2.9 of 5 (50 votes)

A walk through history - Ironbridge Gorge

A leisurely walk (riverside) in Shropshire, England, about 5.50km (3.42 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 1:45h. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 146m (479ft)
Descent 68m (223ft)
Max. Elevation 150m (492ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 214m (702ft)
Start & End
Distance 5.50km
Duration ~1:45h
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 22 Oct 2008
Ironbridge Gorge is famous for the eponymous bridge - the first iron bridge in the world - and there's plenty more to see. This region was at the heart of the Industrial Revolution and the relics of this bygone age are all around, including the old kilns, furnaces and mine works which once filled the valley with smoke. It's a much more pleasant place these days, but the shadows of history are never far away. Ironbridge is easily reached by buses from many towns in Shropshire.

Walk Functions


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Walk Map

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OS Grid SJ672034
The walk starts at the famous bridge that gives the gorge its name. Opened in 1781, it was the first cast iron bridge in the world. It was needed to provide the local industries with a reliable way to cross the river. There's more information in an exhibition in the old Tollhouse on the south side.
OS Grid SJ674033
On the south side of the river, join the path heading east through the woods.
About 0.22 km (~0.14 miles) from
OS Grid SJ680032
Now for something completely different - Jackfield Bridge is a stark contrast to the Iron Bridge. This one was built in 1994, much to the disgruntlement of some locals who see it as a bit of an eyesore. Walk along the Severn Way, which naturally follows the river.
About 0.66 km (~0.41 miles) from
OS Grid SJ693025
The path joins a disused railway track along the river to Coalport Bridge. We're back to more traditional structures now - this is another impressive bridge, this time rebuilt in iron in 1818 - it was a timber bridge before this. Cross to the northern side of the river.
About 1.45 km (~0.9 miles) from
OS Grid SJ694026
Pass through Coalport, famous for its china production. Follow the path heading back up the gorge along the Silkin Way along the river and past the China Museum. At the Shakespeare Inn, head away from the river towards Blists Hill - the path runs along the disused canal.
About 0.14 km (~0.09 miles) from
OS Grid SJ691037
From Blists Hill, cross Coalport Road and head through the woodland of Lee Dingle. This takes you to the edge of Ironbridge village, where you can follow the bridleway through that runs parallel to the village boundary.
About 1.14 km (~0.71 miles) from
OS Grid SJ681034
Just where the route rejoins the River Severn, look for the remains of the Bedlam Furnaces. These were built in the 1750s and were used for casting iron, including some parts of the famous bridge.
About 1.03 km (~0.64 miles) from
OS Grid SJ680039
From the furnaces, it's a short walk back into Ironbridge for the bus. There are good museums in the town which have more information on the intriguing history of this gorge.
About 0.48 km (~0.3 miles) from

2 comments... join the discussion!

15 Apr 2011

Hi Christine, glad to hear you like the site! Once you've done the walk, do come back and tell us what you think of it - and if you can convince your hubby to join you on the walk, even better.

christine sharps
14 Apr 2011

Dear Sir, Will be coming to Ironbridge again in a few weeks.I found your site really helpful and informative. Will take take this route whist husband is at meccano (AGGGGGHHHHH!) Regards, Christine

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