13 paddlers avoided the fast flows of the Thames for the calmer waters of the Wey Navigation for this return trip from New Haw lock to Newark lock.
With a leisurely Saturday morning pace we largely had the run of the river, with only a few other boats out across the morning. It was a good chance to see some Autumn colours. Ably led and organised by Ainle, this 8.6 mile trip was well accessible to improvers.
About a half mile in we crossed under the megalith M25 flyover, improved I think by the artistic graffiti on its main pillars, including a Brexit tableau. The one portage at Pyrford lock required a road crossing but bank levels on either side were good.
Our break at Newark Lock allowed us to take in the views of the Newark Abbey ruins – in its heyday the Abbey would have been well placed to harness the riches of the Wey waters. Shortly below Newark Abbey our gazes fell upon the charming onetime riverside home of the metaphysical poet (and Dean of St Paul’s) John Donne.
Ainle had chosen this route well as we were rewarded by a decent lunch stop at the White Hart pub in New Haw, adjacent to our entry point.
As a new Paddler to Hampton this year this was my first club trip off the Thames. Hampton Paddlers are a friendly bunch, generous with paddling tips, and I shall look forward to other trips.
Today’s paddlers were: Áinle, Lewis, Phil, Jana, Jill, Amanda , Sarah, Stephen, Tamra, Deborah, Rick, Neil and Chris