Elemental Sculpture Park (Somerford Keynes)

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The Elemental Sculpture Park in Somerford Keynes is only 5 minutes’ drive or 25 minutes’ walk from Nightingale House and is well worth a visit! It opened in 2015 and has well over 100 exhibits, tastefully displayed in extensive grounds. Enjoy and hour or two meandering … Continue reading

Upper and Lower Slaughter

The Old Mill on the River Eye at Lower Slaughter

If you fancy combining a leisurely walk with a visit to a couple of stunning Cotswold villages, take a drive to Lower and Upper Slaughter (just over 20 miles from Lower Mill Estate). Park in Lower Slaughter and stroll along the River Eye past picturesque cottages on your way to the Old Mill with its quirky craft and tea shop. From the Old Mill

Upper Slaughter Ford

Upper Slaughter Ford

follow the footpath beside the river and across a meadow to Upper Slaughter  (just a mile away) and explore a second charming village.

The Lords of the Manor at Upper Slaughter

The Lords of the Manor

Maybe stop for lunch at The Lords of the Manor Hotel in the beautiful gabled Manor House with its spectacular views down to the river before retracing your steps back to Lower Slaughter.

For a longer walk, follow footpaths from Lower Slaughter to the celebrated Bourton-on-the-Water which is couple of miles further on. For more details see ‘Cotswold River Walks’ by Colin Handy (Walk 11 page 34) on the bookcase in the second bedroom.

Walk from Nightingale House to the ‘Wild Duck Inn*’ at Ewen

 A gentle country walk through farmland and beside the infant River Thames

Walk from Nightingale House on Lower Mill Estate to the Wild Duck Inn at Ewen

Distance: 2.5 miles each way

Time: Allow 1.5 hours each way plus time for refreshments at the Wild Duck Inn

Restrictions: None except for keeping to the Thames Path when it goes through private land.

Directions: (numbers refer to map above)

Turn right out of Nightingale House (1) and walk back through the estate to the entrance in Mill Lane. Turn left onto Mill Lane. (The infant Thames is on your left.) At the end of Mill Lane (2), cross the Spine Road (main road) with care. Turn left along the footpath/ cycle path. Take the first turn on the right signposted ‘Somerford Keynes’ and very soon turn left into Neigh Bridge Park.

Follow the path to your right through the park with the Thames to your right and a lake to your left. At the end of Neigh Bridge Park turn right (3) to cross the little bridge over the river, then turn left and follow the path. (The river is now on your left.) Continue on the path beside the river, passing Kemble Mill and Old Mill Farm to your left. When you reach Upper Mill Farm – just after an old wind pump (tall metal structure with water tank on top) to your right– there is a small bridge to your left with a signpost pointing to Ewen: 1 mile (4). Cross the river here and continue along the Thames Path to Ewen. The river is now on your right.

When you reach the road on the edge of Ewen (5), turn right and when you meet a T junction (6) turn right again. Where the road dips after about 300metres you will find the ‘Wild Duck Inn’ (7) on your right.

*The Wild Duck www.thewildduckinn.co.uk Drakes Island, Ewen, Cirencester GL7 6BY Tel. (0)1285 770310 is a beautiful, cosy inn dating from the 16th century with oak beams and a log fire.  It serves very good food and is popular with locals and tourists alike. Evening meal prices at the Wild Duck can be quite high but lunchtime snacks are better value as portions are copious. We shared a sausage and caramelised onion ciabatta (excellent!) last time we walked to the pub for lunch and it was plenty for two.