Canoeing and Kayaking on : Basingstoke Canal

The Basingstoke Canal is one of the nicest places in Southern England to go canoeing. The sections west of Aldershot are particularly pleasant, and west of Fleet the canal is very rural and a place with a real sense of peace.

What makes it even more perfect for canoes is that there are no locks between Aldershot and the western end at the Greywell Tunnel, so whole day trips can be planned without portages. Much of this part of the canal passes through woodlands full of the sounds of bird life, and this is a particularly good spot to paddle on a windy day, as it is very sheltered for much of its length.

There are also a number of pleasant pubs to visit.

At Mytchett, near Ash, Frimley and Farnborough, the Basingstoke Canal Visitor Centre offers access to another nice bit of the canal which, despite being less rural, is a very nice place to canoe.

East of Deepcut, a long cutting where the canal passes through sandy heaths, the Basingstoke Canal drops steadily towards Woking and its confluence with the River Wey. Unfortunately this means it passes through 28 locks, and this makes it a less likely option for canoeists.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

A lovely rural paddle, which is sheltered from the wind and mostly surrounded by pleasant woodland.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

A short there and back canoe route that is surprisingly rural despite passing close to Aldershot town.

Paddle Point
Crookham Village, Fleet, Hampshire GU51, UK

First section shown in red.
Up to the tunnel shown in Blue, back to the Waterwitch shown in yellow.

This route does not start and finish at the same place. It was prepared as a morning paddle to the Waterwitch for lunch. Then continue to the Greywell Tunnel, and back to the Waterwitch.

Paddle Point

A there and back canoe route on the Basingstoke Canal, with a pub at each end!

Very pleasant rural paddling, mostly in peaceful woodland. Sheltered on a windy day.

The Waterwitch at Colt Hill wharf is just over the bridge.
The Barley Mow is opposite the canalside car park at Winchfield.

Part of this article is written about this route - the badger bit: http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/media/pdf/Southern%20Canoeing.pdf
Paddle Point
Mytchett, Surrey, UK

A there and back return canoeing route from the Basingstoke Canal Visitor Centre to the lock at Aldershot. Total distance just over 6 miles.

There are a few interesting points passed on the way. The unusual "Flashes" are areas of low ground flooded when the canal was built.
The Aqueduct over the A331 dual carriageway is much more recent, and you can paddle over the top of speeding traffic!

Paddle Point
Mytchett, Surrey, UK

A there and back return canoe paddle from the Basingstoke Canal Visitor Centre at Mytchett, and the top of the Deepcut Flight of locks.

This is a quiet, sheltered section of the canal, and you are protected from wind by trees most of the time.

Deepcut is named after the "deep cut" that is the cutting made for the canal through the higher land. This is up to 60 foot deep, and has become a lovely woodland over the couple of centuries since it was dug.

Paddle Point

A there and back return canoe paddle from Wharf Bridge outside Aldershot to the Fox & Hounds pub in the west of Fleet. Total distance 8.8 miles.

Starting out by crossing the military owned heathlands near Farnborough Airfield, this route then passes through Fleet, but never loses its rural feeling.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Put in from below road bridge. Limited off road parking on north side.

Paddle Point
Odiham, Hampshire RG29, UK

This is a great "there & back" canoe route for all the family, as it is quite short, but rural and with a lot of interest at King John's Castle.

The first section is a straight bit which is prone to wind and has a bit of road noise. However as the canal curls away from the road, peace returns.

The nearer to the end you get, the clearer the water normally becomes. The canal is stream fed, and by the time you reach the Castle, it can be crystal clear allowing you to watch shoals of fish underneath you.

The navigation ends at a winding hole just after the castle. I suggest you stop at the castle for a break and explore the ruins, then walk to see the entrance to the Greywell Tunnel, about 1/4 mile away. You also cross the River Blackwater, a lovely clear chalk stream where you may see trout.

Return the same way, and then have a deserved refresher in the Water Witch pub.

