Short Break - Leaving on Friday afternoon
Our short breaks allow you to explore 19 miles (38 miles there and back) of the Basingstoke canal, passing through some very tranquil and unspoilt countryside.
If you are collecting the boat on a Friday afternoon we would suggest that you aim for Barley Mow Bridge for your first night, which will take around 1 hour 30 minutes from our base in Odiham. There you will find a good mooring and the Barley Mow pub just a minutes walk across the car park [Wheelchair Accessible Mooring]. The pub is dog friendly and has a good menu and selection of real ales and wines. In Autumn when the nights are drawing in you may decide that it is best to moor at Colt Hill Wharf at our base. From here you can visit the Waterwitch pub or venture into the Historic town of Odiham which has a good selection of restaurants and bars; El Castello (Italian restaurant), The Red Lion (hotel, restaurant and a lively bar), Odiham Spice (Indian restaurant), King’s Restaurant (Chinese restaurant), The Bel & Dragon (hotel, restaurant & bar).
In the morning you head eastwards to travel through The following areas; Broad Oak, Winchfield, Dogmersfield, Crookham, Fleet, Pondtail, Farnborough, Ash, Mychett and end at Frimley Green where you can moor alongside Frimley Lodge Park. If you don’t want to go that far there are good alternative overnight mooring points at Mytchett Lake or just opposite the Swan Pub in Ash Vale.
- Broad Oak – There are no facilities in this area but it is a peaceful stretch of canal and if you moor overnight there are badgers to be seen.
- Winchfield – Barley Mow Bridge has a water point and the Barley Mow pub is a mere 2 minute walk across the car park, mooring is quiet. [Wheelchair Accessible Mooring]. Please note, the Barley Mow Pub is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Dogmersfield – Tundry Pond is a very scenic quiet mooring point and is unusual as it is on the non towpath side, a bit difficult to find so keep your eyes peeled. There are views over a large lake but there is no access as the grounds are privately owned. A great place for a bankside barbeque (subject to conditions).
- Crookham – This is a nice mooring area with a picnic table and small car park [Wheelchair Accessible Mooring]. The Exchequer pub is about 5 minutes walk (marked as George and Lobster on most maps). It is advisable to book in advance. Half an hour walk further on is another good pub called The Queens Head. Continue past the Exchequer and turn left at the ‘T’ junction, the pub is about half a mile further on.
- Fleet – Just before Fleet is the Fox and Hounds pub, one of only 3 pubs actually on the canal, there is good wheelchair accessible mooring here. Further on there is a very good mooring at Reading Road Bridge, it can be a little noisy as the road is a main road but it does give easy access to Fleet which has an excellent choice of pubs, restaurants and supermarkets, chemists, fishing tackle shop and others. If you have forgotten anything, this is the place to get it. Pubs in Fleet include; The Oat Sheaf, The Prince Arthur, Propaganda Music Canteen or around 1 mile at the top end of Fleet is the Heron on the Lake on the bank of Fleet Pond.
- Pondtail – Access to Fleet from the north side. If you more up at the 2 Pondtail bridges and walk up from the towpath to the road in the southerly direction, there is a Sainsbury’s Local store less than a minute walk. It also has a cash machine outside.
- Farnborough – Farnborough Road Bridge has mooring but is quite noisy due to road traffic. If you head north on Queens Ave Bridge (Iron Bridge) you will find the Aldershot Military Museum after a 15 to 20 minute walk.
- Ash – Lock 29 is at Ash. There is a water point on the corner of the barn by the slipway. Waste can also be disposed of here, there are no shops or other facilities. About 2/3rds of a mile after Ash Lock you will go over the Blackwater Aqueduct, be careful here as many fenders are lost to the sharp brackets when passing over the bridge. Further along at Ash Vale bridge there is a mooring but not recommended for overnight stops as it can be noisy and isn’t the most scenic of places to stay. It is best used as a shopping stop. There is a fish & chip shop, Chinese takeaway, Indian takeaway, Budgens supermarket, chemist and a Post Office. Lakeside Nature Reserve is very close by. Head north over Ash Vale Bridge on Vale Road then take the first exit on the roundabout, there is a pedestrian walkway under the railway bridge. Then continue for about 200 metres and the car park entrance will be seen on the left through a large gate saying ‘Nature Reserve’ More by clicking this link. Just before Heath Vale Bridge you can moor the boat and walk across the bridge to get to the Swan Pub.
- The Mytchett Canal Centre is another mile along the canal and we recommend mooring here to take on water, there is a good water point right outside the centre [Wheelchair Accessible Mooring]. The Centre has an information point and gift shop, tearoom, picnic area, children’s ‘trailblazer’ play area, function room and a campsite. Public boat trips are available throughout the summer, please contact the Canal Centre for dates and times. You can also purchase fishing licences here.
- Just before Frimley Aqueduct is Frimley Lodge Park mooring [Wheelchair Accessible Mooring]. A little way past this is the final winding hole that will turn you around to begin your journey back. The Kings Head pub can be reached from the towpath side by turning left along Guildford Road, you will see it almost straight away.
- Once you have journeyed back to Odiham you can explore the last 1.5 miles of canal past us and turn at King John’s Castle [Wheelchair Accessible Mooring]. This is favoured by many people as a final night stop. The area around here is very quiet and the canal is crystal clear and you can see large carp and pike amongst the fish. The Mill House pub is a short 10-15 minutewalk back along the towpath and north along the road at Swan Bridge (Head towards The Jolly Miller on most maps and it is opposite). If you walk the other direction (west) from the castle along the towpath you will come to the entrance of the Greywell tunnel. The tunnel collapsed back in 1932 and has been closed ever since. If your timing is right you may see groups of bats awake from their sleep to go hunting around dusk. The tunnel is home to thousands of bats and has five different species living there. If you cross over the tunnel entrance you will come out on a lane, turn right and then left at the junction to find the Fox and Goose pub. PLEASE NOTE the pub does not serve evening food on a Sunday. The next morning you will be an hour from us making it an easy trip back for 10am to return the boat.