Three tours north and south of Mytchett on the Basingstoke Canal with a common starting point.
The Basingstoke Canal is declared by many to be Britain’s most beautiful waterway. Samuel. F. Cody came to Great Bottom Flash to test his early sea planes before World War 1 [Ed. I’m not sure if Cody was later arrested for this malpractice!]. The “lake” is now a Danger Area used by the army (Jeff is currently liaising with our insurers!) Club members helped to secure a breach in the canal at Ash Lock in the 1980s. Forty thousand tons of clay were moved in the process.
The Basingstoke Canal runs for 32 miles, from Greywell Village in Hampshire (some 5 miles from Basingstoke!) to Woodham Junction in Surrey where it joins the Wey Navigation. Different parts of the canal hold their own surprises such as the flights of locks in Surrey, the lakes and flashes near Mytchett or the rolling fields and picturesque cottages near Odiham.
There are numerous pubs to reward the weary, canal side car parks along the whole length of the canal and convenient train stations should you need transport back to your start point.
The canal travels over the top of the A331 via this aqua-duct which was rebuilt in the 1980’s, quite a surreal experience to paddle high up above the traffic!
Route 1 : Mytchett visitor centre to Ash lock and return – 7 miles, no portages.
Route 2 : Mytchett visitor centre to Ash lock and return with continuation to Deepcut bridge and return – 10.5 miles, no portages.
Route 3 : Mytchett visitor centre to Ash lock and return with continuation to the next lock downstream, Deep Cut lock #28 and return – 12.5 miles, no portages.
About 25 miles/30 minutes from Bell Hill
Take Junction 4 on the M3 and at the roundabout go right taking the A331 and take 2nd exit to Mytchett & Farnborough. Follow the signs to Centre for parking. Details re: the Canal/Visitor’s Centre, including a map and a description of facilities, can be found here on their website.
Useful links : Basingstoke canal distances