The Old Police Cells in Shrewsbury's former Police Station offers visitors to Shrewsbury a very different place to stay.
If you're not a fan of brick walls, barrelled ceilings and original cell doors, then this isn't for you! But, in truth, it has all been brought beautifully back to life with contemporary design and comfort. And your "keepers", the husband-and-wife team of Mark and Ann Johnson, will give you a warm welcome and make sure you enjoy your stay amidst the surprisingly luxurious interiors.
The cells used to house 6-8 (ahem) "guests". But Ann and Mark have transformed the four former cells so that, while they still have most of their original features (including three of old police cell doors to each of the rooms), it now features one spacious, comfortable, bright and contemporary apartment suited to one, or two, people.
In addition to a spacious double bedroom, there's an en suite bathroom with double shower cubicle. The hall then leads to the bright and spacious living area, which incorporates a fully integrated kitchen with cooker, fridge and washer/dryer.
Shrewsbury itself is now punctuated with food shops which offer the mouthwatering ingredients for a quiet night in. Top tips here would be to head for Appleyard Deli at the top of Wyle Cop, an Aladdin’s Cave, filled with meats, cheeses, breads, and all manner of mouth-watering goodies. Or the very new Mad Jack's Deli in St Mary's Street. For a taste of France, fill your basket full of treats from Le Plat du Jour on Fish Street.
But if you end up feeling stir crazy, you can always make a break for the nearby Loch Fyne Restaurant, the fabulous Armoury on the riverside, or The Cornhouse at the bottom of Wyle Cop. And if you want to bring in a bottle of wine, the best insider tip is the multi-award-winning Tanners wine merchants in premises used in the filing on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: www.tanners-wines.co.uk.
The apartment, meanwhile, is located in Swan Hill, a historic quarter of the town which boasts several traditional pubs. The new Severn Theatre and town centre are only a few minutes walk away, making this place ideally situated to explore all of Shrewsbury's historic landmarks. But it's the history of the Old Cells which you're sure to find especially arresting.
The police purchased the land, appropriately called 'Scotland Yard', in 1897; and the Shrewsbury Police then moved into the building in 1900. More recently, Ian Hunter of the Mott the Hoople lived in the building (although not in the cells!) when his father was stationed here.
One night of solitary confinement in The Old Police Cells in Shropshire starts at 75-pounds a night in the low season (including town centre parking). A one week "sentence" (7 nights) will cost around 300-pounds in the low season.
Check out their website www.theoldpolicecells.co.uk for full rates or telephone 01743-272544.
And don't forget to take some porridge!
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