Canal Trips in Surrey: An excursion back to a calmer time; a chance to let nature drift quiet by.
One of Surrey’s best kept secrets is the River Wey. On a narrowboat you’ll appreciate the stunning Surrey landscape from a different angle. Apart from the tranquil meandering river, the views, open spaces and wildlife, you’ll enjoy riverside villages. Watch Send, Pyrford and Ripley or the larger towns of Godalming, Guildford and Weybridge drift passed.
The rural tranquillity of this river will be a surprise. Especially when considering that it is at the heart of commuter-land and within sight, at one point of the M25. Historically, this is a fascinating waterway, being one of the first canalised rivers in the country, dating back to 1653. The National Trust today owns and maintains the 20 miles of navigable river and it’s 16 locks. Their Exhibition Centre at Dapdune Wharf in Guildford is well worth a visit.
In 1816, The Wey & Arun Junction Canal opened to great fanfare, linking the Wey Navigation near Guildford to the south coast via the Arun Navigation.
Conceived during the Napoleonic Wars, the Canal was intended to provide a safe, efficient route from London to Portsmouth to carry goods supplying the dockyards. In its heyday, the Canal did carry many tons of cargo but the end of the war with France, and the arrival of the railways, sounded the death knell for the Wey & Arun as a business. The canal was formally closed in 1871.
200 years after it opened, over 3,000 members and volunteers worked to reopen the Wey & Arun Canal for leisure.
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust runs three trip boats. The electrically powered boat, Wiggonholt, is wider than a conventional narrow-boat and can accommodate up to 48 passengers. It has an access lift for passengers with mobility difficulties. (Please note that mobility impaired passengers should make themselves known to the boat crew or ticket office at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time). The boats cruise along the idyllic Loxwood Link section of the canal on the Surrey/West Sussex border.
To visit the Wey and Arun Canal by coach contact Holt Services