Attingham Park is an English country house and estate in Shropshire. Located near the village of Atcham, on the B4380 Shrewsbury to Wellington road. It is owned by the National Trust. It is a Grade I listed building.
Attingham Park was built in 1785 for Noel Hill, 1st Baron Berwick, who received his title in 1784 during the premiership of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger. Noel Hill was a politician who aided William Pitt in the restructuring of the East India Company. Noel Hill already owned a house on the site of Attingham Park called Tern Hall, but with money he received along with his title he commissioned the architect George Steuart to design a new and grander house to be built around the original hall. The new country house encompassed the old property entirely, and once completed it was given the name Attingham Hall.
The Estate comprises roughly 4,000 acres, but during the early 1800s extended to twice that amount at 8,000 acres (3,000 hectares). The extensive 640 acres (270 hectares) parkland and gardens of Attingham have a Grade II* Listed status.
Across the 640 acre parkland there are five Grade II* listed buildings, including the stable block, the Tern Lodge toll house which can be seen on the B4380, and two bridges that span the River Tern. There are also twelve Grade II listed structures including the retaining walls of the estate, the bee house, the ice house, the walled garden, the ha-ha, which can be seen in the front of the mansion, and the Home Farm.
The archaeology of Attingham Park is diverse, covering many different periods of history and human habitation. People have lived around the area of the estate for around 4,000 years since the Bronze Age, utilising the rich alluvial soils for agriculture. There are seven scheduled ancient monuments across the wider estate including an Iron Age settlement, Roman forts and a significant portion of the fourth largest civitas in Roman Britain, Viroconium, on the site of the nearby village of Wroxeter.
There are also Saxon palaces, and a mediaeval village which was called Berwick Maviston. Today the remains of a moat and fish ponds from the old manor can still be seen. The manor and the village dated back to the Norman invasion, being mentioned in the 1086 Domesday book. The original manor fell into disrepair in mediaeval times; another house known as Grant's Mansion was recorded on the site in 1790. The village was occupied until the late 1700s when the newly created Baron Berwick built Attingham and removed the village from his land. The title of Baron Berwick comes from the name of this village.
Attingham, including Cronkhill, was the seat of the Barons Berwick until that title became extinct in 1953. On the death of Thomas Henry Noel-Hill, 8th Baron Berwick (1877–1947) who died childless, the Attingham Estate, comprising the mansion and some 650 acres, was gifted to the National Trust.
Attingham Park was designed by George Steuart, a follower of James Wyatt, whose only surviving country house this is. It was built from 1772 to 1785 for Noel Hill, 1st Baron Berwick, on the site of an earlier house called Tern Hall (which had been built to his own designs by Richard Hill of Hawkstone). The proportions have been criticised: for Simon Jenkins "The facade is uncomfortably tall, almost barracks-like, the portico columns painfully thin". There is a large entrance court, with an imposing gatehouse, and two single storey wings stretch out to either side of the main block.
In 1805 John Nash added the picture gallery, a project that was flawed from the beginning as it suffered from leaks. Constructed using cast iron and curved glass to give the effect of coving, it throws light into the gallery below. In 2013 work began on building a new protective roof above the delicate Nash roof, replacing one installed in the 1970s with a new one which will stop leakage and reduce natural weather wear. The new roof will have temperature control, blinds, and UV resistant glass.
The 2nd baron went bankrupt, and all the contents of the house were auctioned in 1827; some were reacquired later. The main reception rooms were divided into a male and female set on either side of the house. Angelica Kaufmann decorated a boudoir and there are three of her paintings in the drawing room.
The nearby Italianate villa of Cronkhill on the estate is an important pioneer of this style in England. It was designed by John Nash for the 2nd Lord Berwick, as a generous gesture for his friend and agent, Francis Walford, during the same time the Picture Gallery and staircase was being built. Once a part of the wider estate, it is now isolated on a hillside overlooking the riverside. Although the villa is owned by the National Trust, it is privately tenanted and only open for visitors a few days of the year.
During the First World War, Attingham was owned by Thomas, the 8th Lord Berwick. He had let the property to the Dutch-American Van Bergen family who encouraged the establishment of a hospital for wounded soldiers at Attingham. The hospital opened in October 1914 and by 1918 had 60 beds and an operating theatre. During the First World War, the 8th Lord Berwick served with the Shropshire Yeomanry and as a diplomat in Paris. Throughout the war years he corresponded with Teresa Hulton, whom he married in June 1919. During the First World War, Teresa Hulton had worked with Belgian refugees in London and as a Red Cross nurse in Italy.
Between 1948 and 1971 an Adult Education College occupied the hall, run by Sir George Trevelyan. In 1952 the Attingham Trust was set up by George Trevelyan and Helen Lowenthal, the purpose of the Attingham Trust being to offer American curators the opportunity to learn about British country houses. A summer school has been run by the Attingham Trust every year since 1952 and now takes in a diverse array of country houses around the United Kingdom including none National Trust properties.
