We started with a picnic on the Pleasure Grounds outside the Parsonage and headed past the Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, “A Cathedral in Miniature” on the north side of the lake. The path then meanders through the mature trees (we couldn’t help hugging them) before you reach an elevated section at the end of the lake. At this point you get close to the reeds and wildlife but manage to keep your feet dry.
On the far side of the lake there is a car park, ice-cream van and refreshment concession next to facilities (toilets). This walk is for anyone who can’t go 20 minutes without coffee, sustenance or the loo. Follow the curve of the path over the wooden footbridge over the River Poulter. From here the walking path continues to hug the “lake”, actually a dammed river and work of engineering and artifice which took over four years to create, past faux temples to a weir where kids and dogs can splash on a hot day.
At the end of the lake the once iconic ornamental bridge is surrounded by safety gates after a serious incident of vandalism involving stolen vehicles. Fortunately you can still get through and the bridge will be re-built at some point… We had a Bluebells Luxury ice-cream at the end as the kids were expiring in the heat.
Our slow circular stroll took just over an hour and a half with stops (the route is roughly 4 miles).