This route is also fun at night, especially as the castle is reputed to be haunted!

Paddle Point
North Warnborough, Hampshire RG29, UK

The whole canal in one go, would need to be split into at least 2 days.
Mytchett Camping at 18.1 miles

Deepcut Top Lock 20.2, bottom 22.3
Bagshot Road 23.4
Lightbox, Woking 26.8
Sheerwater Rd & lock 29.2
Junction with Wey 30.7
New Haw Lock & parking 31.3

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

Beefeater pub - usual fare - garden by the water

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Pub is on the road the other side of the car park. Eaten here a few times - always good.

Paddle Point
Odiham, Hook, Hampshire RG29, UK

Paddle Point
Frimley Green, Surrey, UK

Put in from easy moorings next to the miniature railway in Frimley Lodge Park. Parking just a few yards away.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

A convenient stopping point in a lovely wooded section where badgers live alongside tawny owls. With patience and a little luck, you may even see them after sunset.

Paddle Point
Fleet, Hampshire, UK

This is a wonderful route with lots of interest along its length. From the back gardens of Fleet through rich woods and heathland to Ash Lock, over the Blackwater valley aqeduct through to the lakes and flashes near Mytchett. It is also rich in wildlife and a great place for spotting a variety of dragonflies. It is surprisingly green and tranquil considering the areas which the canal passes through with only the occasional sound of traffic or passing aircraft to interrupt the calm.

Travelling over a weekend in September we had much of the route to ourselves with other paddlers only appearing near Mychett and only a few fishermen to look out for only in a few accessible spots along the route.

Only one short portage required at Ash Lock of around 80 m. A straight forward get in and out. Unless you have a short boat and can negotiate the narrow curved stair at the end of the lock it will involve crossing the minor road over the canal.

The route is ideal as a there and back trip from Fleet to Mychett, staying overnight at Mychett Canal visitor centre campsite. There are obviously options to extend or shorten both legs of the route by putting in above or below Fleet
It could equally be tackled as an end to end route from Fleet to Mychett or in reverse provided suitable transport arrangements can be made.

Note
Blue – Paddling
Green – Portage


Nice route, good idea to do it as an overnighter.

Near the aqueduct


One of the small "flashes" between Ash Vale & Mytchett
Paddle Point
North Warnborough, Hampshire RG29, UK

Interesting old castle, well worth a few minutes and a handy place to stop as is near the end of the canal

Paddle Point
North Warnborough, Hampshire RG29, UK

Put in immediately next to bridge, which is on a very narrow lane. Limited roadside parking a few yards away.

Lifting bridge requires British waterways key to lift



Paddle Point
Odiham, Hampshire RG29, UK

Paddle Point

Easy canal bank put in from canal carpark opposite the Barley Mow Pub (recommended!)

There is a barrier at the car park entrance which could catch people out if they have large vehicle and canoe on top.



****UNFORTUNATELY THIS CAR PARK IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO "ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR" (23/9/16). IT IS NOT KNOWN HOW LONG THIS MIGHT BE FOR. THERE IS LIMITED ROADSIDE PARKING ON THE LANES NEARBY, BUT FAR FROM IDEAL****

The Barley Mow
The Hurst
Winchfield,
Hampshire
RG27 8DE
Tel. 01252 617490

http://www.barley-mow.com/
Caution 2.1M height barrier at car park entrance - overheight vehicles suggest using Chequers bridge car park and put in.

Really close to the car park (less than 10 yards if park at the canal side of the car park). Heading West, you'll feel like you're miles from civilisation after only a few strokes, and when you return you can enjoy great food and fine ale at the Barley Mow pub just over the road. For a short blog with more photos, see http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?37749-An-evening-paddle-with-Mal.
Paddle Point
Crookham Village, Fleet, Hampshire GU51, UK

Parking & put in by the bridge. Easiest put in is actually under the bridge.