The Attingham name has since been used worldwide with the American Friends of the Attingham Trust being founded in 1962 in New York City, and the Attingham Society being founded in 1985. The Attingham Society covers the whole world and alongside the American Friends its purpose is to keep its members in touch and the continued education and interest of British country houses. Attingham Park is now the regional headquarters of the National Trust and also on the estate is the Shropshire office of Natural England.
The park was landscaped by Humphry Repton and includes woodlands and a deer park, with between 200 and 300 head of Fallow deer (according to season). The estate has a walled garden and an orchard, which grows fresh produce which is used on the estate in the tearooms, and sold to visitors. The meat from the Fallow deer is also sold in the shop during the shooting season, in winter and early spring.
The River Tern, which flows through the centre of the estate, joins the larger River Severn at the confluence just south of the Tern Bridge. Repton attempted to build a weir, the remains of which can now be seen, near the confluence but due to flooding it was washed away.
The park is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest due to it being home to many rare species of invertebrates. The amount of deadwood left by fallen trees around the parkland makes it the perfect habitat for a variety of different species, primarily beetles. There are seven units of SSSI around the park totalling to 190 hectares or 470 acres, nearly three-quarters of the entire estate.
** – Wild Life at Attingham Park – **
The estate is home to lots of creatures, big and small. They also have a dedicated deer park and look after about 200 fallow deer that are historic to the parkland. Take a walk through some of their 370 acres of glorious woodland. The park abounds with trees that have seen the centuries come and go, including the magnificent 650 year old Repton oak on the Deer Park walk.
Attingham is host to around five miles of river, featuring beautiful stretches of the Severn and Tern. The many ponds are a haven for wildlife, from ducks, swans and otters to dragonflies. The estate has many miles of hedges, but far less than it would have had 50 years ago. To help put back what they have lost, the National Trust's dedicated team of staff and volunteers plant or lay about a mile of new hedge each year.
Wildlife to look out for.
Birds: the barn owl, raven and buzzard are the top predators here.
Birds: green, great and lesser spotted woodpeckers.
Fungi: from giant puffballs to tiny waxcaps, they have loads of fungi.
Bats: five species of bat, including over 1,000 pipistrelle bats.
Plants and flowers: enjoy gorgeous displays of snowdrops and bluebells.
Trees: some of the tallest and straightest oaks in the country.
Cattle: pedigree Jerseys and Longhorn cattle graze the parkland.
** – Deer Diary – **
Attingham’s Deer Park was created in 1798 as part of Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick’s grand improvements to the Mansion and grounds. Today, around 200 fallow deer, descended from the original herd live in the park. Take a stroll along the Deer Park, Woodland, or World War II walk for a glimpse of Attingham's popular residents.
Deer diary: Autumn
During the autumn the deer feed on acorns and conkers that fall to the ground from the trees in the park – they’re a great source of food for building the herd up for the rut and the coming winter. At this time of year look out for the bucks rearing up on their hind legs to knock the branches with their antlers to knock down more.
From October onwards the breeding season, known as the rut, begins. Traditionally, the rut takes place in the month of October, and during it there is a change in the dynamic on the park; the mature bucks take up ‘rutting stands’; places to show off and try and attract does to mate. The bucks will also test their strength against each other by pushing and shoving each other with their antlers locked. It is rare for this to result in serious injury in the herd, but minor injuries do occur.
It’s an important and stressful time for the deer herd, and they provide information on site during this time, to explain what is happening and emphasise the importance of sticking to the paths in the park and not approaching the deer while the rut takes place. Of all the bucks on the park it will be just one or two that father the vast majority of the fawns born the following June.
The deer have always had a special place at the heart of Attingham. Thomas 8th Lord Berwick was particularly fond of the deer and fed them daily, with special favourites eating out of his hand. Thomas lived at Attingham from the early 1920s until his death in 1947. Following his wishes, his ashes and those of his wife Teresa (who lived at Attingham until her death in 1972) were placed at the memorial in the Deer Park, in a glade with views of the estate. Following on from Thomas, the deer herd are today carefully managed by Attingham's rangers. For a diary of the current season, please click here.
** – The Walled Garden – **
Welcome to the Walled Garden. Over the past ten years the NT have been bringing this important part of the estate back to life, and production. Originally created in the 1780s; after falling into disrepair, and having different uses in the 20th century, this Georgian kitchen garden is both beautiful and bountiful today.
From flowers in the Mansion to the produce being used in recipes in the Cafe and Tearoom, the Walled Garden once again supplies the estate all year round. You can even take a little bit of the Walled Garden back home with you as they sell freshly harvested produce in the Stables Shop. Admire the blooms in the borders and chat to the team about their tasks as they work. Their team of gardeners are happy to talk to you about the history of the Walled Garden and tell you more about our current garden projects.
A garden for all seasons.
Spring is an important time of year in the garden as it’s when they start seeds off early in the glasshouses. They prepare the vegetable beds for planting and sow annual cut flowers for their raised hazel beds. As the weather warms they transplant seedlings into the main garden, constantly weeding as everything starts to grow.
