There are a surprising number of islands in the Thames. Canvey and Sheppey, of course, but also smaller curiosities: Glover’s Island at Richmond and D’Oyly Carte Island, Weybridge, for example. And less than an hour’s drive from central London is an island which presents visitors with a near perfect retro-Georgian idyll. In 1738, Charles Spencer, great-great-great-great-grandfather of Winston Churchill, bought Monkey Island at Bray to celebrate his love of angling. He built a fishing lodge and a fishing temple. In those days angling was a pursuit of the privileged classes, affording opportunities for contemplation after nights of carousing and days of punting. And let’s not forget that The Admiralty gave Lord Nelson Pharaoh’s Island, also in the Thames near Weybridge, as a fishing retreat to recover after the rigours of battle.