Ironbridge Gorge rated No6 in the top 60 UK towns and villages

Telford’s Ironbridge Gorge has been hailed by leading consumer organisation Which? and its magazine readers as one of the best destinations in the UK.

The top-rated UNESCO World Heritage Site, a historic and vibrant community of more than 3,000 people, was rated sixth in the top 60 UK towns and villages to visit in a Which? Magazine poll.  

Ironbridge Gorge, under Telford & Wrekin Council’s guardianship, is a flagship cultural destination set along the River Severn, the UK’s longest river.  Its globally important world heritage is matched by its natural beauty which can be enjoyed in its woodlands and dingles, waterways, and stunning viewpoints.

The destination scored 86, just four percentage points of the top slot – with four-star ratings for the beauty of the landscape, its appealing environment and its peace and tranquillity.  But it was its attractions that achieved highest marks from Which? consumers.  Ironbridge Gorge is home to some of the finest museums and monuments in the UK including English Heritage’s Iron Bridge and the 52 acre Blists Hill Victorian Town as well as outdoor, artisan and adventure attractions, and its appeal is clear.   

Cllr Eileen Callear, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Visitor Economy, said: “Telford is an extraordinary district, and we are so proud that one of our communities should be voted among the top towns and villages in the UK.”

“For Ironbridge Gorge to achieve this accolade is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the management and staff at its many attractions and to the local retailers and accommodation providers who help create such a positive environment for visitors and locals to eat, stay, drink, shop and enjoy.” 

“But most importantly it is a tribute to the people who live in Ironbridge Gorge and care for it day in, day out. They have created a warm, welcoming community that brings back visitors year after year.”

“We are looking forward to a great autumn season and welcoming visitors and locals to explore all our extraordinary towns.”

“It is not only the richness of its culture and heritage, its wonderful family attractions and its independent shopping that make Ironbridge Gorge a flagship UK town –and that sense of community and the warmth that make it a great place to just be.”  

Cllr Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Councillor for Ironbridge Gorge, added: “We are delighted to have one of our towns here in Telford recognised by Which? – the UK’s leading consumer champion – and thousands of its readers. Designated as one of the very first UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than 35 years ago, this latest accolade is a result of the continuing work and investment in Ironbridge Gorge making it a jewel in the crown of Telford. 

 “While Ironbridge Gorge may be famed the world over for its Industrial heritage, today the destination is also home to some of the UK’s leading artisans and creative communities from teddy bear makers like Merrythought and Tile designers and manufactures like Craven Dunnill to glass makers, bike builders and coracle crafters.”

Telford has become a real destination of choice over recent years and not only for local and UK visitors on day trips and short breaks to places like Ironbridge Gorge it is also one of the UK’s leading destinations for business conventions, exhibitions, and cultural events.  

This recognition for the people of Ironbridge and Telford could not come at a better time, as the destination rolls out its Covid recovery and regrowth plans, welcoming locals and visitors to come and discover for themselves this amazing destination.