Easy Walks from Nightingale House

One of the things we love about the location of Nightingale House is that within a couple of minutes of closing the front door you’re walking beside a lake on a country path. And there are at least three possible routes to choose from. You might like to try any (or all…) of the three walks below (plus see map of the estate in our blue information folder):

Walk 1. Around Somerford Lagoon and Farmhouse Lake

A lovely walk between the two lakes of Somerford Lagoon and Flagham Fen and round the tranquil Farmhouse Lake before returning through Lower Mill Estate.

Time : Allow an hour and a quarter

Restrictions: Lakeside path (along Somerford Lagoon) closed October to March (to protect wildlife)

Directions: Turn right out of Nightingale House, after a few metres keep right and continue to the large white (4 storey) house on your right called ‘Sky Deck’. Turn right here, go through a gate and after just a few more metres turn left and soon go through another gate. Continue on the wide, straight path between Somerford Lagoon (on your left) and Flagham Fen (on your right).

At the end of the lakes turn left at a T junction and continue with Somerford Lagoon to your left. When you reach a gate at the far end there’s a great view over the whole of the Lagoon. To continue turn half right over a little bridge (over the infant Thames) and take the path immediately to your right. This path circles the lake. Follow the path around three quarters of the way round the lake till you reach a gate in the corner to your right. Go through the gate and continue straight ahead along this wide track. Lower Mill Estate houses appear to your left and Mill Lake to your right. After about 200 metres cross the bridge on your left which leads into the estate.

To return to Nightingale House continue straight ahead, turn right at the first T junction and left at a T junction beside the recycle area. Continue over a bridge and straight ahead between houses and boat sheds. Soon you will see the Sales Barn on your right. Just past the Sales Barn at some large gates into a private part of the estate turn right down a small path and then left when this meets the road. The road eventually bears right. Keep left when the road divides.

Nightingale House (58, Howells Mere) is on your left after a further 50 metres.

Walk 2. Around Flagham Fen and Freeth Mere

A delightful walk around Flagham Fen (where beavers have been introduced ), through Freeth Mere nature reserve and back to Lower Mill Estate via the infant Thames.

Time : Allow an hour and a half

Restrictions: None

Directions: Turn right out of Nightingale House, after a few metres keep right and continue to the large white (4 storey) house on your right called ‘Sky Deck’. Turn right here and go through a gate. Ignore a left turn (to a path between two lakes) and continue straight on. Flagham Fen is to your left. The path turns left at the end of the lake and just before rugby posts to your right there is a ‘hide’ if you fancy stopping for a bit of bird watching or – if you are very lucky – some beaver watching…

Take the clearly marked diagonal path across a large grassy field to a small bridge over to your right. Go over the bridge and the nature reserve appears to your left. At a T junction turn left alongside the nature reserve and Freeth Mere soon appears to your left with another lake through trees to your right. The path is shaded by trees from both sides.

At a junction of paths beside the infant Thames, turn left (Thames to your right) and in a few hundred metres Somerford Lagoon will appear to your left. Continue on the narrow footpath straight ahead and after a few hundred metres bear right over a small bridge and then turn left onto a wide track / unmade road.

Lower Mill Estate houses appear to your left and Mill Lake to your right. After about 200 metres cross the bridge on your left which leads into the estate.

To return to Nightingale House continue straight ahead, turn right at the first T junction and left at a T junction beside the recycle area. Go over a small bridge, (ignore the right turn to the spa) and continue straight ahead between houses and boat sheds. Soon you will see the Sales Barn on your right. Just past the Sales Barn at some large gates into a private part of the estate turn right down a small path and then left when this meets the road. The road eventually bears right. Keep left when the road divides.

Nightingale House (58, Howells Mere) is on your left after a further 50 metres.

Walk 3. To Somerford Keynes via Swillbrook Lakes and Neigh Bridge Country Park

A lovely walk through woods and fields, beside lakes and the infant Thames to the pretty village of Somerford Keynes

Time : Allow two hours or longer if you stop at the pub

Restrictions: None

Refreshments: The Baker’s Arms in Somerford Keynes is open all day and serves food till 9pm.

Directions: Turn right out of Nightingale House, after a few metres keep right and continue to the large white (4 storey) house on your right called ‘Sky Deck’. Turn right here and go through a gate. Continue straight on (ignore the left path between 2 lakes) and when the path turns left alongside the lake towards a rugby pitch, take the signposted footpath to your right to go through the woods. The path skirts two sides of a lake and eventually brings you on to a small road (Minety Lane) (Traffic is generally light in Minety Lane but do take care as there’s an occasional car going too fast….) Turn right here and continue to the end of Minety Lane. Cross the main road (Spine Road West) with care and continue straight ahead, signposted Somerford Keynes and Thames Path.

After 50 metres turn left at the entrance to Neigh Bridge Country Park and then right at two wooden posts. Walk towards the lake and then turn right to follow a path through a wooded area along the lakeside. There are several benches beside the lake if you fancy a rest or just want to admire the view. Your path passes between the lake to your left and the infant Thames to your right.

At the corner of the lake turn right over a wooden bridge marked ‘Thames Path’ and follow the path straight ahead alongside the Thames. Houses in Somerford Keynes are visible to your right and the church tower is straight ahead of you.

At the end of the field go through a kissing gate and continue ahead along the left hand edge of the field. Ignore a small wooden bridge and signpost to your left.

At a way marker (see left) about 100 metres before a metal gate into the next field…

turn right onto a path between two ploughed fields (see right).

 

Cross a stile / small bridge and follow the footpath through the field ahead and slightly left to the wooden gate mid way between the church and a house. Go through the gate and turn right and soon left down a narrow tree-lined path which follows the edge of the churchyard. You will soon reach a stone stile. Go over it and turn right down the single track tarmac road which will lead you to the main street in Somerford Keynes. Turn right at this T junction and in 200 metres you will find the Baker’s Arms on your right.

 

Continue through the village for about half a mile and at a sharp right hand bend at the end of the village turn left down Mill Lane (a ‘No Through Road’). This brings you to the Spine Road. Cross the road with care and continue straight ahead towards LME.

After 200 metres turn right into LME at a small bridge. Continue straight ahead, passing the shop and a car park to your right. Go over another small bridge, (ignore the right turn to the spa) and continue straight ahead between houses and boat sheds. Soon you will see the Sales Barn on your right. Just past the Sales Barn at some large gates into a private part of the estate turn right down a small path and then left when this meets the road. The road eventually bears right. Keep left when the road divides.

Nightingale House (58, Howells Mere) is on your left after a further 50 metres.

 

 

 

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