Skip to content

River Wey Navigations boat trips

Visitors enjoying a boat trip on the Dapdune Belle boat at River Wey
A boat trip on the Dapdune Belle at River Wey | © National Trust Images/Derek Croucher

Discover the different lengths of the River Wey Navigations on a boat trip or enjoy a leisurely walk along the towpath, looking out for wildlife at the water’s edge. Find out how to book a boat trip, where to walk, and wildlife you can spot here.

Boat trips from Dapdune Wharf

Experience the River Wey by water and discover the history of the river navigations on a boat trip from Dapdune Wharf. You can book the whole boat, or individual tickets - see the booking page.

Boat trips run from Dapdune Wharf from Thursday to Monday during our open season. The trips take about 40 minutes, and leave at 11am, 11.50am, 12.40pm, 2pm, 2.50pm and 3.40pm. There is a maximum of 12 people plus the skipper on Dapdune Belle, the bookable boat, 10 on Sir Richard Weston and eight on Seewey. The second two boats are used for walk-ups when we have additional skippers.

For whole boat bookings, there are two boat trips to choose from: the Time Traveller and the River Watch. Time Traveller takes you upstream into Guildford town centre, looking at the history of the Wey Navigation and its impact on the development of Guildford. The River Watch trip goes downstream towards Stoke Lock, offering a different view of Guildford and its surrounding area and looking out for wildlife such as kingfishers.

Useful information for boat trips

  • Trips should be booked online in advance to guarantee a trip. We can sometimes accommodate pay-on-the-day trips, but this cannot be guaranteed.
  • When the river is in flood, we're unable to operate the boat.
  • Ticket charges apply to all people over one year old.
  • We're sorry, but we're unable to take dogs on the boat trips.
  • Please go to the ticket hut on arrival.

Walking along the towpath

There are many different trails along the River Wey, with most trails taking in different lengths of the towpath, but you can also explore the local countryside to enjoy far-reaching views of the North Downs.

Man standing on the footbridge over the River Wey near Bowers Lock, Surrey, at River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf
Man standing on the footbridge over the River Wey near Bowers Lock | © National Trust Images/John Miller

The River Wey lengths

Each length of the River Wey Navigation is different, passing historic locks, once-urban areas and rural plains. Here are some highlights to look out for as you explore the navigations.

Catteshall Lock

Catteshall Lock is the first lock on the Godalming Navigation. From here you can see the ancient Lammas lands – historic common land on the floodplain, where ownership was marked by dole stones. Two of these still remain – can you find them?

St Catherine's length

St Catherine's length runs from the once industrial hamlet of Broadford, curving around the sharp bends under St Catherine's Hill, giving you a glimpse of the golden sands that gave Guildford its name, to Millmead Lock in the centre of town.

Stoke length

Stoke length is where the creation of the Wey Navigation started. Sir Richard Weston first cut an artificial channel in 1618, from where the Rowbarge Inn now stands, to the new lock at Stoke, and then three miles beyond across his land. The original lock controlled the water used to flood the meadows.

Triggs length

Triggs length is the most rural length along the Navigation. You may see roe deer scurrying about in the fields on either side of the river, kestrels and parakeets above and a good variety of bats and owls at night.

Walsham length

Walsham length is a man-made section of the navigation running from Pyrford Lock to Send. Although it's one of the shortest lengths, it's also one of the prettiest, with the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley forming the backdrop to the natural river.

New Haw length

New Haw length was once an urban length of the navigation but is now suburban, with only the noise of the M25 passing overhead at Byfleet. You’ll see plenty of unusual buildings along this length with Coxes Mill, the Grist Mill at Parvis Wharf and traditional rowing clubhouses backing onto the waterway.

Wildlife to look out for

The urban oasis of the River Wey and Godalming Navigations is an important green corridor amidst the bustle of modern-day Surrey. The banks and waterway support a rich variety of wildlife, so whether you're on a walk or in a boat, keep your eyes peeled for the natural world around you.

A group of teenagers kneeling on the bank dip fishing nets on poles into the water to explore water wildlife at River Wey, Surrey
Teenagers dip fishing nets on poles into the water at River Wey | © National Trust Images/Derek Croucher

Plants and habitats

The towpath along the River Wey is edged with a variety of plants which create habitats for a wealth of wildlife. As a man-made thoroughfare, the habitat structure is largely man-made too, and we manage these plants to ensure access and encourage wildlife along the towpath.

Species common to most lengths include cuckoo flower, meadowsweet, hemp-agrimony, and purple loosestrife. You might also see a pink flower called Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant that is bashed to protect other plants in the area, including the orange balsam.

Bat spotting at night

Bats are by far the most numerous canal mammals. Several species, including Daubenton’s and pipistrelle, roost in canal structures along the River Wey and forage for insects over the water, the towpath and along the adjoining corridor.

The pipistrelle is the most common British species of bat and is also the smallest. It flies high and appears jerky as it dodges to catch insects in flight. The Daubenton’s is slightly bigger and is often seen flying a few centimetres above the water, taking insects from close to the surface – hence their common name, the ‘water bat’. They make summer roosts in trees and bridges along the towpath.

Visitors on a boat trip at River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf, Surrey. The shot is taken from inside the boat with a rear view of passengers, and there is another boat coming along the river, with a warehouse-type building in the background on the right.

Book a boat trip on the River Wey Navigations

Boat trips run six times a day from Thursday to Monday, when the Wharf is open (March-November) and tickets (£70 for Trust members and non-members for the whole boat, individual fares are also available) are available for the whole season. You can also buy a licence to use your own canoe/kayak/paddleboard here.

You might also be interested in

Trees are reflected in the water, with a narrowboat moored on the right bank of the River Wey near Bowers Lock, Surrey, at River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf

River Wey information for boat users 

Take in the beautiful Surrey scenery by boating along the River Wey Navigation. Find information for boat users and licences here.

Four kayakers paddle along the River Wey at River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf, Surrey

River Wey information for portable craft 

Paddling along the River Wey Navigations is a great way to explore this historic waterway. Find information for paddlers and licences here.

A halved fruit scone on a plate topped with jam and clotted cream, and a plate of fruit scones

Eating and shopping at River Wey 

Enjoy a range of refreshments at the tea-room or browse the second-hand bookshop at Dapdune to discover your next favourite read.

Girls playing outdoor giant jenga during the Wey River Festival at River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf, Surrey

Family-friendly things to do at River Wey Navigations and Dapdune Wharf 

Bring your family to Dapdune Wharf for a boat trip, family fun or to browse the award-winning Bookshed, packed to the rafters with a wonderful variety of second-hand books, all donated by visitors and local communities around the River Wey. Enjoy a cream tea in the café or have a run around the island.

Kayaking on Lake Windermere on New Years day at Fell Foot, Lake District, Cumbria

Best places to go kayaking and canoeing 

From open seas to meandering rivers and lakes, there are plenty of spots where you can kayak or canoe. Find the top places in our care for water sports.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

Visitors exploring the rocks in the Owler Tor area of Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

Outdoor activities 

Searching for a new outdoor activity to try? Discover the best places in our care for outdoor activities, including off-road cycle tracks, walking trails and lakes and coastlines for water sports.