The Barley Mow to Odiham Castle on the Basingstoke Canal
Construction on Odiham Castle began in 1207 and continued until 1214. In 1216, soon after it was finished, the castle suffered a two-week siege at the hands of the French, but it flourished during much of the 13th century, when it was home to the de Montfort family.
Simon de Montfort was to become a leading figure in the baronial stand against King Henry, until he eventually paid with his life at the Battle of Evesham in 1265.
The Castle was host to a sitting of Parliament, and for eleven years was prison to a Scottish king. By the 15th century, however, it was used only as a hunting-lodge, and in 1605 was described as a ruin.
You need to duck to get under the lifting bridge near to Greywell, the limit of navigation
The Barley Mow Pub (RG27 8DE tel. 01252 617490) to Odiham Castle and return – 9 miles. There are no locks to portage on this section of the canal. On reaching The Barley Mow go across main road into Spratt’s Hatch Lane then immediately left into the public car park from which there is easy access to the Basingstoke Canal.
Head down the M3 to junction 4a (Fleet), go onto the A327 towards Fleet, then A3013 and keep going south and west. Easiest to follow your Tom-Tom – put in RG27 8DE. This is 28 miles and takes about 40 mins.