A circular walk from Nightingale House beside lakes and along the Thames Path
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’. Follow the road as it bears left and continue for 200 metres until it bears left again. Take the small path to the right at this point. Turn left to go over a small bridge and then continue straight on past the sales barn (on your left) and past various wooden boat houses to your left and right. Continue straight on when a road comes in from your left. Go over the bridge and past the car park (left) and Lower Mill Shop (left). Turn left out of the estate into Mill Lane.
At the end of Mill Lane, cross the busy road with care, turn right and walk along the path beside the road. After 200 metres you will see a footpath signpost (Photo 1) on the other side of the road. Cross the road with care again and follow the footpath along the Thames Path. You soon emerge into a more open space and another ‘Thames Path’ waymarker. (Photo 2) The path soon follows the edge of a lake on your right and soon turns right between this lake and a parallel one. Where the path divides turn left up a short slope and then right on another path between lakes (Photo 3). The path bears left and yet another lake appears to your right. At a junction of paths turn right to follow a large green footpath sign (Photo 4). A fence will soon appear to your left. Continue to a path junction by a gate and small bridge over the infant Thames. Cross the bridge to a waymarker (Photo 5) and turn right along the Thames Path. Continue with the Thames to your right as far as a gate and path junction. (Photo 6) Turn left here down a wide path with Freeth Meer to your right. Follow the path as it turns right at the end of a field by a Lower Mill Wildlife Information Plaque (Photo 7) and when it bears right after 300 metres leave the path and turn left over a small bridge to another Lower Mill Plaque (Photo 8). Follow the diagonal path across the field with the rugby posts to your left and the hide on Flagham Fenn to your right. Beavers have been introduced to Flagham Fenn and the lake is always teaming with wildlife. You may wish to stop at the hide for a spot of bird- or (at dusk and dawn if you’re very lucky) beaver-watching.
To return to Nightingale House continue to follow the path past the hide as it turns right around Flagham Fenn. You will soon reach a gate into Lower Mill Estate by the ‘Sky Deck’ house. Turn left and Nightingale House is 50 metres away on your left.