Woking's waterways

Walkers and cyclists alike benefit from the upgraded towpath along the Basingstoke Canal. Regarded as one of the most beautiful waterways in Britain, the waterway traverses the Borough east to west, 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.

Why not take a ride on the Basingstoke Canal Society's 12-seater trip boat, Kitty? She goes out from Woking Town Wharf - by the Bedser Bridge (between WWF-UK's Living Planet Centre and The Lightbox) - from April to September. The boat is crewed by Society member volunteers, and all funds raised go towards the maintenance of the canal.

The two-mile stretch of the canal from the Bedser Bridge to Kiln Bridge in St Johns, features several bridges, two locks and abundant wildlife. This stretch is also a conservation area. Alternatively, head east to reach the pound between Boundary Road and Sheerwater, which features remains of the canal's industrial heritage.

The canal towpath is a popular route for cyclists, and links with the Borough's network of signposted cycle trails.

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 Byfleet Boat Club offers boats to hire, and the whole river is a conservation area.