Welcome to the North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust

The canal is privately owned by three companies and one family, access is at their discretion.

The waterway, nearly nine miles long, is Norfolk’s only locked wherry sailing canal and was opened in 1826.  It runs from Antingham, north west of North Walsham, to Wayford Bridge, west of Stalham. Built by 100 Bedford navvies starting in 1825 it opened the following year in 1826.  Wherries would sail its length transporting cargo to and from the mills and communities along its route (see the maps page) the canal was last sailed in 1934 by the Wherry “Ella”.

The Canal’s decline began with the arrival of the railway and over the following decades became choked with vegetation. Many stretches were completely dry and its infrastructure of locks and bridges were crumbling.  By 2001 volunteers from the East Anglian Waterways Association (EAWA) were launched and we now have regular working parties to rescue the Canal.

The EAWA’s success led to the formation of the Canal Trust in January of 2008.

Ten years later on the 29th October 2018, the Trust became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation being allocated the charity number of 1180474.

Ivan Cane, retired Chair of the Canal Trust, said: “The restoration of a canal is not just for boaters. A restored canal corridor, as seen on the Ebridge reach, becomes a community asset and a tourist attraction. At Ebridge and at Spa Common Norfolk’s industrial archaeological gem is coming back to life”.

A huge thanks to all who have worked on, and made donations for the benefit of the North Walsham and Dilham Canal recovery project.

Recent Updates

2024 01 28 – NEW Events added to our events page – click here for more information and details

2023 12 12 – Light Craft Navigation project a success for The Trust – read all about it  HERE

2023/12/07  – FESTIVE boat trips are available from two canal locations, to blow the seasons cobwebs away and to enjoy the beautiful Norfolk fresh air, view the NEWS page HERE for more detail

29/07/2023 – 2021 & 2022 “Quagmire” Trust newsletters added – available to read HERE (click on the image to open the PDF newsletter).

21/06/2023 – Canal boat trips website page re-designed.  View the details for our TWO boat trips HERE