Ian Weightman

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Falling Madly, Deeply, for Hadley

Telford?  It's a "new" town.  Right?

Modern.  Good for shopping.  The commercial centre of one of the loveliest counties in Britain.

But pretty soul-less, really.

Why go there?

Yup, that's right!  And, hey, "what have the Romans ever done for us"?!

Well, let's start with the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.  A World Heritage Site which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011.  The birthplace of the modern international Olympic movement.  Some of the best walks in the UK.  And one of the most important Roman sites in Europe (www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/wroxeter-roman-city).

And now, The Hadley Park Hotel (www.hadleypark.co.uk).  An independently run, luxurious country house, offering fine dining, and a get-away-from-it-all atmosphere within a fabulous Grade II-listed 18th century house.

Minutes from the motorway, a short taxi ride from Telford station, yet still able to conjure-up all of the history, heritage and elegance of bygone years.

To pass through its imposing doorway is to enter a different world.

Purchased six years ago by the current owners, Hadley Park has a fine pedigree.  The history of the building itself has been painstakingly researched, and reflects the grandeur on offer to its visitors today.  It has taken almost seven years to restore the property to its former glory.  An extension with a function suite and 10 extra bedrooms has been sympathetically added to the existing property - as has a quite garden area, where it's possible to sit and reflect by a recently installed pond.

Rumour has it Thomas Telford himself visited the house during the time he was employed to design and construct the nearby Shrewsbury Canal.

The ownership of the property has switched, over the years, from landed gentry to former army officers, industrialists to Japanese businessmen.  And finally, experienced hoteliers.

So that now, at long last, it is ready to once again start receiving discerning visitors who are in search of seclusion, comfort, individual attention, and fine dining.

The pressure has been taken off the dining room, thanks to the creation of the function suite.  And Head Chef Tim Wesley is ready to cook up a storm for guests dining in the 60-cover conservatory restaurant.

Ideally suited to couples, or small groups, who are in search of a bolt-hole while exploring the world famous Ironbridge (www.ironbridge.org.uk), or who want to find out more about how the picturesque village of Much Wenlock nearby claims to be the starting point of the Modern Olympics (www.wenlock-olympian-society.org.uk), The Hadley Park Hotel is now offering itself as an oasis in the heart of Telford.

Guests arriving by the new direct service from London Marylebone to Telford operated by Wrexham and Shropshire Trains (www.wrexhamandshropshire.co.uk), meanwhile, will even be collected from, and then delivered back, to the nearby railway station.

For more details visit www.hadleypark.co.uk.

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