The private cottage gardens and the communal grounds are a particular feature having been developed and planted by co-owner Nicholas Unwin, whose great-grandfather founded Unwins Seeds. There is an amazing variety of water-loving plants in bloom throughout the year. 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 grounds and the extensive water meadows were the inspiration for the painter, Sir Alfred Munnings, was born here in 1878 and grew up in the Miller’s House. A number of important works such as ‘Path to the Orchard’ were painted here. James Johnston, the other co-owner of Mendham Mill is also Chairman and a trustee of the Munnings Museum in Dedham with its enormous collection of paintings by Sir Alfred Munnings.
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)