The temperature may have been low but January’s Moleside walk was blessed with bright sun and blue skies as we met at the slipway downstream of Walton Bridge. The water looked chilly but the heat from the bright sun gave a glow that made us all delighted to be there.
Led for the first time by Mike Warnock, we were very soon introduced to what we hope Mike will make a feature of the many club walks he is going to lead us on in the future. Having recce’d his route with Steve Mustoe he also had some background research to hand and occasionally he paused to tell us more about what we were looking at.
Leaving the river we were ready to admire the smart homes on the banks of the chilly and slightly flooded Broadwater, as we followed the tree lined path to the outskirts of Weybridge
For a second the 13 of us were joined by Derick & Jane Fulcher’s engagingly, enthusiastic dog Trigger.
But that was just long enough for Llinos John to be able to include him in her photo as we rejoined the Thames path.
Upsteam we continued towards the small island where impressario Richard D’Oyly Carte built his 13 bedroom mansion at the turn of the 19th century. He died in 1901 but I’m sure Mike was able to indicate the price the currently, slightly delapidated property – and its exclusive surroundings – were able to command the last time they were sold in 2021.
Turning downsteam we explored the larger Desborough Island noting another exclusive mansion across the water on the Shepperton bank of the river. Then we crossed the magnificent open spaces before completing our longer walk than we have enjoyed for a long time. It was all made easy by the river – and really enjoyable thanks to Mike’s informative navigation.
By the time we had completed the 5 miles – and a little more – taking us back to the birdlife around Walton Bridge, no one was heard to complain.
And our expedition was completed by most of us enjoying a fine lunch at The Swan where the prize for the biggest helping – he assured us it came as a complete surprise to him – was a succulent ham hock chosen by Paul Walker.
Thanks to Mike and Steve for handling the planning and to Llinos and Derick for their help with the photographs.
Our next walk is on Thursday 16 February.
For reports on all our recent monthly Moleside Walks click on the Tags below.