The main task during the summer is to harvest their produce to use in the cafe and shop. They need to water the salad crops in the glasshouses (melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and chillies), as well as pruning their various fruit trees. Of course, the grass also needs constant mowing and edging.
September, October and November see the continuing harvesting of their produce for the cafe and shop. They also begin clearing the main vegetable and frameyard beds as plants die back. The orchard needs harvesting, as 37 varieties of apple require picking, pressing and juicing.
Towards the end of the year they start digging new beds ready for the following year. They replenish the soil in their glasshouse beds and prune the apple trees in the orchard. Pots need cleaning, labels need sorting and seeds have to be ordered as they prepare for the coming spring, and their yearly cycle starts over again.
Step into the Bothy. Historically the home of the unmarried gardeners, step into the Bothy and discover more about the Walled Garden's restoration. On cooler days you'll find a roaring fire warming this cosy space.
Their seasonal fresh produce is on sale in their shop for you to enjoy at home. Carriage House Café are also supplied with fruit and vegetables from the Walled Garden to use in seasonal recipes– so if you just can’t wait, why not see what’s on the menu today?
Did you know that Attingham has a Site of Special Scientific Interest? It's a SSSI due to being home to a variety of saproxylic invertebrates - more commonly known as deadwood invertebrates. Attingham has a ‘rich assemblage of saproxylic invertebrates including many species which are rare in Shropshire and are nationally scarce’. Or in other words, their old trees are home to many nationally rare and unusual insects. Attingham is a special place because of its old trees. The oldest tree is nearly 700 years old.
Tiny but mighty. Deadwood invertebrates depend on a large number of surviving mature and over-mature trees, both standing and fallen deadwood to make their home for part of their life cycle. These creatures need a stable environment to make their habitat – they find it in the rot holes and cavities of mature trees and ancient trees. A succession of trees varying in ages from 600 years old to 100 years old gives continuity to these creatures ensuring there is always a suitable habitat for them at Attingham.
The landscape and woodland at Attingham has changed very little over the past few hundred years due to being owned and looked after by the same family, and then passing into the care of the National Trust in 1947. Deadwood invertebrates and the habitats they form play a vital part in the woodland ecosystem. They play an important part in the soil cycle, decomposing matter into nutrients, producing soil, create habitats and are a food source for other wildlife.
When compared with similar sites within the UK, Attingham Park is considered to be one of the most important for the conservation of these creatures due to the veteran trees in the woodland. Natural England designated the SSSI at Attingham in March 2000 and with your support they’re able to conserve and carefully manage the area to ensure the survival of these important insects.
Have you got any of these creatures in your garden? More than likely! If your garden has a few trees of varying age, leaf piles, branches, logs, areas of uneven bark, even rotting fence posts - then you will have some of the most common deadwood invertebrates, such as a long horn beetle, rhinoceros beetle or cardinal beetle will be at home in your garden.
They also need a nearby source of nectar and pollen to thrive – something like a hawthorn tree or a variety of flowers and shrubs in your garden. Being small creature - they can be tricky to spot - or photograph!
Summer in the Walled Garden
** – Visiting – **
Only five generations of the Berwick family lived at Attingham, but they left an impressive and enduring legacy of love and neglect. Step inside the Regency Mansion to discover their story and how they shaped the house. As part of the National Trust's 2018 Women and Power programme, discover more about the roles and opportunities for women attending the Shropshire Adult Education College based at Attingham from 1948 to 1976.
Built for the first Lord Berwick in 1785, Attingham Hall and its beautiful parkland were owned by one family for more than 160 years. As their fortunes rose and fell the family proved themselves to be spenders, savers and saviours - providing a fascinating story of love and neglect, the marks of which still stand in Attingham’s rooms today. Discover the traces of the family story throughout the Mansion, from the flashy but flawed Picture Gallery roof that contributed to the bankruptcy of the second Lord Berwick, to the prized paintings of the cattle that the fifth Lord loved.
From 2018 you'll be able to uncover more about the stories of the Women of the Shropshire Adult Education College based at Attingham from 1948 to 1976. The College was based on the west side of the Mansion at the same time that Lady Berwick lived on the east side, and the National Trust was opening a limited number of rooms to visitors. On the west side and on the basement level there will be small displays explaining how the College made use of the rooms. Photos, quotes and replica documents will all help to give an understanding of this time and what it meant for the Women of the College.
The Dining Room was used as a music room and lecture theatre during the college years. For 2018 it will be displayed to reflect the College’s use of this space.
During the 20th Century. Attingham’s saviours, the eighth Lord and Lady, began restoration work that lives on in today's Attingham Re-Discovered project. This project aims to bring the Mansion back to life and conserve and restore the rooms to reflect the history of this magnificent Mansion. The Mansion is open daily from Saturday 17 February until Sunday 4 November. From 11am until last entry at 4.30pm each day you will be able to explore the Mansion at your own pace, and their knowledgeable room guides will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.
