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|Lilleshall Adventure Fitness Trail|
|Author: , Published: 18 Aug 2015||Walk rating : Rating:|
|IMPORTANT NOTE: As this site is a designated National Sports Centre, DOGS are currently NOT ALLOWED in the grounds or gardens of Lilleshall. Should this position change in the future, we will remove this note. |
A 6 mile (10km) circular walk around the beautiful gardens and grounds of Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centre near Telford in Shropshire. Set in spectacular and secluded surroundings, Lilleshall is one of the UK’s National Sports Centres, training grounds and centres of excellence for the country’s leading sportsmen and women. This 10km route gives you chance to test your fitness, taking you through the woodland belts alongside the estate’s 2 mile sweeping drive, before returning (a steady climb all the way!) to explore the heart of the estate. You will have chance to discover Lilleshall’s many gems including the golden gates (an exact replica of those at Buckingham Palace), the Italian water garden, the pet cemetery and the world-class sport facilities.
The walk includes one long, steady descent and the equivalent ascent and you will also need to negotiate a couple of gates plus several flights of steps. The route follows a mixture of garden surfaced paths and un-made woodland and meadow paths, the latter of which can be uneven underfoot and very muddy at times. One section of the route follows a quiet country lane, so take care of any occasional traffic here. There is a cafe bar, Queens Bar, at the start of the route to allow you to enjoy refreshments before or after your walk. Please note that dogs are NOT allowed in the grounds. You are likely to come across free roaming peacocks within the grounds. Approximate time 3 hours.
Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centre is located just north of Telford close to the A41, approximately 3 miles from the town of Newport. The main entrance gates to the centre are situated on Pave Lane, which can be accessed from the north via the A518 and from the south via the A41. In both cases please follow the signs for National Sports Centre. Once you have passed through the entrance gates, the centre is accessed via the two mile sweeping driveway and free parking is available in the visitor car park. Approximate post code for Sat Nav TF10 9LQ.
|Start to Park Lodge|
Start point: 52.7275 lat, -2.3726 long
To begin the walk, make your way to the main customer reception and entrance for Queens Bar at the centre of the site. Queens Bar serves a range of refreshments throughout the day, including hot and cold food and beverages, making it an ideal place to prepare for the journey ahead. Equally, if you want to continue your peaceful and relaxing experience at Lilleshall after your walk, the Queens Bar is a perfect setting for a relaxed meal on your return.
|Park Lodge to Stone Arch Bridge|
Start point: 52.7286 lat, -2.372 long
Continue along the right-hand grass verge to join the main estate access drive, heading away from the Lilleshall Centre. As you round the first right-hand bend you will see lines of beautiful conical trees along this section of the entrance drive, Wellingtonia Avenue.
|Stone Arch Bridge to Golden Gates|
Start point: 52.7407 lat, -2.3688 long
Further along the drive you will come to the crossroads with Pitchcroft Lane. Go straight ahead, passing another pretty lodge, Wren’s Nest Lodge, on the left. Continue now on the left-hand woodland path which once again meanders through the woodland belt and the grass verges.
|Golden Gates to Pitchcroft Crossroads|
Start point: 52.7513 lat, -2.3628 long
Pass through the gates, alongside Golden Gates Lodge, and turn left. Follow the pavement past a number of houses and, immediately after the Wheatsheaf Inn pub, turn left into Littlehales Road. NOTE: This is a narrow, quiet lane without pavements so take care of any occasional traffic. Follow the lane leading you steadily uphill, the start of your long and steady climb back towards the Lilleshall Centre. The long gradual climb is a good test of your stamina and fitness, in keeping with the ethos of this flagship National Sports Centre.
|Pitchcroft Crossroads to Dairy Cottage|
Start point: 52.7459 lat, -2.3667 long
Follow the woodland path back towards Lilleshall Centre, climbing steadily all the way. The two mile estate driveway was designed to add anticipation and intrigue for visitors. The ground rises gradually all along and every curve was designed to lead expectantly into another, along a wooded corridor with glimpsed views to the wider landscape before turning into a formal avenue of elms in the approach to the hall. The elm trees became victim to Dutch elm disease and have since been replaced by the Wellingtonia Avenue that you saw on the outward leg.
|Dairy Cottage to Apple Walk|
Start point: 52.7283 lat, -2.3738 long
Turn right along the gravel drive, passing the cottage on your left. Continue ahead on the narrow path which runs alongside the retaining wall on your right. Beyond the car park, you will have good views of the archery range. Lilleshall is the home of Archery GB, a dedicated archery centre for both indoor and outdoor high performance archery training camps. The archery range sits within the original walled kitchen garden of the Lilleshall Estate.
|Apple Walk to Temple|
Start point: 52.7273 lat, -2.3745 long
Walk through the tunnel of apple walk. Apple walk was once a pergola walk of c.600ft in length, consisting of a series of iron arches built into stone foundations. The pergola itself was covered throughout with apple trees and climbing roses. Today, just a third of the original length of pergola remains and is planted with roses, vines, wisteria and clematis.
