I spent the majority of my childhood growing up in Surrey. I probably have rose-tinted memories of life there, but it’s certainly a time when I felt happy. Before teenage meltdowns, before we moved to Oxfordshire. I was so excited when we revisited a childhood haunt in the summer. I’d seem a post from Charly at PODCast and knew I had to return to Frensham Ponds. So this week’s summer of fun post takes me back to memories of pond dipping and paddling over 30 plus years ago.
Frensham Great Pond and Frensham Little Pond are fairly close together on either side of Frensham Common. We’d been out for the day in Surrey and I decided we’d make a detour on our way home. We started at Frensham Great Pond; it has a large car park and is free on Sundays. As the name suggests it’s the larger of the two ponds. There is an Information Hut and toilets and a large area for paddling, relaxing and even at 4 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon in August, it was busy.
Monkey was amazed to find a beach. Mummy look!
Sadly, we were ill prepared for making sand castles as this was a last minute addition to our day. But Monkey soon found a stick and he was happy with that.
He loved digging around in the sand. For Daddy P and Monkey it was rather bizarre to be on a beach in the middle of Surrey. For me, all the years just rolled away, all the memories came flooding back.
I went for a wander whilst the men tried to dig through to Australia!
They were having a wonderful time and it wasn’t long before Monkey caught the attention of a rather inquisitive swan!
I do love swans but I’m also a little wary, especially when they get as close as this one. Every time we retreated, the swan came too. Monkey thought it was great fun, I wasn’t so sure. In the end the swam discovered an abandoned sun hat which was clearly more interesting than a boy with a stick!
Time was cracking on and I really wanted to visit Frensham Little Pond before we needed to head home. Frensham Little Pond is run by the National Trust, and is where we spent most of our visits as children. It’s quieter, a nature reserve and the perfect place for Guru Gramps the bug hunter and my brother and I when we were kids.
We parked up on the outskirts of the heathland surrounding Frensham Little Pond and set out in search of the water.
Walking through the heathland was such a trip down memory lane for me. I spent the vast majority of my childhood running around in the heather, chasing butterflies and dragonflies. I miss this landscape, the landscape of my youth.
Mummy water! Yes this is what I really remember, searching for dragonflies in the tall grasses at the edge of the pond. Happy memories.
Monkey loved having the freedom to roam, whilst remembering to keep away from the edge of the water. I told him stories of my childhood, time spent with Guru Gramps. I don’t think Monkey can fully compute that once Mummy was little too!
Frensham Little Pond is definitely my favourite of the two ponds, it’s more about the scenery, the nature and tranquility. Well, it was peaceful until Monkey arrived. He loves dragonflies, but is at that age where it is far more fun to chase them, than to be quiet and let Mummy photograph them! These male Black-lined Darter dragonflies were everywhere, and with Monkey around I was lucky to grab a shot at all.
It was soon time to head off to Farnham for dinner before the drive back to Oxfordshire.
We’d spent a lovely few hours running around, having fun, reliving my childhood. We’ll be back to properly explore both ponds again.