Messing About On The River

Our Group Operations Manager, Law Clark, tells us what it’s like to live on a houseboat in East Molesey - and the importance of investing in a thick fleece jacket during the winter months

Where do you live?
I’m originally from Durban in South Africa, but 15 years ago I moved over to London and began temping for Jackson-Stops; 15 years on and here I am living on a house boat in beautiful East Molesey, with a mooring on Ash Island, just 450m from Hampton Court Palace.

Why did you settle here?
I bought my first flat in Hanworth 10 years ago and enjoyed the easy commute to my Jackson-Stops’ office in Richmond, which was just a 40 minute cycle ride. I often spent weekends walking by the River and I began thinking about making my dream of living on a houseboat a reality. I now feel lucky to live in a beautiful houseboat that’s within a 20 minute cycle ride through Bushy Park to my Jackson-Stops’ office in Teddington.

What’s involved in living on the water?
More than you might expect! A residential mooring is a must, an Environment Agency Licence, boat insurance, constant maintenance – and an appreciation of spiders! However, all of that is more than made up by the fact that I get to wake up and look out to life on the River every morning. Last year, I watched a goose nesting and even got to see her three goslings hatch. That was quite special. You notice the seasons a lot more by living closer to nature and I feel very privileged when I see a swan take flight, a row of ducks waddling by and get to take in the gorgeous sunsets. I haven’t seen them for myself yet, but there have even been seal sightings in the Thames; no two days are ever the same.

What are the downsides?
Winter can be pretty chilly! I had a problem with my boiler last year and I was certainly glad I’d invested in a warm fleece and a thick duvet for the colder winter months. Oh, and maintenance, did I mention the constant maintenance?

Tell us a bit about your area
This whole area has so much to offer to people of all stages of life. As well as being a fabulous location in its own right, East Molesey itself is also incredibly well-linked to other areas nearby such as Teddington, Hampton Esher and Kingston. I can be on the River paddling past Hampton Court Palace in the morning, then meeting a friend in a fabulous cafe on Bridge Road by lunchtime. The area has some wonderful antique and bric-a-brac shops, though I am fairly limited on space on the house boat and have to restrain myself! Bushy Park is a beautiful place to walk and cycle, while Kingston is just a short bus ride away, with its massive range of shops, cafes and restaurants. All this, combined with a train from Hampton Court into central London means that I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.


If you are interested in living on or by the River, get in touch with your waterside specialist, Robert King, who heads up our Thames & Tributaries department. Robert and his family have lived by the River Thames for many years and he would be delighted to assist with any aspect of buying, sourcing or selling a waterside property.