Cycling along the canal is a beautiful opportunity to take in the scenic views at a faster pace.

There is much to be explored along the canal and it is possible to cycle the full length of the canal – 50km – at a leisurely pace within a day for most cyclists. For an easier option begin at the Basingstoke end of the canal travelling towards Woking as this is slightly more downhill.

The Basingstoke Canal is suitable for intermediate cyclists, but it is not advised that beginners should ride beside watercourses. There are also some obstacles to be aware of such as low bridges which require cyclists to dismount and some narrow sections along the canal. 

These are the cycling guidelines for the canal established by the Basingstoke Canal Authority:

• Cyclists must dismount at all bridges

• Cyclists must ride slowly

• Cyclists must give way to all other towpath users 

There are many benefits to be enjoyed from cycling such as:

• Creating a relaxing effect due to the same repetitive movement which helps to calm you physically and emotionally

• Improving wellbeing by reducing anxiety, depression and helping to better manage other psychological problems

• Activating most of the bodies muscles helping to strengthen them

• Having the potential to improve joint health by improving strength and stability• Helping you to manage your weight

In towns along the canal there are a few bike shops to suit a variety of abilities and budgets. Some shops specialising in electric bikes and refurbished bikes, in addition to bike repair services.

Basingstoke – EspokesThe Cycle Emporium

Fleet – Pedal Heaven

Aldershot – BikeStart

Farnborough – Silvester Brothers Cycles

Woking – EMovement,  Woking Cycles

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” Arthur Conan Doyle