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The River Wey is one of Surrey’s best kept secrets, a haven of rural tranquillity and wildlife. From our lovely narrowboat you can appreciate the gentle Surrey landscape from a quiet place. The meandering river, the views and open spaces are at times alongside riverside villages such as Send, Pyrford and Ripley. Or if you desire, the larger towns of Godalming, Guildford and Weybridge with their shops, theatres, cinemas and restaurants are readily available. Just moor-up and enjoy.

The surprisingly rural River Wey & Navigation was begun to be built in 1653! It is about half natural river and half canal and is one of the earliest canals in the country.

It originally formed the northern part of the long derelict Wey & Arun Canal and the River Arun entering the English Channel at Littlehampton on the South coast. In 1963 it was donated to the National Trust who also acquired the Godalming Navigation, and restored it, rebuilding many of the locks.

The National Trust is responsible for the River Wey. Via their website, you’ll find lots of information about their work and the range of local activities they organise.

The River Wey Trust also has a web-site with maps to look at:

Our ‘Short Break’ booking will give you time to explore a good part of the River Wey – either head South towards Godalming and then back along. Or first head up to the pretty village of Weybridge just before the opening to the Thames Lock.

Or, if you choose our ‘Week booking’ you’ll have more time to meander and explore. And if you feel like exploring even further there is the Basingstoke Canal to try or a trip up the River Thames.

Whichever you choose, there is plenty of time to unwind at your own pace and enjoy the experience. Please have a look below at some cruising holiday suggestions:

Short break:
From the Cartbridge marina take a left, through the hamlet of Send and through lovely countryside down to Guildford (there’s a mooring right outside the cinema if you fancy a film). Stop off at the National Trust’s Dapdune Wharf. Cross the North Downs Way as you continue to pretty Shalford and then on to this end of the navigation at the small town of Godalming. Turn the boat around at the wharf there and when you’re rested up, head back up towards Weybridge. at the other end of the River. Go through lovely river countryside and the small villages of Ripley, Byfleet and  Pyrford. As you navigate the River you’ll want to stop at the interesting places, but for those of you who relish getting through the locks and clocking up the miles you’ll get to the end of the navigation just after Weybridge at Thames Lock. (Weybridge is itself a lovely village and well worth mooring-up for a night or two) Turn around before the Thames and make your way back down the other side of the river returning to Cartbridge. 

The whole trip above can be done in 3 or 4 days. But it will be much more relaxing and fulfilling if you get into ‘narrowboat’ time on Vita. Forget trying to get from A to B like a car journey, because in a narrowboat it’s the journey itself! There’s so much to see and experience by the river; the ancient trees, the old buildings, the bygone signs and shadows from Cromwell’s time. Travelling in comfort at 2/3 miles an hour you’ll get to see so much…  

One Week:

Go the whole Wey…. Travel the full length of the Wey starting from our mooring at Cartbridge Basin. We are at the half way point on the river, so you could choose to go up River first or down River. A week will let you comfortably and leisurely travel the navigation and give you time to stop and explore. Or If you fancy more adventure you could go all the way up the River Thames to Windsor Castle! (Additional licence needed*). 

Why not have a look Here at the Map of the Wey Navigation.

The Basingstoke Canal (additional licence needed*)

The Basingstoke Canal was opened in 1794 to carry agricultural produce from Basingstoke to London via the rivers Wey and Thames. It passes through wonderful countryside in Surrey and Hampshire.

By the mid 1960’s the Canal had fallen derelict and the campaign for restoration began. Today the Canal is in public ownership with 32 miles and 29 locks from King John’s Castle to the Wey Navigation, restored and linked once again into the 2,000 miles of British inland waterways. The vast majority of the canal is designated a “Site of Special and Scientific Interest” (S.S.S.I.), acknowledging the Canal’s reputation as an outstanding site for aquatic plant life, animal life and dragonfly habitat.

Architectural features of the canal include the carefully restored canal bridges, the 1,000ft long Ash Embankment, including the aqueduct over the new A331 and the Greywell Tunnel, home to many species of bats. The tunnel collapsed in 1932 and is a barrier to onward navigation to the original terminus at Basingstoke. However you can peer into its gloomy depths and the water here is very clear with white sands and you may be lucky to see one of the natural springs bubbling up in the canal bed, which help to keep the canal in water. Also at the western end of the canal you can visit the remains of King John’s 13th century castle from where he rode out to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. The Deepcut flight has 14 evenly spaced locks and in the often chilly 1000 metre long Deepcut cutting is very deep and overhung with trees.

* Our craft are licensed for cruising all the River Wey from Godalming to Thames Lock. This gives 20 miles of navigation to explore and 16 locks and bridges to navigate – quite an adventure for one of our short breaks. If you take a longer holiday and want to cruise on the Basingstoke Canal or River Thames too, then you will need to purchase an additional licence at the first lock on the River Thames or pre-book it with those authorities direct when they can give more accurate river conditions to river users. This cost is around £40 for the Basingstoke for a week and the Thames is around £65 for a week or around £40 for the single day.

Please note that because of occasional restrictions, boats may not always be able to visit The Basingstoke Canal – please check with them direct on 01252 370073 and then purchase the relevant licence. 

The River Thames to Windsor or Hampton Court and return (extra licence required for River Thames*).

  • Hampton Court Palace – Hampton Court Palace Gardens are beautifully constructed and maintained, making them an unmissable attraction. Open all year round except Christmas & Boxing Day.
  • Thorpe Park – Test your nerves – and stomach… Open Easter to beginning November.
  • Runnymede Park – This lovely Park offers modern play equipment, a paddling pool, café and children’s amusements, with excellent frontage to the River Thames. The Park is opposite Runnymede Meadow and is home to the memorial commemorating the sealing of the Magna Carta.
  • Windsor – For all your eating, shopping and entertainment needs.
  • Windsor Castle – Can you guess who lives here?.
  • Legoland – Children can take to the road, soar through the skies and sail the seas. With over 50 interactive rides, live shows, building workshops, driving schools and attractions, all set in 150 acres of beautiful parkland, LEGOLAND Windsor is a different sort of family theme park. Open from Easter to beginning of November 

Recommended Reading…

The River Wey

Cruising Guide to The Thames 

Information for Thames Boaters