As with many canals, despite their industrial uses in the past, they are now havens rich in wildlife. The Basingstoke canal is certainly no different.
The Basingstoke Canal runs for 32 miles from West Byfleet in Surrey to Greywell in Hampshire. It is perfect for paddlers who want an easy paddle on a flat stretch of water. You’ll be surrounded by wildlife and a little history!
The canal runs through Woking, Ash and Odiham before arriving at its Hampshire terminus. It was originally navigable all the way through to Basingstoke. However, since the collapse of the Greywell tunnel in the 1900’s, this is no longer the case.
Basingstoke canal makes a perfect family day out. There are amenities and stop off points aplenty along the route. Check the PaddlePoints map above.
Wildlife on the Basingstoke Canal
The site between Greywell and Brookwood Lye is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so bring your binoculars!
It is both botanically and naturally rich, with hairlike pondweed and tasteless water-pepper flourishing on the site. Twenty-four species of dragonfly and other rare insects make the canal their home, including two listed in the Red Data Book.
History lovers will also enjoy the World War Two references still present along the canal, with a large number of concrete bunkers (Pill Boxes) and Dragons Teeth defences still present today.