Most canal users are not in boats, but on the towpath – walking, cycling, fishing, or just out there enjoying the tranquility. In wooded areas, the Japanese call it shinrin-yoku – forest bathing – but just being by water engenders feelings of relaxation. Part of this is being in the presence of wildlife, and canals, as blue-green corridors, have wildlife aplenty!

Dragonfly is our narrowboat, probably the best known and loved attraction on the Wilts & Berks Canal restoration project. She has worked hard and reliably as our main canal trip boat for 10 years giving laughs and smiles to residents and visitors to Swindon alike and even been the venue for a marriage proposal. She is crewed by our volunteers and has been cruising the Wichelstowe canal happily, join us in supporting her for the next ten years. Please donate generously.

The Trust has set as one of its top priority targets the completion of the canal from Swindon to Royal Wootton Bassett, where there are already significant lengths in water and more planned and consented. The big barrier, of course, has always been the M4 motorway, which cuts the original line of the canal near Junction 16. A new crossing point has been identified, where the road is high enough to get the canal underneath. This image shows the planned location. 

Wichelstowe was packed with hundreds of festive canal lovers on the chilly night of December 4th. Santa arrived on Dragonfly accompanied by additional reindeer boats!

Our popular Santa trips are now fully booked.  Our boat crews will enjoy taking families to find Santa!

These run from Waitrose, every Saturday & Sunday from Nov 30th till Dec 22nd and on Monday Dec 23rd (but not Christmas Eve). 

Representatives of all the partners sitting on NB Dragonfly at Waitrose landing stage

Fit fundraisers took part in a sports challenge to raise £3600 for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.

The first Wichelstowe Games were held on Saturday August 24th  2019 on the southern edge of Swindon, where a short stretch of the waterway has already been restored.

Conceived by Karl Drew, the General Manager of the new Hall & Woodhouse pub adjacent to the canal, the games involved teams competing across four events: cycling, climbing, canoeing and a tug of war.  Prizes included a Wichelstowe Games trophy and meals / vouchers courtesy of Hall & Woodhouse, Waitrose & Partners, Swindon & District Canoe Club and Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.

The money raised will support the construction of a new slipway providing safe access into the water, near Beavans Bridge.

Presenting charity cheque by canal in front of pub

Local housebuilders, Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes have dug deep to ensure local people with mobility difficulties can enjoy spending time on the water.

The companies have provided the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust with a £1,000 donation, which will go towards the organisation’s ‘Mary Archard’ trip boat.

A public Exhibition and Consultation on the Canal Route through Wanborough will be held at Wanborough Village Hall from 3.00pm to 7.00pm on Wednesday 29th May. The hall is in the High Street opposite The Harrow pub at SN4 0AD.

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is considering options for the canal route through Wanborough and seeks your views about them.  The route options will be on view and trust members available to explain them. The plans are also available here.

Comments may also be sent to the trust at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.