Wednesday 17 June 2015

We are now coming to the end of our (almost) three weeks on the River Wey.  We have had a brilliant time, probably made better because if we had managed to book into the moorings in Little Venice on the dates that we wanted, we most likely wouldn't have come onto this navigation.  The River Wey is owned by the National Trust and so we had to buy an extra licence to come onto the waterway.  However I have to say it was money well spent.  The River Wey is beautiful, giving the impression of being remote from civilisation and very rural, whilst in reality being in close proximity to much more urban areas.

We cruised the length of the navigation to Godalmining, a very quaint town, where we moored for a couple of nights before returning to Guildford.  Also an interesting town to explore.  One of the women from the horse drawn boat trip at Godalming recognised the origin of the name Jeanie Deans from the Little Grey Men.  One of only a small handful of people to recognise the reference.

Horse drawn boat trip at Godalming

Guildford had lovely moorings, but the members of the rowing club start early and it was not unusual to be woken by the sound of rowers and canoeists, early in the morning.  I was amazed by the number of people out on the water in small boats for the whole time we were at that end of the navigation.

Heading from Guildford back towards Thames Lock there is some really beautiful countryside.  We have found some lovely walks for the dogs, but strangely, to us, most of the public footpaths are enclosed within fences and really well populated.  We are used to much more open fields, where the dogs can have a good run, and far fewer people.

Newark Abbey, which is on an island in the river

The locks on this navigation are 13 foot wide, so slightly narrower than double locks on the canal system. 

Boats need to be secured at both ends in these locks

There are a couple of very low bridges.  Needed to take chimney and exhaust down to pass under!
Mooring has been varied on the Wey.  We had good moorings in Guildford and Godalming, however often, it has been a problem to get into the side, which means we have to use the gangplank.  This is ok though as the dogs are very proficient at walking up and down it, even though they could most likely easily jump the gap.  They are a bit lazy at times.

One mooring was a bit problematic as it turned out to be in the middle of a cow field.  The cows were not there when we stopped but appeared later on.  They were not problematic to us, but the dogs were a bit freaked out.  Plus they then had a great time eating cow poo.

This was the view directly outside our boat at one mooring

We are currently moored up near Walsham flood lock, a very attractive mooring, that in my opinion is the best mooring on this navigation.

Mooring near Walshsam flood lock

This evening we were sitting out on the towpath having a glass of wine/ pint of beer and this deer appeared only metres from us.  Fortunately the dogs did not spot it and it was happily grazing for some time before getting spooked and running off.  Not sure what type of deer it is though.

The dogs as ever are having a brilliant time!

We are now heading back to the River Thames and then onwards to Little Venice at the junction the  Paddington Arm with the Regent's canal.

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