Following the pandemic and a stressful few months, a riverside hot tub at golden hour beside a cozy wood cabin was just what the doctor ordered. And luckily, I didn’t have to drive very far to find one, either.
Riverside Cabins is just an hour and a half drive from Manchester to their secluded Shropshire site, and provided a much-needed early-April getaway for some essential rest and recovery.
Lately, I’ve preferred shorter two-night breaks closer to home over ones further afield, saving on travel time, petrol costs and meaning, if we do need to get home in an emergency, we aren’t too far away.
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The drive to Riverside Cabins – found on The Wanderlist – was so picturesque and feels very remote, though they’re only a 15 minute drive from Shrewsbury town centre. And the site is very much riverside, with their cabins located right on the edge of the River Perry.
When we arrived our cabin – named Winston – was already open and waiting for us. All of the cabins have been named after the owner’s past and present Labradors, which I thought was adorable for this dog-friendly site. Not only that, but my brother’s dog shares the name Winston, too.
There are nine cabins to choose from, but each is angled so that it feels very private. In fact, during the whole weekend we barely saw another soul.
Inside the individually styled cabin sleeps four, but had the bunk beds folded up into the wall. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t even realize they were there, but it left ample space for us to put our bags down and relax.
The double bed took up the biggest portion of the room, which has a stunning canopy-style ceiling above it, with a chic light fitting and pretty decor throughout.
A galley kitchen provides all the essentials needed to cook easy meals, with a kettle, toaster and coffee maker all provided, with an integrated hob, fridge and dishwasher.
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Beyond the kitchen was a small but functional toilet, which led to a gorgeous wet room with a multifunctional shower that reached up to 50 degrees.
Site owner Anthony popped over to introduce himself and to show us how to use the hot tub, which had already been refilled and had been warming up to a comfortable 38 degrees ahead of our arrival.
It didn’t take long before my partner and I were in our swim gear and taking a dip, overlooking the stunning private woodland on the riverbank as the sun set over Shropshire.
The hot tubs were really easy to navigate, with a button for the jets and an extra button for lighting, which illuminated the water in shades of blue, purple and green. It was extremely relaxing and I felt as though all the weeks’ stresses had just melted away into the water.
The setting was just beautiful, as you could hear the chirps of birds in the trees, the gentle rustle of leaves and the running of the river.
When we were ready to retreat back into the cozy cabin, I headed straight to the wetroom. The April breeze had been chilly as I’d hopped out of the hot tub, and so I wanted to warm back up and wash my hair, too. There were fluffy towels provided, perfect for drying off after a dip or a shower.
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All tucked up in bed for the evening we discovered there was Netflix available on the cabins TV, with free WiFi also available on mobiles. Alternatively, it’s the ideal place to do a digital detox, because signal is next to none, so you could just enjoy the peace and quiet, if you wished.
In the morning it was so refreshing to push open the bi-fold doors onto our private balcony, which overlooked the river and woodland. I grabbed a cup of tea and grabbed the provided My Shrewsbury magazine and sat at the wooden garden furniture on our terrace while I mentally planned our day in town. It’s safe to say I could get used to waking up to the sounds of nature in a place as peaceful as this.
My partner, Jake, and I headed into Shrewsbury for the day and embarked on a sightseeing boat ride and visited the free museum and art gallery. We brunched at the newly opened The Cat’s Pajamas, and took a walk through the historical Quarry Park.
After stopping off for a coffee and doing a spot of shopping, we took an early tea at Dough and Oil and devoured their pepperoni pizza. We considered staying out for a few drinks, but we were itching to get back to Riverside Cabins to lounge in the hot tub for the evening.
We once again enjoyed the sunset from our private hot tub, which made for a great place for a spot of stargazing under the night sky, before getting into some comfortable loungewear and taking a walk around the 10 acre site.
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At the very edge of the pathway, beside the river and at the base of a tall cliff face, Anthony lights a fire In a fire pit most nights, where guests can gather and socialize, or simply sit back and relax, watching the embers flicker towards the sky.
As our two-night stay drew to a close, I got up early on the day of our departure for one last dip in the hot tub. I love that it’s maintained at the perfect temperature for your whole stay, so you can hop in whenever you like without the need for forward planning or waiting for it to heat up.
Sitting in the hot tub looking out at the trees, it was easy to see why this small collection of cabins was recognized in the Guardian’s top 30 cottages, after the site opened in September 2020.
Riverside Cabins was the perfect place to escape the everyday, offering a cosy, private and picturesque retreat that’s ideal for both romantic getaways or those long overdue catchup with friends post-Covid.
The woodland and riverside setting was peaceful and you can’t help but switch off. Yes, there’s free WiFi, but who needs it with views this good? There were lots of fun things to do nearby, but really nothing beat heading back to the hot tub at the end of the day to unwind.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.