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Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site achieves Walkers are Welcome Status (16th April 2014)

Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site achieves Walkers are Welcome Status

The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in Shropshire has achieved Walkers are Welcome status joining around 100 places across the UK, which have something special to offer walkers.

Membership of the network helps strengthen the area’s reputation as a place for people to come and enjoy the outdoors and helps ensure that footpaths and facilities for walkers are maintained in good condition, benefiting local residents and visitors alike. The nearby towns of Wellington and Much Wenlock have been granted a similar status ensuring the region is very much on the walking enthusiasts list of places where they can be assured of a warm and friendly welcome.

Both Wellington and the Ironbridge Gorge organise their own walking festivals, while four new trails are being introduced by the Severn Gorge Countryside Trust including the Iron Trail. To meet the growing influx of walkers, the region’s website is also being updated with additional information to meet their needs.

Delighted to have achieved the Walkers are Welcome status, Rebecca Gutierrez, Visit Ironbridge, Leisure Tourism Manager, said; “We look forward to welcoming many new visitors to our beautiful area and hope they will enjoy discovering its history and heritage, while they explore its scenic trails and footpaths.”

In order to qualify six criteria had to be met from showing popular local support for the concept and formal endorsement by Telford & Wrekin Council to demonstrating that rights of way are maintained in good condition. Adequate promotion of the status, the encouragement of public transport use and a system to ensure ongoing support and maintenance of the scheme also had to be shown.

The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site with its museums and attractions, including Blists Hill Victorian Town, is a haven for walkers of all levels from families seeking a short leisurely stroll to strenuous long hikes for the more experienced. It offers free access to a variety of paths, while several long distance trails cross The Gorge making it a great stop over point, as well as a place for a family day out or short break. A wide range of accommodation and refreshment venues provide a warm welcome to everyone and free booklets inform about the industrial heritage and the natural world along the walks.

For further information visit www.visitironbridge.co.uk or to request a copy of the free Visit Ironbridge Guide Tel: 01952 567562; details about the Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival can be found on www.visitironbridge.co.uk/walkingfestival