The Berwick’s left a fine Georgian Mansion with intricate decoration, Regency furniture and art, splendid stables and a walled garden as well as a deer park, all set in a 4,000-acre estate in the fertile valley of the River Severn. But these physical structures are only part of the story. Why not discover more about the lives of the Berwick family, their fortunes and the collection at Attingham on one of their guided tours? Their guided tours take place daily and topics vary, please ask on arrival at Visitor Reception for more information. There's no extra charge to join a tour but tickets are limited and on a first come, first served basis on the day.
Click here to find out more about the items and objects you'll see in the Mansion on your visit. A taste of Italy and Regency splendour in Shropshire. Extravagant spending in the wild Regency age, financial ruin, and astute purchases with an Italian theme is the focus for Attingham's collection.
** – Wildlife Walk – **
This circular walk starts in the Stables Courtyard at Attingham Park and follows the Deer Park walk in the beautiful parkland of this great estate. Classified as Moderate, the walk can take up to one hour. It is 2.5 miles long and is dog friendly.
Start: Visitor Reception.
1. From the car park make your way to Visitor Reception and through the Stables Courtyard bearing left towards the Walled Garden. As you walk towards the Walled Garden you are on part of the Mile Walk - a hoggin path designed by Thomas Leggett in 1770 for Noel Hill, the first Lord Berwick of Attingham Park. Hoggin is a mix of gravel, sand and clay ideal for building paths. In 2009, they restored the pond in the adjacent paddock and dugout hundreds of tonnes of hoggin to rebuild the Mile Walk.
2. You will pass the Walled Garden on your left as you continue along this section of the Mile Walk. Stop in on your way past to see our historic bee house and new observation bee hive. The observation hive is made of clear acrylic and allows visitors to see the busy bees at work.
Walled garden. Attingham's walled garden and orchard were probably built at the same time as the mansion in the 1780s for the first Lord Berwick. This productive area provided the Berwicks with a constant supply of fruit, flowers, vegetables and honey. It is still home to the Attingham bees who can safely be seen hard at work in the observation hive. Family activity: make your way through the orchard to the Shoulder of Mutton playfield to run off some steam or head to the frame yard to help the gardeners water the flowers, fruits and vegetables growing here.
3. At this point the path diverges - bear left following signs for the Deer Park Walk.
4. Cross the cable stay bridge over the river Tern. With funding from Natural England this cable stay bridge was constructed in 2009. The new bridge provides improved access for buggies and mobility scooters. Attingham is host to around 5 miles of river, featuring beautiful stretches of the Severn and Tern. Their many ponds are a haven for wildlife of all sorts, from ducks, swans and otters to dragonflies.
Can you spot an otter? The River Tern is only 30 miles long flowing into the River Severn about a mile downstream. Its source is considered to be a lake in the grounds of Maer Hall in Staffordshire. Family activity: otters have been spotted from the bridge. Is there one in the river or on the river banks today?
5. At this fork in the path carry straight on up a gentle incline to continue with the walk. At further forks in the path follow signs for the 'Deer Park Walk'. For buggies (in muddy conditions) and mobility scooters follow the right fork labelled 'Shortcut' through the gate which takes you along the bank of the Tern to rejoin the walk at point 8.
Den building. Family activity: at this point, just through the gate to the deer park you will see an area where families have been building dens. Why not have a go as part of their '50 Things to do before you're 11¾'? Please stay in front of the signs that ask you to not go any further into the area due to the deer sanctuary.
6. After walking through the woodland the path opens out along the top of the Deer Park, with the woodland on your left and the deer park to your right. Look closely in the bracken and ferns and you might be lucky to spot some of the deer herd! Please note: during parts of the year sections of the Deer Park may be closed, please follow any signed diversions on your route.
Attingham deer. Attingham is home to approximately 250 semi-wild fallow deer, all direct descendants of the fallow deer here at the creation of the Deer Park in 1797. Attingham's last lord Thomas was particularly fond of the deer and fed them daily, with special favourites eating from his hand. Family activity: during the winter you can watch the deer being fed at 2pm on Saturdays, Sundays and every day in the Christmas and half term school holidays (except 25 December).
7. Keep walking along the grass path with the woodland on your left, until you get to the Repton Oak. Lots of different animals live in the deer park and woodland areas at Attingham, especially in old trees which are havens for wildlife, bats, birds, insects, mosses and lichens. There are five species of bats at Attingham including over 1,000 pipistrelle bats. Family activity: the barn owl, raven and buzzard are the top predators here - can you spot any flying over the deer park?
The Repton Oak. This venerable oak may have started life in the reign of King Edward III (1327-1377), their best guess is that it is about 650 years old. Originally marking the boundary between the parishes of Wroxeter and Atcham this old oak is now one of the wonders of Attingham park.
8. A short while after passing the Repton Oak the path will begin to lead you down the hill towards the mansion. Go through the gate, across the bridge and turn right to take a look at the Ice House. Please note: There is no light in the ice house and is lit by natural light from its entrance. Be careful walking down the narrow uneven steps into the ice house. After you've visited the ice house follow the path passing the mansion on your right hand side and continue to bear right, past the tea-room and toilets before turning left to return to the Stables Courtyard.
The ice house. This mound was an ice house probably built for Noel Hill, the first Lord Berwick in the late 18th century; it was converted in 1850 when a wheel pump was installed to provide the mansion with water from the River Tern. Before that, there was a corn mill on this site from the 13th century. Family activity: the ice house is dark and damp and the perfect home for lots of insects - can you find any?
End: Visitor Reception.
** – River Reflections Walk – **
The two bridges make this a perfect walk for pausing to take a photo, and you might even spot some of the river’s wildlife along the way. A perfect autumnal walk. Admire the changing colours of the landscape and skies reflected in the river Tern. Take this looping walk around the river to see the autumn colours rippling across the water, from the greens of early autumn to the peaches, pinks and pale blue washes of autumn sunsets. About 1 mile long, this walk is classified as Easy, takes an hour to 90 minutes and is dog friendly.
Start: Stables Courtyard
1. From the car park make your way through the Stables Courtyard past the cottage garden and bear right. Take the cut-through on your left and bear left at the fork in the path by the cedars to join the Mile Walk along the riverside.
2. As you walk along the riverside, look out for the changing reflections of the deer park in the waters of the river Tern. The river Tern is about 30 miles long, and home to wildlife of all sorts, from ducks, swans and otters to dragonflies.
The River Tern. Without human intervention, this river would be more of a stream - it owes its size to dams and locks that were put in in the 1700s. These features were installed to allow access to the ironworks which were situated on the river near the bridges - these closed by 1754.
3. Take the path bearing right at the single cedar, following signs for the Deer Park Walk.
4. At the junction, continue to follow signs for the Deer Park Walk as you walk along the path through the trees.
5. Cross the cable stay bridge across the River Tern and enter the woodland. This bridge is a great location to stop and admire the reflections in the water – if you’re lucky you may also spot an otter at this end of the river.
River reflections. This walk is ideal for taking some reflective photos - why not come towards the end of our opening hours in autumn to catch some incredible colours above and below you on this bridge?
6. At this junction follow the signs for the shortcut to leave the woodland and enter the deer park by the river. Continue along this grassy track.
Water meadow. As you walk along the track, the area between you and the river is a water meadow. This area of land was designed to be continuously damp to improve the soil, and in the mid 1700s was used for strip farming, a system a little like our modern allotments where strips of adjacent land belonged to different people.
7. The grass track leads you towards the large deer park gates. At this point you can extend your walk by following the instructions under point 8, or head towards the end of the route by skipping to point 9.
A man-made lake. When Humphrey Repton was working on the landscape, he aimed to impress visitors with grand views. He dammed the river Tern at several points to artificially widen it so that it appeared more like a lake in front of the mansion. By the mid 1800s, these dams had been taken down and the river had a more natural appearance.
8. Walk extension. Continue forward past the gates and follow the yellow-tipped stakes, which will take you under Tern Bridge, giving you a fantastic view of the mansion from the riverside. Re-trace your steps until you reach the deer park gates once more. This route may be closed in bad weather as floods are likely.
Built to impress. Tern Bridge was constructed around 1780, when the first Lord Berwick moved the main London to Holyhead road further from his house, Tern Hall. The bridge also frames the mansion (Attingham Hall was built around Tern Hall in 1782) in a view designed to wow visitors. See if you can spot the carved faces on each side.
9. Leave the deer park through the gates, and cross the two bridges over the river Tern. These are ideal places to pause and take some photographs of the reflections in the water - or to enjoy a game of pooh sticks!
10. Continue along the path past the front of the Regency mansion. To round off your walk with a warming cuppa, remain on the path until the mansion tea-room is on your right. If you're coming later in the day please check the NT website, or see below, for its opening hours as these vary monthly.
End: Mansion tea-room. You made it.
** – Autumn Light Walk – **
Explore the changing colours of the deer park with a walk taking in views over the open Shropshire landscape to the river, and of the orange-gold trees that mark the start of the woodland. See if you can spot Attingham's fallow deer on your walk - in the changing light, the view of the deer park is never the same twice. Enjoy the unusual view of Attingham's Regency mansion from the deer park and see if you can tell where the golden stone is just a veneer.
Classified as Easy, this walk is two miles long and will take between one and two hours. It is dog friendly. Toilets are located in the stables courtyard, Bothy and Brewhouse (near Mansion tea-room)
Start: Attingham Park stables courtyard.
1. From the car park make your way through the Stables Courtyard past the cottage garden and bear right. Head towards the back of the mansion and take the cut through path on the left and then bear left at the fork in the path by the cedars to join the Mile Walk along the riverside.
2. As you walk alongside the river, take a first look across the water to the deer park. In autumn the grass turns a golden colour in the evening light, and the Wrekin (behind you) forms a blue backdrop behind the treeline. Attingham is home to many different species of wildlife - look out for the swans on the river and in the first few weeks of autumn you may still be able to spot some dragonflies along the banks.
Mile Walk - or Mill Walk? The meadow you can see across the river was once called the mill meadow. As their Mile Walk isn't precisely a mile in length, some think that the name is a corrupted form of "Mill Walk".
3. Take the path bearing right at the single cedar, following signs for the Deer Park Walk. Underfoot and in the trees you'll see a riot of rich red, amber, green and brown as the leaves turn in colour and fall to the ground as the season goes on. Keep an eye out for conkers ready to take home, string, and challenge your friends and family to a knockout!
4. At the junction, continue to follow signs for the Deer Park Walk as you walk along the path through the trees.
5. Cross the cable stay bridge across the River Tern and enter the woodland. Look out for the fantastic fungi displays amongst the leaves on the woodland floor. Whilst you can’t eat the fungi, you can treat yourself to some freshly-picked produce from the Walled Garden in their shop. Look out for fungi hidden in the foliage during autumn.
6. At this crossroads follow the signs for the Deer Park walk to continue through the woodland until you leave the dense woodland and see the park open up in front of you. Dogs are welcome in the Deer Park but they must be kept on a short lead.
7. After walking through the changing colours of the woodland, the path continues along a grass track through the deer park. Keep an eye out as you might be able to spot some of our fallow deer herd camouflaged among the brown bracken and ferns.
Fallow deer. Attingham's 170 acre deer park is home to 180-200 fallow deer. They were originally brought here as a status symbol to show the owner's wealth, and the 8th Lord Berwick loved the herd so much that he would often be found feeding them in the deer park. In October the deer begin their rutting season, with dramatic clashes to win a mate – if you are lucky enough to spot this, make sure you don’t get too close.
8. Pause near the large oak tree to admire the view towards the mansion. The mansion was commissioned in 1782, and the landscape around it was shaped to provide awe-inspiring glimpses of the building as a reminder of the owners' wealth.
Attingham Hall. Attingham's Regency mansion was commissioned in 1782, and built by George Steuart. The landscape around it was designed to impress, with Humphry Repton designing the deer park and creating views across to the imposing building. But not everything is as it appears - Attingham Hall's golden tones are actually a stone façade concealing much cheaper brick and wood.
9. The grass track will curve down a slight incline towards the river and the deer park gates. Cross the two small bridges and pause at the corner of the mansion for a sweeping view of the deer park.
In the autumn light the deer park can often appear golden as the light falls onto the grass - and this is an ideal spot to watch the shadows and changing colours of the parkland. To enjoy the best views across the river to the deer park, why not come later in the evening before they close?
10. Continue your walk past the front of the Regency mansion - can you tell that the stone is just a veneer? Follow the path and continue past the tea-room and toilets, before bearing left to return to the Stables Courtyard.
End: Attingham Park stables courtyard. You made it
** – Food and Fungi Walk – **
Autumn brings out the best in the Mile Walk – and the best harvest in the Walled Garden. The leafy trees surrounding the route will be a blaze of colours from yellows to oranges, and in late autumn the leaves will start to fall, providing a crisp carpet of muted reds, browns and oranges. Discover the best places to try and spot the fantastic fungi displays among the changing woodlands, and stop off to admire the vibrant rainbow colours of the harvest in the walled garden. Whilst you can’t eat the fungi, you can treat yourself to some freshly-picked produce from the Walled Garden in their shop. Classified as Easy, this one mile walk should take about one hour and is dog friendly.
Start: Attingham Park Stables Courtyard.
1. From the car park make your way through the Stables Courtyard, past the cottage garden, and bear left, following signs for the Walled Garden.
2. At the fork in the path bear left and follow the path round through the red brick wall and into the Walled Garden. Spend a while in this tranquil location and see what colours you can spot: all kinds of fruit and vegetables are grown here, from green beans to purple damsons.
Restoring the Walled Garden. The Walled Garden is now full of colourful plants and produce, but eleven years ago it was an empty plot of land that had been neglected for decades. The restoration project has seen their staff and volunteers patiently restoring the grounds, using pigs to turn the soil and selecting crops according to the sorts of produce they know were grown in the garden’s heyday.
3. Once you have explored the Walled Garden, head through the east archway to the frameyard. Be sure not to miss the surprises you might find in the borders of the Walled Garden.
Autumn pumpkins. Keep an eye out for their brightly coloured pumpkins throughout the Walled Garden on your way.
4. Explore the frame yard and admire the colours. This is the second year that their cut flower garden has been blooming, and the borders by the Bothy are always full of bright flowers to inspire their gardeners as they arrive for work. Why not pop in to find out more about the garden and say hello?
Glass houses. The Walled Garden was created to provide food for the estate – but also to impress. Its walls provided shelter and gave gardeners a chance to grow more exotic produce, such as peaches, and the glasshouses allowed even more exotic experiments like the melons you can see today. They know from the archives that there used to be a pineapple pit here – the pineapple was such an exotic fruit that having one would show that you could afford the best gardeners. They were often displayed as centrepieces to impress guests at dinner.
