Paddle Guide - Basingstoke Canal
Winter is a great time to explore inland waterways which are a lot calmer than the sea at this time of year. We headed to Basingstoke canal for a day of paddleboarding. The canal runs for 32 miles from West-By-Fleet in Surrey to Greywell in Hampshire and despite its name no longer runs all the way to Basingstoke due to the collapse of the Greywell tunnel in the 1900's. During the paddle you will come across a castle, WWII bunkers, heaps of wildlife and of course numerous pubs along the route. There are several entry points along the canal with free parking; we began at the Barley Mow (RG27 8ZY) and paddled the 4.5 miles to Oldiham Castle and back. The route is easy to follow and the conditions are perfect for a family day out, beginners or the more experienced paddler looking to paddle some distance on a sunny winters day.
Additional Access Points:
- Basingstoke Canal Car Park (RG29 1FR)
- Mytchett Canal Visitor Centre (GU16 6DB)
- Chequers Bridge, Crookham Wharf (GU51 5SY)
Before you go:
- As with many waterways you will require a license to to use the canal. You can get this from the canal centre or online for £5.00 for the day. Alternatively if you are planning on exploring numerous waterways in 2022 then it may be worth getting a an annual British Canoeing membership for £45.00.
- Canals can be shallow in places and some sections may have weeds or debris in the water so it is a good idea to use a quick release leash and a flexi river fin.