out, a real adventure and learnt a lot about how to handle a boat. There is something special about arriving back in your own town by a different mode of transport and from a completely different perspective. I wonder which section of this most interesting river we shall try next!

York Bloke
31 Aug 2013
Great trip. The confluence with the Perry was manageable, there had been heavy rain 48 hrs before so we didn't need to wade. Local advice is to stay well left, there is a nasty fallen tree obstacle on the right maybe 150m beyond the confluence.Only issue we had was with three jetskis, which were approaching reckless speeds about 2 miles from Frankwell. once safely navigated past them we were made aware that the police were trying to get these idiots as they had been causing problems in Shrewsbury.A lovely trip, one I'd like to do again in winter.

Chris Scott
06 Aug 2013
I paddled from Montford Bridge to Shrewbury last Saturday 3rd August 2013. Very pleasant afternoons jaunt.

The current situation regarding access is From Severn House Campsite the answer is a flat NO unless you are staying at the site. Anyway, I couldn't see anywhere easy to launch or land. Mumbled something about past experience.From the picnic area and under the bypass bridge it is very tricky and best avoided as the people at the Wingfield Arms are very helpful. If asked politely they will allow you to park in their car park and tell you the best place to launch and land. There is a nice shale beach area between their camping field and the bypass bridge which allows easy access.

I did experience a confrontation with some anglers who were trying to say I couldn't paddle downstream because they had lines out. I got the usual stuff about them paying for the privilege of using the river. I politely showed them my BCU card and enlightened them to the existence of the public navigation and to the fact that I had taken the trouble to obtain permission to launch. I asked them where they would prefer me to pass. They backed down and were OK after that. Other anglers were fine and friendly when they realised you were prepared to wait until they directed you where to pass.

York Bloke
12 Jun 2013
Just made arrangements to do this trip in August, and I am buzzing with excitement (it's only June!). Getting back into canoeing after decades away, thanks for all the comments and advice on this site. Great stuff.

Bruce Roberts
20 Sep 2011
Lovely trip. We launched from the pinic area. The guy in the cafe said he couldn't let us launch from the car park but if we left and went under the bridge we might find that launching was possible there! A steep access point which could be a bit dodgy in the wet.

ed beaumont
17 Apr 2011
just spent two nights at severn house. under new management, very canoefriendly and new jetty built for easy launching,lovely trip

Nigel Smith
31 May 2010
An alternative entry point for Montford Bridge is the picnic area on the A5 (see map). Its just up stream from the pub easy access there. We have used both in the past. Just be careful as last time my mate took a dip when we launched. It can get muddy!

Jim Thornton
23 Oct 2007
I'm sure the Severn House campsite is nice, but we've always stayed at the Wingfield Arms (now called the Old Swan) - opposite bank just upstream of the bridge. It seemed to us slightly less regimented and more canoe-friendly. It also has a somewhat easier gently sloping launch point just by the bridge.

Bembe
24 Aug 2006
The Severn House campsite at Montford Bridge is excellent. One of my favourites.









 



Links
Guide to the River Severn
Bus timetable
Shrewsbury
Severn House campsite


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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson