Unsurprisingly, water features heavily in these gardens. Mendham Mill sits in 8 acres of beautiful lawns and gardens, among several hundred acres of water meadows. Although each cottage has its own private garden we also encourage guests to make use of the extensive grounds and we have placed several sets of tables and chairs in different parts of the grounds to make the best of the views. Whether you like the sun or the shade, open views or ‘secret’, hidden spots, there is something for everyone.
The painter, Sir Alfred Munnings, was born here in 1878 and grew up in the Miller’s House. He was greatly influenced by the landscape surrounding the mill and a number of important works were painted here. James Johnston, one of the current owners of Mendham Mill is Chairman of the Munnings Museum in Dedham. Nicholas Unwin, the other owner, is the great-grandson of the founder of Unwins Seeds and he is responsible for much of the current appearence of the gardens here.
There is plenty of wildlife to see. Kingfishers and otters seem to give the most delight. Be patient and you may well see both. Children will find several friendly ducks to feed.
There is excellent river fishing available from over 800m of riverbank in the grounds of the Mill. Despite otters and the herons the river is teeming with fish; plenty of perch, roach, chub and pike (including some over 20lb). Between these three, the main river, millstream and a small stream which leads into the main river there is variety to suit every condition and weather. Bait is available locally. Anglers must hold a valid Environment Agency rod licence (which can be obtained online or from the local post office).
Explore the river by canoe or rowing boat
The River Waveney is beautiful and unspoiled. Even in high summer you might easily spend a day on the river and encounter no-one else. We have three Canadian canoes and a rowing boat, all suitable for family use, and a full range of buoyancy aids from the smallest infant through to adults. We can give you some help if you’ve not canoed before so you won’t just go round and round in circles! Paddle quietly along the river and you may well see otters, barn owls and kingfishers. For the energetic, there are canoe portage points at each of the weirs along the river enabling you to lift out the canoe and carry it past the weir, potentially making the whole river navigable. (Link to canoe guide)