Apr 30, 2018 | Bits & Bobs

Canoeists, kayakers and small boat owners have been invited to join a friendly flotilla exploring the River Arun.  The occasion is the annual rally on the waterway between Pulborough and Pallingham Quay organised by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust.  This year’s event is on Sunday, 13th May, celebrating the long tradition of boats navigating a river which was once part of a route from London to the South Coast.

 “We were delighted with last year’s event and we had a colourful array of small craft travelling along the Arun,” said Trust chairman Sally Schupke. “It was a fun event and everyone enjoyed themselves. Lots of canoeists said that they wouldn’t have thought of venturing on the river by themselves, but in a group it made it a lot more enjoyable.”

The Arun is tidal as far as Pallingham Bridge and the rally date has been chosen to ensure the tide is high enough for small craft to navigate a picturesque section of the waterway.  The aim is to reach the site of the original junction of the canal with the river and then go on to Pallingham Bridge, the limit of the river’s tidal section. The 15th century Stopham Bridge is another historic feature on the route.

Launching at Pulborough is planned from 11.15am to midday onwards at Pulborough for small boats which need to use the slipway there. At Stopham bridge it will be from 12-12.45pm to take advantage of the rising tide.   There will be a break at Pallingham Quay and, if time and water levels permit, participants can also stop for refreshments at the White Hart by Stopham Bridge.

Those who would like to join the rally you can book places online at or email


Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s annual sponsored walk

Do you like exploring new canal routes? And do you also like walking? Well, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust can offer you a day discovering little known traces of the former Portsmouth & Arundel Canal.  This annual walk for charity is being held on Sunday 3rd June and starts from Walberton Village Hall. The 12 mile route takes in Binsted, the banks of the River Arun, Ford and Yapton before returning to Walberton to collect cars.

A fascinating glimpse of canal structures can be seen along the way, including the entrance to the Portsmouth & Arundel Canal at Ford, and the enchanting Norman church of Ford. The walk even takes you under a buried canal bridge hidden in a new housing estate, and another one in Yapton that you come upon quite by chance. One of the refreshment stops is right by the site of the Hollingworth swing bridge.

The PORTSMOUTH & ARUNDEL CANAL which opened in 1823 and was abandoned in 1855 never having been a financial success. The canal was part of a larger scheme for the construction of a secure inland canal route from London (R.Thames) to Portsmouth, which would allow craft to move between the two without having to venture into the English Channel and possibly encounter enemy ships or natural disaster. It formed the southernmost half of the waterway link of which the Wey & Arun Canal formed the northern route from the Arun at Pallingham, north of Pulborough, to Shalford, the River Wey and hence London. The P&A was 28 miles long and passed through 6 locks, 2 of which were at Ford to take the waterway from the Arun on to its inland route.

So what are you waiting for? All you need to do is download a sponsor form (lunch and refreshments are included) and ask a few friends to sponsor you for the day. There is also the possibility to participate in only the morning or afternoon. Please request details from  Registration starts at Walberton Village Hall (The Street, Walberton, Arundel BN18 0PJ) between 9-11am to check in and get the walking guide. See for further details, or email  If you don’t walk to walk, but would like to support this local charity, personal donations can be made via our website or email to sponsor the last walker.