TIME: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
SEAT AVAILABILITY: 0
Cruise in the peaceful surroundings of the Basingstoke Canal
The direction the boat goes on the canal is decided by the boat captain on the day based on current conditions.
Trips also available at 1pm and 2.45pm.
Usual trip for Kitty is east from the Town Wharf, immediately on the right is the award-winning The Lightbox Art Gallery and Museum, then we pass under the new pedestrian/cycle turnover bridge. As we head out of town Horsell Common (itself partly an SSSI) to our left, passing on the right the site of the old Spantons Timber Wharf, then past the old gas works winding hole on the left, while the Woking gas works were on the right. We then pass the base of an old crane, before heading past Britannia Wharf on the left.
Shortly after passing under Monument Bridge is the start of the Woodham Hall Estate dating from the 1930s, with a WWII V1 flying bomb crater next to the canal, while on the right the mid-1940’s Sheerwater Estate comes into view, built on the site of Surrey’s largest freshwater lake – now drained. We then turn around and retrace our journey, along this quasi-urban stretch of the canal.
The canal is an SSSI, and not only serves as a local recreational amenity but is also a notable wildlife habitat.
The alkaline water from the chalk springs at the western end of the canal mixing with the acidic water as the canal passes through the Surrey heathlands, has given rise to one of the largest varieties of aquatic plants and invertebrates in the United Kingdom.
As many as 25 of Britain’s 39 species of dragonflies and damselflies inhabit the canal.
You may get lucky and see a kingfisher that is considered to be a lucky bird. You can also see herons swans, ducks, geese, moorhens (often with young) and various local floras.