Ironbridge has long been on the ‘must see’ list for visitors keen to experience the world’s first iron bridge, erected over the River Severn in 1779.

Ironbridge is commonly known as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and this renowned reputation has certainly put this charming Shropshire town on the map. There are many attractions that add to the appeal of the Ironbridge Gorge United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

For those lucky enough to call it home there is much to recommend it, including its ten museums that are fun for all of the family. The museums are managed by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust who also look after 35 historic sites that lie within the Gorge. The Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum transports you back to the Victorian era and takes its place on TripAdvisor’s top things to do in Ironbridge.

The top spot however allows you to enjoy a different perspective from the river, courtesy of Shropshire Raft Tours. Hop on a giant paddle board that caters for eight people and paddle 15 miles along the River Severn from Atcham to Ironbridge.

The mines and furnaces may have long gone but there is still manufacturing in Ironbridge thanks to the Merrythought Teddy Bear Company, the UK’s only teddy bear factory established in 1930. Its shop has a small museum with some of the earliest Merrythought Bears and various characters from over the years. It is definitely worth a visit, and maybe even an investment.

The bonus of being a major tourist attraction is the variety of places to eat and drink. For example, the old police station and courtroom is now an Indian restaurant with private dining in the cells. How about calling in for a tipple at a traditional local? The Bird in Hand Inn served its first pint five years before the bridge opened in 1781, and still provides a warm welcome.

There are plenty of events and activities to get involved in and enjoy, including the Annual Coracle Regatta held in August on the River Severn. These small boats are made from an interwoven wooden frame. The coracle-making family of Rogers lived in Ironbridge for several generations.

You could get to know the locals through its groups and businesses. The Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge Community Centre is just a mile from the iron bridge and is run by a voluntary committee. It hosts activities ranging from Yoga and Pilates, to a gardening club and film group.

Over the years many famous people, including royalty, have paid a visit to Ironbridge. Did you know, Ironbridge is the birthplace of former England captain and Wolverhampton Wanderers football legend Billie Wright? Renowned electrical engineer and inventor, Thomas Parker, was born in Coalbrookdale, a small village set in the Ironbridge Gorge.

To really discover what makes Ironbridge special, it’s worth spending some time getting to know the place. Who knows, its charm may convince you to make your home here. Take a look at our homes available in Ironbridge here.