Words by Mo McCoy – Photography by Paul McCambridge
Thomastown sits on the River Nore, as you head out of the town on the R448 crossing the bridge and turning right past the Salmon Pool Bar (closed at time of writing) and, there is roadside parking and beside Grennan Mill Clothing is the laneway access to the Island Weir Swimming area. This is a private laneway which leads to the Swim area and the Craft School, the small parking area down the lane is reserved for craft school attendees only, there is ample parking on the roadside spaces and it’s a pleasant walk.
The swimming area is hugely attractive and family friendly with a large grassy area, picnic tables and hand-painted signage pointing you to Happy Valley Coffee, who do a mean hot chocolate! They source their chocolate from the local chocolatier The Truffle Fairy in the town – another place well worth a visit!
The pool is shallow with easy access from a set of curved stone steps which also serve as comfy seats to perch after your swim. The long narrow pool is flanked by a grassy bank behind which you can hear the rush of the weir water while you swim in the mild flow of the pool.
Life guarded through June, July and August in the afternoons and evenings you will find this popular spot has a steady stream of locals and visitors throughout the day. The old-world charm of the Grennan Mill Craft school with its multi-paned windows and mature gardens sets it all in a calming scene.
As the lane is privately owned, please respect the owners wishes.