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.

Quiz night for Canal Trust 

Sadly due to coronavirus the quiz night has been cancelled. We hope to be able to run the next one on October 16th.

The restoration of a local waterway will receive a welcome boost from a charity’s annual quiz night next month.

The Melksham, Chippenham & Calne branch of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is holding the popular event at the Neeld in Chippenham town centre on the evening of Friday 17 April.

Entry is £15 per team of up to four people, with refreshments and a licensed bar available. 

The event starts at 7.30 pm with doors opening at 7 pm.

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.

A river with canoes on the water and a boat on the slipway

Enjoy a fun-filled family day out at the Melksham Food and River Festival in King George V Park. There's lots to do for the whole family, boat trips, canoeing on the River Avon, a children's funfair, face painting, rides on Frankie the canal horse, cookery demonstrations, live music and many artisan food and produce stalls to browse plus plenty of hot food & drink stalls and an onsite bar for whenever you need some refreshment.