I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday 18 July 2014

Old Ferry Footbridge (River Wey) – Thursday 17th July

We were up early this morning as we were having visitors.  Robert and Laura were joining us for the day and we needed to get to Dapdune Wharf by 10am.

As we went up to turn round we could see golden-orange sands coming down into the river from St Catherine’s Hill.  This is the site of an ancient ford probably used for thousands of years providing safe passage for the travellers wanting to follow the long-distance route now referred to as the North Downs Way, but was rendered impassable when the Godalming Navigation was built and a ferry was installed instead.  Historians suggest that this ‘golden ford’ gave its name to the town of Guildford.

The golden sands
Robert and Laura arrived before us but only just!  After filling up with water and a coffee we headed off down-stream on, what must have been, the hottest day of the year so far.  We went through Stoke Lock and Bowers Lock (nice shady lock this one) and then unfortunately we had to go through Triggs Lock so that Richard could wind which meant coming back up the lock again.  Shortly after we found a lovely shady spot to pull over and have lunch on the tow path and a cool down.
Lunch break
We had company back up through Bowers, Stoke and Millmead Locks – a hire boat on their way back to Farncombe for change over tomorrow.  They seem to think that because our crew consisted of two young people that they didn’t need to do anything!

We found a man swimming in the river – he looked as if he was doing distance training.

That's one way of cooling off
We dropped Robert off at Dapdune so that he could take his car to a car park near to Millmead Lock.  Car parks in Guildford cost £1.20 an hour – no reductions for a longer period of time – it is £1.20 an hour and that is it!  He arrived at the lock minutes before us and had the top gates closed by the time we arrived.  (The River Wey is strange in that you leave the gates you exit from open – it’s nice going out but a pain when you arrive and they are against you).

We moored up just after Millmead Lock and sat out in the park having a cup of tea.  A cocker spaniel puppy came up and she and Muffin had such a game even swimming in the river (as opposed to the canal).  They were exhausted and collapsed – for five minutes and then set off again!
Tea break
We couldn’t decide whether to eat out dinner on one of the picnic tables but decided to eat onboard in the end.  Robert and Laura left us about 8pm and we moved on up river for half a mile to the other side of the water meadow where we have a lovely view of houses on top of the Surrey Downs.  A much nicer place than where we were but there is no shade but we are leaving in the morning.

Our view over the hill

12.69 miles
8 locks

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