North Walsham

Canal tours are relaunched

Just Regional
Jul 15, 2020 2 mins read

Boat tours are set to resume on the historic North Walsham and Dilham Canal, following the introduction of new safety measures.

The canal, looked after by the North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust, is the only canal in Norfolk, and tours are available onboard the solar-powered vessel Ella II, named after the last wherry to operate on the route in 1934.

New safety measures include limiting passengers to one household and anyone in their “bubble”, reducing the maximum number of passengers to six people, thoroughly cleaning all boat surfaces after every use, and providing anti-viral hand sanitiser for everyone on board. The skipper, meanwhile, will wear a face covering at all times and stay two metres from passengers, whilst passengers are also encouraged to wear masks.

Boating officer Graham Pressman said: “Ella II has a roof canopy against the rain made up of solar panels but is open sided to offer that ‘outdoor’ experience. We’ve had a comprehensive deep clean after three months of inactivity and, with all of our new safety measures in place, we now can’t wait to get back out on the water.”

Ella II out on the canal last year. Tours are now starting again with safety restrictions in place.

With passenger numbers limited, the availability of the boat tours will also increase this summer: Previously only available at weekends, boat tours can now be arranged daily, on any afternoon or evening, with the flexibility to amend the date for poor weather or changing plans as necessary. Passengers can bring their own refreshments to suit their tastes.

“Our near-silent electric boat Ella II is an ideal way to see the wildlife that has made its home along the canal,” said Graham.

“Your on-board steerer helps passengers learn about the fascinating history of Norfolk’s only sailing canal, from its creation following the Act of Parliament in 1812 and the days busy with wherries, to its later decline and ongoing restoration into the wildlife-friendly waterway we see today.”

Boat trips cost £30 for up to six people for a one-hour round trip and should be booked in advance (contact Graham on 07585 160 772). All proceeds go to The North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust to help the continued restoration of the canal.

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