- Boat Trips
- Get Involved
Help maintain and rebuild
Help preserve the canal for future generations to enjoy. If we don’t it will be lost forever. Check out the “Get involved” page.
Find out more about the canal through the ages
The canal has many years of history and traditions. Discover the amazing story of why it was built and how it has changed over the years.
Help protect the environment by protecting your canal
The canal plays an important part in the local environment and it’s important that it’s protected to minimalize any environmental impacts.
Look after your wellbeing by enjoying the canal
Health, wellbeing and happiness are important for all of us to experience, and the canal can help us to achieve these goals. Being near water and nature have proven effects on our wellbeing, as well as bringing communities and families together to enjoy.
Discover the wildlife along the canal
The natural environment of the canal makes it a special place to visit. Its bio-diverse space encourages a community of plant and wildlife, creating ideal habitats for species such as water voles, dragonflies and kingfishers.
Enjoy the beautiful canal by taking a boat trip
The canal can be used for many boating activities, from an active canoe journey to a peaceful trip on a pleasure boat – there’s something for everyone.
We are the Guardians of the Basingstoke Canal
The Basingstoke Canal Society promotes and campaigns for the sustainable future of the Canal as a navigation and public amenity. Through the John Pinkerton Canal Cruises operation, it also raises money which is used to fund the maintenance and improvement works undertaken by more than 250 volunteers.
Within the pages of our website you will find our various publications, including our latest news, bulletins and newsletters. You can also purchase boat trips or items from our shop and find out about becoming a member or volunteer to contribute to the future of the canal.
We are currently running a campaign to fund various projects to improve the Canal. Click here to find out how you can support our appeal.
Following the update to the COVID-19 rules on 19th July 2021, the arrangements for boat trips has also changed. Please click here for detailed information. All bookings will be subject to current Covid19 restrictions, which may reduce our passenger numbers.
The Society was originally formed in 1966 to save the privately owned waterway, and campaigned for its restoration under public ownership. This was achieved in the early 1970s when Hampshire and Surrey County Councils purchased the then derelict canal.
In partnership with the local authorities, the Society organised voluntary working parties, managed work training schemes and employed a full-time team to restore the Canal. After nearly 20 years effort, thirty two miles of the waterway, from the Wey Navigation junction to the Greywell Tunnel, were formally reopened in May 1991 by HRH The Duke of Kent.
The Canal is now managed by the Basingstoke Canal Authority, and is financed by the two county council owners and neighbouring borough and district authorities, with a significant contribution of both cash and value-in-kind from the Society. The Basingstoke Canal Society was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which was presented by HRH The Duke of Kent on a return visit to the Canal in November 2018.