|Temple to Pet Cemetery|
Start point: 52.7277 lat, -2.3785 long
Having passed under the temple arches, follow the grass path through this wilder section of the grounds (passing to the left of the first oak tree and to the right of the second). Immediately after the second oak tree the path swings sharp left then right and leads you between the rhododendron bushes. You will emerge to a crossroads with a tarmac access track.
|Pet Cemetery to Italian Water Gardens|
Start point: 52.7266 lat, -2.3784 long
Standing facing the cemetery, turn left along the tarmac access drive (Duchess Walk) to continue your journey around the estate. The driveway swings steadily left, leading between many more impressive tree specimens.
|Italian Water Gardens to Sports Grounds|
Start point: 52.7272 lat, -2.3754 long
Make your way along the stone walkway which leads you between the pools (taking particular care with children) and head up the steps at the far side. Keep ahead to enter the dial garden, a formal circular flower garden, enclosed by yew hedges and dating from 1832.
|Sports Grounds to Clump of Trees|
Start point: 52.7247 lat, -2.3726 long
It is at this point that you can appreciate the scale of the sporting facilities here at the UK’s flagship National Sports Centre. Having been sold by Herbert Ford in 1949, Lilleshall was officially opened as a National Recreation Centre in 1951. By 1954 the centre was extended to become home for a number of sports including cricket, rugby league, rugby union, lawn tennis, badminton, hockey, lacrosse, netball and association football. Famously the England World Cup squad stayed at Lilleshall before their World Cup victory in 1966. Today, several national governing bodies of sport and other professional organisations are based at the centre, including the Olympic sports of gymnastics and archery, together with the English Institute of Sport. The centre has helped many medal winning gymnasts and archers achieve Olympic and Paralympic glory.
|Clump of Trees to End|
Start point: 52.7203 lat, -2.3738 long
Follow the path swinging left, following the edge of the clump of trees on the left. When you see the artificial turf pitches ahead, walk back towards these and, as you reach a smaller copse of trees, turn right to exit the meadow. After just a few paces you will emerge to a T-junction at the edge of the grass sports grounds.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author NSC and may not be reproduced without permission.
I have walked quite a few walks with iFootpath but this one so far has been the best. It is an excellent walk (which my tracker said it was just over 7 miles and not 6 as stated). It takes in just about most things to cater for most people who take the walk. Tree lined routes, forest sections, open fields, beautiful wooded areas and then you get fantastic sections in the grounds such as the sunken gardens, the ponds, the sports facilities and so much more.
|By andyt2404 on 23 Sep 2015|
Rachel Myatt: Did this as my first iFootpath walk today. The grounds really are lovely. Not sure I will ever be clever enough to make up my own walk though...
|By Facebook on 18 Sep 2015|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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|Image by: Richard |
Uploaded: 05 Sep 2015
We loved the design of the accommodation block with its sweeping lines.
Absolutely beautiful walk, and a wonderful app. Thank you so much :)
I want to congratulate you on your web site/app performance, quick, reliable and easy to use. I have similar walking apps with OS Maps and ViewRanger but yours is best.
This app has totally changed my life, i absolutely love it. I did this walk yesterday, what a beautiful walk it is, i thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely do it again, in fact i met an older gentleman who was on his 100 and something time there!! My sister and daughter cant wait to come along. The noise mentioned about the motorway is negligible and for me did not detract from the overall walk at all, the view from the top was stunning!!
So far I have downloaded 5 walks and completed 3 of them, tomorrow will be No 4. I love your website The walk descriptions are the best I have used in the last six years of rambling since I retired. This is a website I would be more than happy to pay a subscription for, instead I'll donate a sum to my favourite charity. THANK YOU.
Have deleted Pokemon Go and downloaded @ifootpathuk which is much more 'me'
I love the illustrated descriptions of each walk section. Really helps to enjoy the walk and get to know something about what I'm seeing. So much better than apps that only provide GPS co-ordinates and no photos or description. Love it!
After trying out numerous other apps I came across this one: way ahead of any of the others in every way. Much more accurate and very easy to use with great features. Would highly recommend it as THE app to use for walking.
Just wonderful, with walks for everyone: the fit, the not-so-fit, short walks, long walks, through woods, up hills (and down).
I highly recommend it, as my mum and I use it to go for walks and finish by eating at a pub. Its detailed and sometimes humorous instructions lead us easily to our destination. Also, to top this, it has interesting facts about the area we're walking in
I don't review much but this app deserves it. Downloaded some really good walks and the combination of the good descriptions and the really useful map of the walk showing where you are make it a brilliant tool. Well done and keep up the good work.
Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
Used app while visiting (it was great!)--live in Texas. Thanks!
Your app and walks are a dream to use
Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!