top of page

Top tips for enjoying the river

You might have heard about the importance of green spaces, but did you know 'blue spaces' actually offer us a whole range of health and social benefits? The UK government did a study in 2021 to prove it. But how exactly do we use the 'blue space' we have in Frome? We've put together some top tips to help.

Take a stroll

You can walk along a decent portion of the river Frome through town and beyond. Try starting at Adderwell and following the river out through town into to Whatcombe Fields. A footpath covers most of this route, apart from the bit from Wallbridge to Adderwell (you might need wellies there if it's been raining!), and you can stay fairly close to the river.

We've put together a rough map but like all walking in nature – use your common sense.

A screengrab of a map of a walk along the river Frome.

BE AWARE: The Adderwell to Wallbridge section of the path is under dispute right now. There is an application in with Somerset Council to make it a right of way (as there is lots of evidence it's been using continuously for a long while) but it could take years for this to be granted. For now it is still accessible, but you have to climb a gate at the end of The Retreat. It is a beautiful section of the river, full of wildlife, so it's worth walking it.

Watch for wildlife

The river is home to lots of wildlife, from kingfishers to otters. A walk is a great way to spot critters but it's also worth pausing and spending half an hour just watching. We love heading down to Rodden Meadow to do just that, there are lovely views and good access to the river. Kingfishers have been spotted along this stretch of the water, and plenty of other birds call the meadow home – including woodpeckers. Listen out for their distinctive brrr against the trees.

A photo of two otters playing.
An otter and kit play at Welshmill, caught on camera by Tony.

Try out swimming or water sports (after checking the water!)

Frome has an active canoe club based just on the edge of the town centre. We know paddling and dipping is also popular and people swim in the river at Farleigh Hungerford.

We're often asked at Friends of the River Frome if it's safe to swim (indeed our chairman Mike wrote a whole article about it!) in the river, but there's no easy answer. On one hand we know the river is polluted, we know people have become unwell after swimming, and we know there's junk and debris in the river. On the other hand we also know people do swim in the river and enjoy all the benefits of swimming and being literally immersed in nature. It's for each individual to weigh up the risks. All we would say is if you do choose to dip, don't swallow any water and cover up any open cuts. And of course follow safety advice about swimming in a wild place.

You can also check whether sewage has recently been released into the river using The Rivers Trust tool Is My River Fit to Play In.

Always remember we share the river

Lots of other living things – plants and animals – live on or along the river, and it's vital we look out for them when enjoying the river. Take all your litter home, avoid disturbing the river bank (use access points instead), and if you see wildlife observe it from a good distance. For more advice check out the Waterside Code.


bottom of page