Attingham Park river reflections walk
The two bridges make this a perfect walk for pausing to take a photo, and you might even spot some of the river’s wildlife along the way.
A perfect autumnal walk
Admire the changing colours of the landscape and skies reflected in the river Tern. Take this looping walk around the river to see the autumn colours rippling across the water, from the greens of early autumn to the peaches, pinks and pale blue washes of autumn sunsets.
From the car park make your way through the Stables Courtyard past the cottage garden and bear right. Take the cut-through on your left and bear left at the fork in the path by the cedars to join the Mile Walk along the riverside.
As you walk along the riverside, look out for the changing reflections of the deer park in the waters of the river Tern. The river Tern is about 30 miles long, and home to wildlife of all sorts, from ducks, swans and otters to dragonflies.
The River Tern
Without human intervention, this river would be more of a stream - it owes its size to dams and locks that were put in in the 1700s. These features were installed to allow access to the ironworks which were situated on the river near the bridges - these closed by 1754.
Take the path bearing right at the single cedar, following signs for the Deer Park Walk.
At the junction, continue to follow signs for the Deer Park Walk as you walk along the path through the trees.
Cross the cable stay bridge across the River Tern and enter the woodland. This bridge is a great location to stop and admire the reflections in the water – if you’re lucky you may also spot an otter at this end of the river.
This walk is ideal for taking some reflective photos - why not come towards the end of our opening hours in autumn to catch some incredible colours above and below you on this bridge?
At this junction follow the signs for the shortcut to leave the woodland and enter the deer park by the river. Continue along this grassy track.
As you walk along the track, the area between you and the river is a water meadow. This area of land was designed to be continuously damp to improve the soil, and in the mid 1700s was used for strip farming, a system a little like our modern allotments where strips of adjacent land belonged to different people.
The grass track leads you towards the large deer park gates. At this point you can extend your walk by following the instructions under point 8, or head towards the end of the route by skipping to point 9.
A man-made lake
When Humphrey Repton was working on the landscape, he aimed to impress visitors with grand views. He dammed the river Tern at several points to artificially widen it so that it appeared more like a lake in front of the mansion. By the mid 1800s, these dams had been taken down and the river had a more natural appearance.
Walk extension. Continue forward past the gates and follow the yellow-tipped stakes, which will take you under Tern Bridge, giving you a fantastic view of the mansion from the riverside. Re-trace your steps until you reach the deer park gates once more. This route may be closed in bad weather as floods are likely.
Built to impress
Tern Bridge was constructed around 1780, when the first Lord Berwick moved the main London to Holyhead road further from his house, Tern Hall. The bridge also frames the mansion (Attingham Hall was built around Tern Hall in 1782) in a view designed to wow visitors. See if you can spot the carved faces on each side.
Leave the deer park through the gates, and cross the two bridges over the river Tern. These are ideal places to pause and take some photographs of the reflections in the water - or to enjoy a game of pooh sticks!
Continue along the path past the front of the Regency mansion. To round off your walk with a warming cuppa, remain on the path until the mansion tea-room is on your right. If you're coming later in the day please check our website for its opening hours as these vary monthly.
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