May 092016


The Basingstoke Canal Society and the Historic Narrow Boat Club would like to invite boaters to join them in celebrating their respective 50th Anniversaries at the Woking Canal Festival, on August 6th/7th 2016.

This looks set to be a spectacular event, with many historic boats expected to attend during a weekend of celebrations.

2016 also marks 25 years since the Basingstoke was formally re-opened in May 1991. This significant milestone will also be celebrated at the Festival.

The Festival site at Brookhouse Common, Woking, has been chosen on a section of the Canal that benefits from back-pumping, should this be needed, and is also very close to Woking Town Centre. Many boats are likely to be visiting the Canal for this event – not least the possibly 40 or so of those owned by the Historic Narrow Boat Club.

In order to maximise water resources, it is important that all boats are booked in with the Basingstoke Canal Authority (BCA) in advance. This is because, as many will be aware, the limited water supplies to the Basingstoke Canal have to be managed carefully. Links to the application forms and other useful information can be found below.

We hope that after the Festival event it will be possible for you to cruise the whole length of the Canal, a total of 32 miles from West Byfleet in Surrey to Greywell in Hampshire and 29 locks (6 of which you will have passed through to get to the Festival site). However your plans in this respect will most likely be governed by the amount of rainfall and seasonal temperatures over the next 10 weeks. Keep an eye on the BCA website for navigational guidance.

2015_3842emApplication for Festival Cruising Licence

The Basingstoke Canal Authority (BCA) has requested that visiting boaters hoping to attend the Festival complete and return to them with payment a licence application form, giving your details and your preferred dates for accessing the lock flights so that your visit can be scheduled in:


Please note: local boaters who already possess an appropriate navigation licence for the Basingstoke should complete the following alternative form:

Ideally, the BCA would prefer that all bookings be made by the closing date of 30 June 2016. This will help with locking scheduling, and also with the identification of mooring locations (you will be allocated a mooring space appropriate for your boat nearer the time).


For more information and further questions regarding your initial booking, please call the Basingstoke Canal Centre on 01252-370073, or email them.

The local harbour master for the Festival will be Phil Hardyman, who is available to respond to boating-related queries and questions from local boaters. He can be contacted by email.

For all other information regarding the Festival, please contact Dick King on the Woking Canal Festival helpline 01730 264178 or by email.

2014_1870emPractical Matters

There will be no piped water at the Festival site (we did try to arrange this but unfortunately it was not possible). There will however be a bowser available on the site from 3rd – 10th August. It is recommended that before arriving at Basingstoke Canal you top up your tanks on the River Wey Navigation at any of the locations indicated in the River Wey Guidance for boaters booklet, p17.

Once on the Basingstoke, the nearest water points are opposite the Bridge Barn pub (just over a mile upstream from the Festival site), and at Brookwood Country park (5 locks and 3 miles upstream) – see the Basingstoke Canal Boaters Information Pack.

The nearest pump-out facility before arrival on the Basingstoke Canal is at Molesey Lock and at Pyrford marina (again, see the River Wey boaters guide). Once on the Basingstoke itself, there is a facility at the Canal Centre in Mytchett (some 22 locks and 9 miles upstream from the Festival site).

For Elsan toilets there will be a collection tank on the Festival site from 29th July to 12th August, and also the facility at Bridge Barn.

There are various rubbish disposal points along both the Basingstoke Canal and Wey Navigation, however there are none between the junction of the Wey and the Festival site. It is recommended that you dispose of your rubbish before arrival on the Basingstoke. There will be limited rubbish collection on the Festival site itself  and at the Bridge Barn facility.

Useful Links

The following links should provide much of the information boaters will need. If you still have questions, please refer to the contacts list above.