We parked in Middle Street and followed the footpath sign on the corner to walk along by the river that was high and flowing fast after weeks of heavy rain. The willows were coming into leaf and looked a lovely fresh green. Yellow kingcup flowers added a bright yellow splash along the banks and in the fields, and the delicate pink cuckoo flower (also known as Milk Maids) was also dotted about in the meadows. Yellow Brimstones were flitting about here and there. May bushes were in flower and the blackbirds were in full song.
The path is popular for city walkers and is well worn, winding through the water meadows and crossing the River Nader. Here and there willows are bent and broken laying across the flowing water. As we neared Lower Bemerton we could see the small herd of Highland Cattle, that are kept there, grazing in the fields.
After crossing the last bridge we turned right and took the road at Lower Bemerton and on past the busy and noisy Churchfields Industrial Estate. At the end of the road we turned right by the roundabout and walked towards the town path. We stopped on the way to peer through the wrought iron gates of the Secret Garden that were unfortunately not open.
We walked along town path with lovely views of the Cathedral on our left until we reached The Old Mill Hotel at Harnham. We stopped here and sat in the garden in the warming sunshine where we enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea and much chat.
Looking up at dark clouds in the sky we moved on into Lower Street to make our way back to the cars. We walked briefly around the Middle Street Nature Reserve meadows, where a swan was nesting, returning to our cars just before a cloud burst of rain descended!
The walk took about two hours, though without the tea break would have taken about one and a half hours at a very moderate pace. It was approximately two and a half to three miles in length.