5. Enter the orchard through either of the archways in the frame yard. The orchard is a beautiful spot for a picnic and the 37 varieties of cooking and eating apples form a red and green display in the trees in September.
Attingham apples. They have around 160 apple trees in the orchard, which are all labelled. Many of them are old varieties, with evocative names including Adams Pearmain, Lord Derby and Golden Russett, which you won’t see in any shops or supermarkets. Please don’t pick them as they need some for their tea-room – leftover apples are sold in the shop, and you can taste their fresh juice when the gardening team press the harvest on a Saturday and Sundaynear the end of October.
6. Walk along the path beside the wall to find our see-through observation beehive in the lean-to and watch the bees at work.
Busy bees. Take a moment to watch the bees in their observation beehive. The beehives in the orchard are full of bees busily creating honey, which their Beekeeper spins into honey to sell in the autumn months. Every year the honey is slightly different, and changes depending on what the bees have eaten!
7. Leave the orchard, walking past the other side of the Bothy, and bear left along the Mile Walk.
Fungi. The Mile Walk is lined with trees and a great place to look out for fungi. As the wet weather comes along, colourful displays will start to pop up on living and dead trees throughout the parkland, and in the damp undergrowth. The fungi come in all shapes and sizes, and can be any colour from delicate brown to vivid yellow. Be careful not to eat any fungi, as there are many poisonous varieties.
8. At the junction bear right following signs for the Mile Walk. Enjoy the colours of the changing leaves around you, with vivid reds and golds appearing.
9. At the next junction, continue to bear right, following signs for the Mile Walk. As the walk opens up, take in the view of the river to your left - you might spot some of their wildlife over in the deer park as well.
Mile Walk - or Mill Walk? As you follow this path you will be able to see across the river Tern on your left. The meadow you can see across the river was once called the mill meadow. As our Mile Walk isn't precisely a mile in length, some think that the name is a corrupted form of "Mill Walk".
10. When you come to a junction, take the right turn. Bear left at the cut through onto the main path, bearing right when you reach it to head back towards the Stables Courtyard.
11. No food walk would be complete without a treat, so why not finish your food trail with a visit to their Carriage House Café, open in the Stables Courtyard daily from 9am. Their kitchens use a variety of produce fresh from the Walled Garden - keep an eye out for their famous apple cake. You can also take a taste of Attingham home with you by picking up some fresh produce from the Walled Garden in the stables shop.
End: Attingham Park Stables Courtyard.
** – Sport – **
There are plenty of chances throughout the year to try your hand at different sports and discover a new talent, with everything from volleyball to climbing and canoeing. You can head out on your own, they have got running and orienteering routes across the park, or you can join them for one of their many sporty events.
Sport in an inspirational setting.
Whether you're new to a sport or new to Attingham you'll find a wide variety of different activities and sports taking place throughout the year for all the family to enjoy. At different times throughout the year you will find weekly run groups based at Attingham, sport taster days, relay-races, cross-country races, and a night run, as well as activities suitable for all the family to have a go at including canoeing, orienteering and geocaching.
Their well maintained paths are perfect for a gentle jog or more vigorous run. Try a self-led run around the park or book onto a Beginner Running Group (spring - autumn), perfect for those new to the sport or looking for a great social activity. Whether your a beginner or a running fanatic, Attingham is a great place to go running.
If you're looking for a challenge the annual 'Mad Jack's 5' cross-country race will be taking place at Attingham once again this year. Organised by Shrewsbury Athletics Club the 5 mile race will be held on Saturday 11 November. For more information and to book closer to the time, please visit the Shrewsbury Athletics Club website here.
They will be holding the popular Night Run again at Attingham Park. Join them on a Saturday in early March and illuminate the park on their 2km Adventurer or 6km Explorer run route. Bookings will open soon. Night Run returns to Attingham for its fifth year on Saturday 2 March 2019. It’s time to don your head torch, snap those glow sticks and illuminate the night sky. Click here for a video of the Night
Discover your map reading skills and try orienteering.
Orienteering is all about adventure and navigation. The aim is, using only a map and a compass, to move between control points and complete the course in the quickest time possible. Whatever your age, whatever your pace, orienteering is for anyone, anywhere who wants to improve their navigational skills and really get involved with their surroundings. Download their Berwick Route orienteering trail
map and have a go.
Park Sports in the Playfield.
The Shoulder of Mutton play field is a hive of sporting activity with equipment for volleyball, table tennis, badminton, rounders, football and much more are available. You might also see coaches from local clubs on hand to give expert tips throughout the year. The playfield also hosts traditional playground equipment including the “Pipe Monster”
Attingham is the perfect place for a family day out. Whatever the season, there's plenty of adventures to be had; explore the Deer Park, discover the Field of Play, see what's growing in the Walled Garden, or imagine yourself living in the Regency Mansion. Whether you join us for one of our family events or you have your own self-led plans for the day, you're in for a day of fun and adventure at Attingham.
