In 1816, The Wey & Arun Junction Canal opened to great fanfare, linking the Wey Navigation near Guildford to the south coast via the Arun Navigation. Conceived during the Napoleonic Wars, the Canal was intended to provide a safe, efficient route from London to Portsmouth to carry goods supplying the dockyards. In its heyday, the Canal did carry many tons of cargo but the end of the war with France, and the arrival of the railways, sounded the death knell for the Wey & Arun as a business, and by 1871 it was formally closed.
200 years after it opened, over 3,000 members and volunteers are working to reopen the Wey & Arun Canal for leisure. With your help we can achieve this seemingly impossible task, and already several miles of the Canal are in regular use by small boats, canoes, and the Trust’s own trip boats.