TIME: 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm
COST: £0.00 - £12.00
SEAT AVAILABILITY: 50
Cruise in the peaceful surroundings of the Basingstoke Canal
The direction the boat goes on the canal is decided by the boat captain on the day based on current conditions.
The John Pinkerton usually goes west. You will see a mud barge used in dredging the canal during restoration, pass through several canal bridges, and watch the lift bridge be raised on your way to King John’s Castle, which was captured by the French after a two-week siege in 1216.
Going east you will pass Wilks Water and the former home of the Redgrave family, and glide past Four Season’s trip boat mooring. Old Thatch garden and bronze horse are well worth watching for on starboard (right-hand side). There are several typical, narrow arched bridges before we turn around at the winding hole just beyond Barley Mow wharf.
The canal is an SSSI, and not only serves as a local recreational amenity but is also a notable wildlife habitat.
The alkaline water from the chalk springs at the western end of the canal mixing with the acidic water as the canal passes through the Surrey heathlands, has given rise to one of the largest varieties of aquatic plants and invertebrates in the United Kingdom.
As many as 25 of Britain’s 39 species of dragonflies and damselflies inhabit the canal.
You may get lucky and see a kingfisher that is considered to be a lucky bird. You can also see herons swans, ducks, geese, moorhens (often with young) and various local floras.