The Exchequer pub / restaurant is about 100yrds north of the bridge.
Free Parking for 20-plus cars

Summer (Mar - Sept) - 8am - 8pm
Winter (Oct - Feb) - 8am - 6pm

the gate is locked outside these hours & no overnight parking permitted
Paddle Point
Church Crookham, Hampshire, UK

Put in easily from towpath. Limited parking alongside road right next to the canal.

Paddle Point
Fleet, Hampshire, UK

Canoe friendly!

Really friendly pub.

If you put in and paddle left as far as Farnborough Airfield be afraid, be very afraid ...... there is an extremely aggressive male swan. He attacked when we paddled up the first time so on our return we actually portaged our boats for about half a mile .... and the damn thing followed us as we walked continuing to threaten ....

Good luck and safe journey ;)
Paddle Point
Fleet, Hampshire, UK

Easy put in from moorings next to car park by the bridge on Reading Road South.

Fairly close to Fleet town centre.

No Fee. Notice on entrance gate barrier reads 'Locked at Dusk'
the car park is no longer free. £6/day & lesser prices for 1/2/4 hours
parking fees apply 8am - 6pm, Mon-Sun. free parking on Bank Holidays

parking can be paid by mobile, so overnighters are potentially possible
Paddle Point
Fleet, Hampshire, UK

Put in from bank, far side of footbridge from roadside parking on Velmead Rd.

Paddle Point
1 Chome-11 Kamifukubara, Yonago-shi, Tottori-ken 683-0004, Japan

Put in from slipway by the junction of the A325 & Clubhouse Road. Parking adjacent. Entrance to car park is from the sliproad leaving Clubhouse road onto the NW bound A325.

Paddle Point
Aldershot, Hampshire, UK

Paddle Point
Ash Vale, Surrey, UK

Fabulous experience kayaking over a road! You can get out at either end on high banks to take a peek.

Paddle Point
Ash Vale, Surrey, UK

Small gate in garden so you can exit from the water!

Visited on Saturday - gate is now locked permanently due to incidents with small children but you can still climb over it. Kayaker friendly place.
Paddle Point
Ash Vale, Surrey, UK

A wharf type put in with limited pay and display parking close by. trolley friendly. Follow signs for Ash Vale railway station.



Paddle Point
Mytchett, Surrey, UK

As well as narrow boat trips, & rowing boat hire, John Cale rents out a number of canoes. The fleet is mostly Pelicans/Colemans, but there are a few Old Towns and Ventures.

Website here, but has very little info on canoes.

Paddle Point
Mytchett, Surrey, UK

Excellent put in by rental canoe place at Mytchett Canal Centre, which has its own parking. Canal Centre worth a visit.

Paddle Point
Mytchett, Surrey, UK

Busy cafe aimed at visitors to the canal and campsite. All the usual goodies!

Opening Times
Sat and Sun 9.00-5.30
Mon-Fri 9.30-5.00
Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

First of a series of 28 locks between here and Woking. To be honest, paddling "downstream" of here is not really worthwhile as the locks are frequent and with very awkward get ins/outs.

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Pirbright, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Brookwood, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

It is possible to put in from the edge of the winding hole (turning area) on the canal, with access via gravel track on the north side of the bridge. There is limited parking on the verge just north of here. This is often used by fishermen.

The paddling here is limited to a couple of km between lock flights at Brookwood and St Johns, and is very little used so can get a bit green and weedy. However it is a pretty bit of the canal.

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

Easy put in from banks either side of bridge. However, parking is 100m away on the north side, and the turn down to the towpath is tight for a canoe on a trolley due to railings.



Paddle Point
West Byfleet, Surrey, UK

Put in just upstream of Sheerwater top lock for access to the long pound right through to St Johns lock at the other end of Woking. On street parking in the residential Silver Birch close.

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Woking, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Addlestone, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Addlestone, Surrey, UK

Paddle Point
Addlestone, Surrey, UK