Things To Do In Surrey. Boating Reviews.
|Date Added: February 15, 2010 05:47:58 PM|
|Author: Rudolf Koch|
|Category: Boat Hire|
Boating in Surrey
Surrey is a county worth exploring by boat. Hire-boats are available from the bases on the Basingstoke Canal and the neighbouring River Wey and River Thames. Boats can cruise on the Basingstoke Canal for approximately 32 miles, running upstream from West Byfleet to the collapsed tunnel at Greywell.
The River Wey is navigable for 19 miles from the River Thames at Weybridge through rural tranquillity that belies its closeness to the heart of London.
The Wey & Godalming Navigation is in the care of the National Trust, which encourages multi-activity usage. There are interactive exhibitions at Dapdune Wharf, and all manner of boating activity from rowing boats and a horse-drawn trip boat to river trips and narrow boat hire.
One of the most famous rivers in the world, the Thames runs for 217 miles from source to sea and is steeped in lore along virtually its entire route.
Rights of navigation were laid down in Magna Carta, but the river's history extends much further. Festivals and rituals such as the Boat Race, Henley Regatta and the annual Swan Upping imbue a character found nowhere but Old Father Thames.
Under the authority of the Environment Agency, the non-tidal Thames can be navigated for 135 miles from Cricklade to Teddington Lock, passing through 44 picturesque locks and near almost 150 wildlife sites. You can discover it by boat or from the Thames Path, one of Britain's most popular National Trails.
Boaters have enjoyed trips from Guildford to Weybridge on the River Wey since it first opened to barge traffic in 1653. Just over 100 years later, the opening of Godalming Navigation completed the current 20-mile navigable stretch. The site of peaceful narrow boat cruises today, this waterway was once considered the fastest and easiest route into London. It became a busy trade route and frequently transported merchant goods including gunpowder into the capital.
In its heyday, Dapdune Wharf was a bustling boat-building and repair yard complete with a ford, workers cottages and a hand-operated crane. Today, the National Trust site in Guildford tells the detailed story of the navigations and of the people who lived and worked on them. Visitors learn how the original Wey barges were constructed and then climb aboard the 'Reliance' - one of few surviving and restored barges.