The Field of Play.
The Field of Play is a hive of fun, activity and sport throughout the year. It's open every day (except for Christmas day) and has some traditional playground equipment including swings and some more unusual play areas such as the 'Pipe Monster' and areas to play sports. During the winter, depending on weather conditions, the field may get muddy so don't forget your wellies and warm clothes! From November to March the Greedy Pig is closed so please bring your own ping pong balls and shuttlecocks with you when you visit (during the winter some sports equipment may be unavailable due to weather conditions).
Children aged 5 and under are welcome to bring tricycles and starter bikes (either no pedals or with stabilisers) when they visit. Standard bicycles are unfortunately not permitted in the Park regardless of the cyclists age, to keep the Park a safe environment for budding cyclists to learn in and for all visitors to enjoy. Children aged 11 years old and under are welcome to explore the grounds on push/kick scooters. Battery powered scooters are not permitted in the grounds.
If you're looking for somewhere for the whole family to cycle together head over to Comer Woods at the Dudmaston Estate (close to Bridgnorth). The Explorer Trail includes a 3.5km long multi use trail perfect for families to explore whether walking, cycling or running.
Refuel in the Carriage House Café or Mansion Tea-room.
You'll find savoury snacks, cakes, biscuits and hot and cold drinks available daily from 9am with the main café area opening at 10am at the Carriage House Café in the Stables Courtyard. Hot and cold lunches are also served there from 12pm, with savoury snacks, Attingham-made cakes and biscuits, hot and cold drinks available throughout the day.
The Mansion Tea-room is open daily until November from 12 noon until 4pm. With seating indoors and out, and an open fire for colder days, this is the perfect stopping point for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. A more traditional tea-room menu of cakes, biscuits, and sandwiches can be found here, alongside hot and cold drinks and ice-creams.
Little ones will love their children’s food range. A children’s hot food menu can be found in the Carriage House Café and both the Carriage House and Mansion Tearoom have a selection of cold ‘pick and mix’ items including a choice of wraps, fruit juice and healthy snacks. They're proud to welcome families, so please let them know if they can lend you a highchair or help you any other way. Take-away is available if you'd like to take a hot drink with you on the way up to the Field of Play or on your walk. You can find their tearoom and cafe opening times here.
School holiday fun.
During the school holidays they host a variety of different family fun activities to get involved with and seasonal trails to follow around the grounds. Please visit their What's On page to see what events
and activities are coming up.
** – Facilities – **
• Carriage House Café - open all year. Indulge in their Attingham-baked cakes and scones, and enjoy seasonal lunches served from 11.30am each day.
• Shop - open all year. Take home seasonal fresh vegetables from the Walled Garden or browse in their second-hand bookshop.
• Free parking, 25 yards away.
• Dogs welcome on leads in Deer Park and near the Mansion.
• Tours available - please contact the NT before you visit.
• Groups welcome - please contact the NT before you visit.
• Toilets located at Stables Courtyard, close to Mansion and in Walled Garden/Field of Play.
• Bikes at Attingham: children aged 5 and under are welcome to bring tricycles and starter bikes (either no peddles or with stabilisers) when they visit. Standard bicycles are unfortunately not permitted in the Park regardless of the cyclists age, to keep the Park a safe environment for budding cyclists to learn in and for all visitors to enjoy..
• Baby-changing facilities at Stables Courtyard, near to Mansion, and in the Play Field.
• Children's Play Field.
• Children's quiz/trail.
• Family activities in Mansion.
• Two pushchairs available to borrow, on a first come first served basis.
• Bikes: children aged 5 and under are welcome to bring tricycles and starter bikes (either no peddles or with stabilisers) when they visit. Standard bicycles are unfortunately not permitted in the Park regardless of the cyclists age, to keep the Park a safe environment for budding cyclists to learn in and for all visitors to enjoy.
• Front-carrying baby slings and hip-carrying infant seats for loan.
• Separate mobility parking, 25 yards from visitor reception. Wheelchair transfer available.
• Accessible toilet at Stable Courtyard and a Changing Places toilet near the Mansion Tea-room, accessed by radar key. Please ask at visitor reception if you'd like to borrow a radar key.
• Wheelchair available in mansion.
• Braille and large print guides.
• Map of accessible grounds route. Some sloped areas. Single-seater PMVs available to hire on a first-come, first-served basis for minimum donation.
• Attingham Park has mainly good access, with level access to the mansion, shop, Carriage House café, welcome centre and bookshop and accessible park pathways.
Location : Attingham Park, Atcham, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 4TP
Transport: Shrewsbury (National Rail) then bus, 5 miles. Bus routes: 19 and 19A stop at driveway entrance.
Opening Times : Daily, for times click here, for restaurant /cafe / play area see above.
Tickets : Adult £12.20; Children £6.10; Family £30.50.
Off-Peak Tickets (after 16:30 and November): Adult £9.00; Children £4.50; Family £22.50.
Tel: 01743 708123