East Molesey village guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 14:20 24 August 2015 | UPDATED: 16:04 24 August 2015
Expect a royal affair in East Molesey, as you enjoy the riverside life by the world-famous Hampton Court Palace. Hire a boat and chase the current or settle back and watch the world flow by at a pub or restaurant
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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Did you know?
1 So it’s probably fair to say that East Molesey is most famous for its place in Hampton Court Palace’s postal address, so we’ll get that out the way first. Regular Surrey Life readers will have read plenty about Henry VIII’s favourite palace in the past year, so what might you have missed? How about the world’s largest vine? The Grand Vine has a circumference of 12ft 5in and branches over 100ft long.
2 Oh, and you may also be interested to know that the first tennis court at Hampton Court Palace was built all the way back in the 1500s for Cardinal Wolsey.
3 Hampton Court Palace may dominate things these days, but the historic centre of the area was actually St Mary’s Church and the River Mole.
4 But things go back far further than that. At Hurst Park, excavations show that the area was continuously used from the Neolithic (4000-2200 BC) period. Key features include a late Bronze Age settlement.
5 While West Molesey, Molesey and East Molesey all lie on the Walton Road to Walton-on-Thames, the first hub you get to is at Bridge Road – the shops, pubs and restaurants of which make it a village in its own right.
6 Fancy messing around on boats? Then make sure to head to the East Molesey side of the Lutyens-designed Hampton Court Bridge, where you’ll find the pale blue rowers of J Martin & Son. A short trip down the river takes in views of some beautiful houseboats.
7 The area is a haven for interiors inspiration and unusual ideas, with Moore’s Miscellanea and Hampton Court Emporium certainly among the quirkiest shops.
8 Founded in 1866, Molesey Boat Club has a reputation for international success. Among the most famous current members is Olympic hero Andrew Triggs Hodge. Molesey Regatta takes place every July.
9 Seals have been known to frequent Molesey Lock, presumably taking an underwater tourist detour from their normal life. The lock’s 1905 rebuild was carried out to accommodate the long 200ft naval craft built at Platt’s Eyot, just upstream of the lock.
10 Across the bridge and past Hampton Court Palace and its Lion Gate, you’ll find Bushy Park and its spectacular Diana Fountain and deer herds.
A pocket guide:
Drink at: The Poyntz Arms on Walton Road is known for its live music and Bridge Road’s Prince of Wales is big on boutique brewers.
Eat at: Enjoy a taste of France at Le Chien Qui Fume on Walton Road or Le Petit Nantais on Bridge Road.
Stay at: So you’ll have to get a little lucky for this one but The Georgian House at Hampton Court Palace is available to book through the Landmark Trust. It sleeps eight.