Days Out – Merton Abbey Mills

After our visit to Morden Hall Park and introducing Master ATWWAH to the wonder of a water wheel (albeit one which didn’t work) we had a week of conversations about water wheels and why some worked and some didn’t.  You would think there was only so much you could say about a water wheel but Master ATWWAH ensured the subject was never completely exhausted.

As Mr ATWWAH is a fan of knowing how things work and encouraging any spark of enthusiasm Master ATWWAH has for this we headed off to Merton Abbey Mills as they have a working water wheel.  It is located on the River Wandle in south west London and is an arts and crafts village with market stalls, places to eat and the working watermill (or water wheel as we call it)

We headed straight for the water wheel, which is free to view, and it didn’t disappoint.  Master ATWWAH loved being able to get up close to it and insisted we both take it in turns to pick him up so he got a good view.  You can look at it from both the inside and outside of the watermill, apparently the inside is better as you can get closer to it.  There is quite a bit of information on signage in the watermill to explain what is going on and a lady who worked in the shop happily answered Master ATWWAH’s questions, his most pressing one being ‘does it still turn at night?’ and the answer is no, the wheel only works on the weekend and only in the day.

water wheel

You can’t get much closer

close up

Determined to get as close as possible

He was fascinated by the waders which were propped up and couldn’t believe anyone would need wellies this long to go in the river.  Look out for the decomposed rat on discreet display too, yes really.

water wheel

Admiring the view

There is also a pottery studio in the watermill and you can buy some of their pieces as well as watch the potters.  And if you are really interested they hold lessons on the weekend for anyone who wants to learn how to work the potters wheel.  Lessons are open to anyone aged 8+, more details on their website.


Pots of every description

Despite living reasonably close we have never visited Merton Abbey Mills before.  We were surprised to find a really sweet children’s theatre there, The Colour House Children’s Theatre, which is open every weekend with two shows a day.  They are currently performing The Jungle Book until 12 April 2015 with Alice In Wonderland starting on the 25 April.  We’ll definitely be heading there to give one of those a go.

Although it is billed as a weekend market when we went there weren’t many market stalls, a couple of food stalls, a second hand retro toys stall and a couple of fashion stalls.  We did get there on a Sunday afternoon though so maybe there are more earlier on in the day.  There are also a few shop units too as well as a yoga massage place, tattoo parlour, photographers studio and personal training studio.

If you’re peckish there are a few options for food including Thai, Caribbean, Italian and Brazilian restaurants, cafes and a carvery.

To make a full day out of it I’d definitely recommend a visit combined with one of the other attractions in the area such as Morden Hall Park, Deen City Farm or a wander along the River Wandle.  For those of you who are very brave there is also an Eddie Catz soft play a few minutes walk away.

If you liked this post you will probably find these interesting too:

A trip to the National Gallery

A day at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich

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  1. Oh, it looks great, I think we’ll need to book this in at some point for a family outing 🙂

  2. We love Modern Hall Park and Abbey Mills – do you live nearby? I used to live just down the road – but we still go there on occasions

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