Improving your visit to Ilam Park: our progress so far

Stunning autumnal views towards Thorpe Cloud from Ilam Park

Our team behind the scenes are busy developing plans to improve the visitor journey at Ilam Park. Take a look at our plans and hear about our progress so far.

Ilam Park has never been more popular – year on year, visitor numbers are increasing, with more and more people enjoying the beautiful parkland and stunning views. This is a great testament to the hard work of our team, but this success has made us realise that we need to do more to make Ilam Park enjoyable for everyone, now and in the future.

In 2018 we launched our long term project, Inspirational Ilam. We’ve been researching and planning what we need to do to conserve this special place, and to make it a great place to visit. To date the project has included opening up the views from the tearoom, improving car parking and making our visitor arrival more welcoming. As part of this goal, a significant part of the project is focused on improving accessibility at Ilam. In 2020, we will be installing a Changing Place (an accessible WC facility) and an easy access footpath, enabling more visitors to enjoy the views and tranquillity of Ilam.

We’re also transforming the gardens at Ilam, assisted by our colleagues from Calke Abbey and Packwood House.  

Our timeline below will give you more information on what’s happened so far. We’ll be providing regular updates as the project progresses.


10 Sep 18

Making room for our visitors

Ilam Park has become a popular place for visitors and our car park was becoming unsuitable for the capacity, with cars being left on grass verges and causing damage to the parkland and blocking access for visitors. After careful consideration of the conservation of the parkland, we took the decision to close the caravan site and use the space to increase the number of car parking spaces for visitors.

10 Dec 18

New Car Park – open for visitors

The car park is finished and ready for visitors

The new car park is finished and ready for visitors to use

07 Feb 19

Thinking about the gardens…

The Inspirational Ilam project has made us think differently about the gardens. We commissioned a Historic Landscape Report, which showed us that the oldest part of the gardens, the zig-zags, is a really important part of the 18th century picturesque landscape at Ilam Park. The Italian Garden, which came much later, is a perfect place to contemplate the view towards Thorpe Cloud. We've decided to look at what we can do with all the garden spaces around the Hall to add to our visitor experience, preserve this important part of the historic landscape, and use the gardens to tell the story of Ilam Park.