Shamefully I have never visited Dapdune Wharf, a National Trust property/canal/boat thing in the middle of Guildford. It’s one of those places I’ve always meant to go to, but its proximity was almost the issue. It will always be there right? But having totally forgot to plan anything from my Weasel day (Fridays the Ninja is in nursery, so I get a day out without pushchairs and nappies, yay!), I thought today might be the day to finally check Dapdune out.
I even decided, after some previous failed attempts at National Trust membership (as in we went an entire year without using the cards), that maybe it was time to give it a go again. The ability to spend Fridays now without the cumbersome pushchair/nappy bag combo and the need to get fit for the summer (since obviously I’ll spend loads of time hiking without a pushchair, hmmm), maybe now was the time. So £95 was forked over and I will now be doing nothing but National Trust properties and DIY this summer!
Getting to Dapdune for opening time (11, which seems late even by my standards), trying to squeeze in a visit before gymnastics, we immediately ended up forking out extra to go on the boat ride. It was fun, just not my intention, having just bought the pass to avoid paying out money daily. Awesomely, because we were the first people there, we got a private boat ride, woohoo! So a half hour tour of Guildford for Weasel, Gravel and I was pretty sweet for the £5.50 extra. The lovely skipper Eric gave us a more targeted and interactive tour since we were the only ones aboard and we got to see all the winter’s ravages on the tow path, which are pretty substantial.
Our private boat ride with colouring sheet
Pram access – Hmmm, a little tricky this one I suspect! Most of the site is on quite a slope, straight into the canal without any kind of barrier to stop a small one diving right in. We went without a pushchair and would probably advise the same. There wouldn’t be access issues, just more it would be a hindrance than anything else. I would say bring a harness for younger more escapee ones.
Food & Drink: There is a cafe which serves basics such as cakes, pre-packaged sandwiches, crisps, Kit Kats, etc. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and a little play area inside if you’re wanting to finish off your lunch after your kid has lost interest.
The telly, just showing still photos from the place, won her attention for a lot of lunchtime
Facilities: There are loos including a disabled toilet in the cafe, which I’m going to presume had baby changing (we went in the other one).
Parking: Free and just outside (such an unusual thing to be able to say!)
Highlights: Colouring pages on the boat ride, hands-on model lock in one of the boat sheds and the dry-docked boat you can climb in with hard hats. Weasel did have a great time and I’m looking forward to going back on a sunnier day to explore a little more.
Selfie in our hard hats