Lilleshall was originally built in 1831 as the hunting lodge and family retreat of the Duke of Sutherland. It first became a National Sports Centre in 1951 and was opened by the then Princess Elizabeth II with the original plaque still in place in the entrance to the main hall.
It was Lilleshall’s connection with Association Football that brought the Centre to the attention of the nation. The England team trained for two weeks at Lilleshall prior to their success in the World Cup of 1966. In 1967, Sir Alfred Ramsey returned to the Centre to unveil a plaque to commemorate his team’s stay and endorse the view that Lilleshall could justly claim some credit for England’s famous victory.
In 1984 The Football Association’s School of Excellence was established welcoming young talent such as Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, Sol Campbell and Joe Cole to name but a few. Today Lilleshall is an elite training centre for some of the country’s leading sportsmen and women and regularly welcomes use by numerous sports bodies.
Athletes that train here achieved 13 medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. With its unique and rich heritage and commitment to providing a World Class Experience, Lilleshall is a certainly a place where you can wake up and feel inspired.
Lilleshall is situated among the spectacular and secluded surroundings of the Shropshire countryside within 134 hectares of English Heritage Grade II listed grounds. The main house (Lilleshall Hall) overlooks the beautiful Capability Brown inspired gardens. As well as a range of world class facilities available for use (bookable in advance), the Centre has two walking routes. The 2.5-mile Discovery Trail will provide you with the chance to discover some of Lilleshall’s many gems including the Italian Water Garden, the Pet Cemetery and the World Class Sports Facilities. The 6 mile Adventure Fitness Trail enables you to discover these gems but also provides you with the chance to test your fitness, taking you through the woodland belts alongside the estate’s 2 mile sweeping drive to the golden gates (an exact replica of those at Buckingham Palace), before returning (a steady climb all the way!) to explore the heart of the estate. Work was also underway in 2016/2017 on a nature trail.