Basingstoke Canal – The Canal Centre & Ash Vale
The full 37 and half miles from the Wey to Basingstoke
The lack of boats on the Basingstoke means there’s plenty of opportunity to hold club competions on the canal itself around the Visitors Centre
The very modern swing bridge enables towpath visitors to access the Basingstoke Canal centre at Mytchett. There is a cafe, vistor facilites, boater and mooring facilities, as well as a boating and canoeing club. On a Saturday a useful car boot sale is held in the field adjacent to the centre. Any copies of ‘London’s Lost Route to Basingstoke.’ for sale?
General view – The Basingstoke Canal Centre in May 2009
Left: Pedalos and canoes for hire from John Cale Cruises (see www.jccanalcruises.co.uk/) Right Basingstoke Boundary stone
Basingstoke Canal Centre Opening Times:
Easter – September: Tue – Fri 10.30am – 5.00pm, Sat/Sun/B Hols 11am – 5.30pm October – Easter: Tue – Fri 11am – 4pm Call to check if open Sundays in October. Tel: 01252 370073
Views of Mytchett Place Bridge
Mytchett Lake is the larget of all the flashes on the Basingstoke Canal, but boats are not allowed beyond the official navigation channel and this wire fence prevents boats from having Broadland fun!
In 2009 a new bridge went up at Deepmans (Deedmans?) Its a bit more elaborate that the original structure, but nevertheless has a similar style. This is a view of the still unfinished bridge in May 2009. “The cost was born by the County Council who were surprised to discover that they were the owners, having bought it when they bought the canal.” (Basingstoke Canal News Summer 2009)
Ash Vale bridge used to be a motley affair. The old bridge was a rare example of a railway and road sharing the same crossing. The rail structure has since been rebuilt and separated from the road crossing. A pair of stop gates have been installed and the northern gate is visible in this view. Next to the bridge is the old warehouse where Alec Harmsworth – the son of Alfred Harmsworth – had his barge building and repair business from 1923 to 1947. 18 barges were built here, and repairs were done on the opposite bank of the canal.
Next: Great Bottom Flash
WOODHAM JUNCTION TO GREYWELL
Intro / Byfleet – Woodham Locks / Woodham – St. Johns / St. Johns – Hermitage / Brookwood – Pirbright / Deepcut Flight / Deepcut – Frimley / Basingstoke Canal Centre / Great Bottom – Ash / Ash lock – Norris Hill / Fleet – Crookham / Chequers – Barley Mow / Barley Mow – Odiham / Odiham – Greywell