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Unlike most towns in England, Telford is a real newcomer to the kingdom. It was created in the 1960s to tie together the neighbouring mining villages, market towns and farms. As such, Telford has several town centres, as the historic villages are gradually absorbed into a greater city area. Although Telford is young, it is surrounded by 13th-century towns, Roman ruins and Industrial Age icons. With a car rental, it’s a breeze to explore the eclectic range of attractions in the area while staying in Telford.
Who to Book With
There are several international car rental chains, such as National and Europcar, to choose from in Telford, along with local firms, such as Frog Self Drive. Some keep offices around the train stations, while others tend to set up shop in the Stafford Park 4 business park. Telford is busy most of the year, so booking your car hire online ahead of time ensures lower rates and a better vehicle selection.
Best Time to go
Telford enjoys a typical English climate, with June to August the warmest months, averaging at 21°C. Summer is also when it rains the least and the days are longest, encouraging more tourists to visit Telford. This is a great time in Shropshire, but the weather can also be very nice in May and September.
Need to Know Essentials
These documents should be provided at the rental office upon arrival:
- A valid UK or EU driving license or International Driving Permit
- A second form of picture ID, like a passport
- The credit card used to make the car rental booking
- A rental confirmation print-out if possible
Thanks in large to the fact that Telford was a planned city created in the 1960s, it does not suffer from the usual traffic congestion common in England’s older towns. Parking is allowed on the streets, although these spaces have time restrictions. There are also several city-operated car parks that are typically free to use, except in Ironbridge.
Telford has excellent road connections to the rest of England and Wales via the M54 motorway (a spur of the M6), which runs to Wolverhampton, and the A5 to Shrewsbury. The A442 and the A518 are other useful highways running north and south from Telford.
It’s fairly easy to reach Telford by train, but, once here, the bus system is the only public transport option besides taxis. Since four different companies handle the bus service around Telford, it can be a little confusing at first. Many travellers opt for a rental car to make moving around Shropshire easier. Telford has several national and local firms to handle your vehicle needs.
There are three train stations serving Telford, although the main one is Telford Central, near to the centre of town. This station receives trains operated by London Midland and Arriva, and is on the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury line. There are two trains each hour between Monday and Saturday. The Telford Central station has a free park-and-ride lot, as well as car hire offices nearby.
Taxis are available in Telford, although they are very hard to hail on the street. They often line up at the train station, but you can also call a local company such as Central Taxis or use their online service to order a pick-up.
Telford has a bus system that serves the city, but it is not managed by the local government. Instead, four private firms share the routes within Telford: Traveline, Arriva Bus, Transport Direct and Wrekin Connect. Each operates their own network, but a typical DayPass costs around £4 for unlimited travel within the city.
Telford is the ideal home base for daytrips around Shropshire, one of central England’s most interesting and diverse districts. It is filled with medieval market towns like the 13th-century Wellington and a few special sites like the Bronze Age fort atop Wrekin Hill. With a car rental, you can plan a day of castle-hopping or focus on one of the Industrial Age’s birthplaces at Ironbridge. There really is a lot to see and do in this underappreciated corner of England.
Shrewsbury - This is one of the most charming medieval towns in Shropshire. It has a long history, a beautifully-preserved historic core and an interesting Welsh vibe, as Wales is just nine miles away. Driving from Telford is a breeze along the M56.
Ironbridge - This is one of the places where the Industrial Age was born. This UNESCO World Heritage site - featuring the planet’s very first iron bridge, a handful of industry museums and the ancient Buildwas Abbey - is a pleasant drive south of Telford.
Castle hopping - This is an easy theme for a day drive from Telford. There are some real beauties in the countryside here, including Ludlow, Clun and the 13th-century Stokesay. The latter was supposedly so beautiful that no attacker could bring himself to raid the place. You be the judge.