Regarded as one of the most beautiful waterways in Britain, the Basingstoke Canal traverses the Borough from Brookwood to West Byfleet. It was built between 1788 and 1794 to open up routes from London to the coast but was never completed past Basingstoke.
A two-mile stretch from the Wheatsheaf Bridge in the town centre to Kiln Bridge, St Johns, features several bridges, two locks and abundant wildlife and can be accessed from Woking town centre. This stretch is also a conservation area. Alternatively you can access an additional stretch from Boundary Road to Sheerwater which has remains of industrial heritage.
Directions: From Jubilee Square, walk along Gloucester Walk and cross Victoria Way to reach the Bedser Bridge over the canal. Access is also available via Boundary Road and Monument Bridge to the east of the town centre.
Contact: Canal Centre in Mychett 01252 370073
Activities and boat trips are available seasonally freom the canal centre. Guided walks by canal rangers can also be arranged.
The River Wey Navigations
The River Wey provided an essential link with London via the River Thames. It was one of the first rivers in the country to be made navigable; an Act of Parliament in 1651 enabled the stretch from Weybridge to Guildford to become usable and the Wey Navigation opened in 1653.
Built by local land owner Sir Richard Weston, it flows through Woking's villages at West Byfleet, Pyrford and Old Woking. At Pyrford there is a working lock and the Send section has rich wildlife, Triggs Lock and the site of a rural wharf. The river is a conservation area.
Directions: By road to the junction of Lock Lane and Wisley Lane for Pyrford Lock. There is a car park opposite The Anchor public house. The Send section is accessible by foot from Send village.
Contact: National Trust Wey Navigation, Dapdune Wharf, Guildford
The Visitor Centre at Dapdune Wharf has exhibitions, displays and models. Boat trips and boat hire are offered at Byfleet Boat Club, as well as from Dapdune Wharf and Guildford Boat House and horse-drawn trips run from Godalming Wharf.