Two routes on the Wey Navigation beyond Guildford
Near to the old ferry is the site of an ancient ford. Used for probably thousands of years the ford provided safe passage for the travellers wanting to follow the long-distance route now referred to as the North Downs Way. Historians suggest that this ‘golden ford’ gave its name to the town of Guildford just downstream. The ford was described as “golden” because of the golden-orange sands sifting down into the river from St Catherine’s Hill.
The Wey and Godalming Navigations present a relief from the vagaries of the Thames and the tour is suitable for all comers. Novices should probably opt for the shorter of the distances.
Route 1 : The Rowbarge/Guildford Riverside Centre (GU1 1LW) to Godalming/Catteshall Lock and return – 11.3 miles. Roadside parking is easy in the road by the small green and there is easy access to the Wey.
Route 2 : Ferry Lane, site of the Old Ferry near St. Catherine’s Hill, Guildford (GU2 1EE) to Godalming/Catteshall Lock and return – 6.4 miles and then to Millmead Lock in Guildford Town Centre for a picnic lunch and eventual return to the Old Ferry (additional one mile). Kayaks should be carried along Ferry Lane to the Navigation before parking in Sandy Lane next to the College of Law (GU3 1HA). Sandy Lane is a brisk 6-7 minute walk from the site of the Old Ferry which provides easy access to the Wey.
Take the A3 south to Guildford and exit at the main A320 Guildford junction. For the Rowbarge turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp and follow signs to the Waterside centre. For Ferry Lane turn left and continue through Guildford and then head south on the A3100.