Walkers can gear up for Ironbridge Gorge trails

It is the jewel in the crown of Shropshire's tourist attractions – and now visitors are being encouraged to discover it on foot.

Walkers can gear up for Ironbridge Gorge trails

A new walking trail has being launched to enhance the Ironbridge Gorge's existing reputation as a major world destination.

The Iron Trail will have its own leaflet and video on a brand new website along with several other new trails

The Severn Gorge Countryside Trust has spent the past two years researching the landscape history, working closely with local people and experts, to produce the Iron Trail.

The trail covers three-and-a-half miles, starting from the Iron Bridge itself. It then winds its way up through the Sabbath Walks within Dale Coppice, which were laid out by Quaker Iron Master Richard Reynolds in the early 1790s and which, it is now believed, was the first privately funded public park in the UK – 160 years before the National Parks.

The trail takes in views from the Rotunda on Lincoln Hill towards the Iron Bridge and then down a series of steps back into Ironbridge.

For the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to Ironbridge each year, the Trust has developed a new website which includes two new videos where, from the comfort of an armchair, prospective visitors can walk the Iron Trail , find out about volunteering programmes or download a range of material.

Russell Rowley, manager of the Severn Gorge Countryside Trust, said; "We will also launch a Lime Trail on Benthall Edge and a new Ironbridge to Blists Hill walking leaflet which takes in the remains of the historic Madeley Wood Hall and provides a safe and enjoyable stroll through Lloyds Coppice.

"We hopethe new website, videos and trails, will help local people and visitors alike to explore the wonderful landscape of the Ironbridge Gorge.

"We also hope it will inspire visitors from all over the world to stay for a few nights in the excellent local hotels and B&Bs and spend that little bit more to help the many businesses that make a vital part of the local economy".

The walk comes after the development of a new strategy for the World Heritage Site by PLB consultants in 2008.

For copies of the new trails send a stamped addressed envelope to the SGCT office at Darby Road, Coalbrookdale, TF8 7EP, or download them for free from the website www.severngorge.org.uk

For more information e-mail staff@severngorge.org.uk or call 01952 433880.

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