Promotional feature: The Wey and Arun Canal was built in 1816 to link the Rivers Wey and Arun to form an inland barge route between London and the south coast.
It was used to transport valuable cargo (gold bullion, gunpowder, coal, bricks, chalk and agricultural produce) until the coming of the railways. It was formally abandoned in 1871 but most of the original canal route is still identifiable. Since 1971 the Wey and Arun Canal Trust has been working to re-open navigation along this 23 mile waterway.
The Trust has several on-going restoration projects, and lengths of the canal are now in water. Scenic boat trips can be enjoyed along the idyllic restored section of the canal at Loxwood, on the Surrey/West Sussex border. This is life in the slow lane and there may be a chance of catching sight of kingfishers, swans, dragonflies and other wildlife plus an abundance of wild flowers. The boats travel through locks and some very pretty wooded and arable countryside. And, if you go far enough, you will even experience travelling on an aqueduct too!
Public boat trips are scheduled to run every weekend between April and October from The Wharf beside the Canal Centre. Alternatively a boat can be chartered for a private cruise which can be organized with flexible departure times and a choice of trip lengths (a maximum of 3.5 hours). The electrically powered boat Wiggonholt can accommodate up to 50 passengers and has an access lift for people with mobility issues. Our smaller narrowboats include Zachariah Keppel which is suitable for groups of up to 27 passengers and Josias Jessop which can accommodate smaller parties of up to 12 passengers.
Light refreshments are available for purchase on board, or picnics may be brought onto the boats. Alternatively, ploughman’s and cream teas can be arranged with the Onslow Arms public house (situated beside the wharf).
In addition to scheduled boat trips, a variety of special themed events are run throughout the year. These include Mothering Sunday, Easter, Pirates & Princesses Adventures, Father’s Day ‘Bacon Butty Brunch’, sunset cruises, cream teas, Pimm’s & Posh Ploughman’s, Halloween and Santa.
This is a beautiful area for walking, cycling and a range of activities such as photography and bird watching. It encompasses the long distance Wey South Path; further information and useful walking guides are available.
The Wey and Arun Canal Trust, Loxwood, Billingshurst, RH14 0RD