2020 Public And Theme Cruises


Trips On The Basingstoke Canal In Hampshire Aboard The John Pinkerton II

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Are you looking for a way to unwind and relax from the pressures of everyday life? Then why not join us on the John Pinkerton II for a cruise in the peaceful surroundings of the Basingstoke Canal. At less than 3 mph, there is plenty of time to admire the passing countryside, spot the deer in the fields, and count the young ducklings and goslings. You may even see the bright flash of a kingfisher darting ahead of the boat, or the majestic flight of a heron circling round to return to its favourite bank to continue fishing.

We run public trips from our base at Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham. These last approximately 2½ hours, either eastwards towards Winchfield or to the west towards Greywell and Odiham (King John’s) Castle (the direction determined by the skipper). A family ticket for two adults and two children is great value at £28.

The John Pinkerton II is wholly owned by The Basingstoke Canal Society (a registered charity). The operating company is John Pinkerton Canal Cruises Ltd, and the crew are all trained volunteers.

The fully licensed bar is open on all cruises, and you can purchase real ale, spirits, coffee, tea, drinks, and light refreshments. Souvenirs are available to help you remember the occasion.

All proceeds from the trip boat go directly towards safeguarding the Basingstoke Canal for the future.

2020 Calendar and Ticket Pricing

Public and Theme cruises are in the process of  planning and confirming dates. Please bear with us, and check back shortly.

However, if you want to make a gift of a Voucher for Christmas, then follow the link to ‘Book Your Trip’, and select the Voucher option. Various values available.

key-red Approx 2½ hour return trip departing at 2.30pm from Colt Hill, Odiham
Tickets: Adults £12, children under 18 £5 (under 1yr free), Senior Citizens £10, Family Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Children) £28.

key-yellow Approx 2½ hour return trip departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Two trips on Mondays 13th April, 8th May, 31st August at 10.30am and 2.30pm.
Tickets: as above.
key-brown Approx 4 hour return trip departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Sundays 5th April, 7th June and 6th September at 1.00pm to visit the National Gardens Scheme Open Day at Old Thatch, Winchfield (right).
Tickets: as above, excluding NGS admission.
PLEASE NOTE: Passengers will disembark at Stacey’s Bridge, which is a short walk from the gardens.

key-greenBCS Members & Volunteers’ Evening Cruises – Approx 2½ hour return trip departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Dates to be confirmed
Tickets: FREE to those wishing to learn more about the many volunteering roles available on the Canal. See the Society Volunteering Opportunities page for more details.

key-blueTheme Cruises
Dates to be confirmed

Advance payment is recommended for all John Pinkerton trips, and is required for all theme cruises.
Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Theme Cruises

The following Theme cruises took place during 2019. We will have many new cruises in 2020, dates are still being confirmed, so please check back shortly.

All theme trips depart from Colt Hill, Odiham and are of 3½ hours duration
Include a fish & chip supper unless stated otherwise (to request a non-fish alternative, please contact the Booking Team). 

JP-2Murder On The Canal
Friday 12th April at 7.00pm. Help to solve this interactive Murder Mystery set in the late 1930’s on the Basingstoke Canal. Specially devised for this trip, the event will be performed by the Hampshire Theatre Group.  Period dress is strongly encouraged but not essential.
Tickets: Adults £25.

Cream Tea Cruise, with piano accompaniment
Wednesdays: 8th May, 12th June, 10th July, 11th September at 3pm. Cream teas served with china tea-sets and table cloths. An approx 2½ hour trip.
Tickets: Adults £18.

Sea Shanties & Ale Cruise
Friday 6th September at 7.00pm. Authentic sea shanties and folk songs from Haslefolk Sea Shanty Crew.
Tickets: Adults £25.

Caribbean Night Cruise
Friday 17th May at 7.00pm. Cruise the Canal whilst enjoying Caribbean food and Reggae music from Vintage Soul disco. Outlandish attire recommended. Jerk chicken and rice meal plus a glass of Rum Punch included (a vegetarian option may also be requested via the booking team) .
Tickets: Adults £25 inclusive of food and Rum Punch.

Family Treasure Hunt Cruise
Sunday 26th May at 2.30pm. Afternoon trip with a Kings and Queens trail before boarding, and at King John’s Castle. Puzzle sheets to fill in en route. Cakes, soft drinks etc available and prizes for keen hunters. The treasure hunt is aimed at 5-12 year olds but open to all.
Tickets: Adults £12, children under 18 £5.

Classic Songs Cruise
Friday 7th June at 7.00pm, with Karen Francis, who will sing the songs you love spanning four decades and bring back memories.
Tickets: Adults £25.

Tapas and Spanish Wine Cruise
Friday 21st June at 7.00pm. Celebrate midsummer’s night on a cruise with Spanish wines and beers plus a selection of authentic Tapas dishes. 
Tickets: Adults £25 includes selection of tapas dishes and two glasses wine/beer.

Acoustic Duo & Ale Cruise
Fridays: 12th July at 7.00pm, with Still Crazy Duo playing the songs you know in their inimitable style.
Tickets: Adults £25.


Trad. Jazz & Ale Cruise
Friday 9th August at 7.00pm, with The Excel Jazzmen.
Tickets: Adults £28.



PLEASE NOTE: Trip durations may be longer than stated when the Canal water level is low, for example after periods of little rain.

Bookings and Enquiries

These public and theme trips are popular, and to avoid disappointment, we suggest you make an advanced booking using our secure on-line booking system. We are limited to 50 passengers for each trip (except where a lower limit is stated), so cannot guarantee to have space at the last moment. For more information, or to make a booking for any of our trips, contact the Booking Team by email at jpbookings@basingstoke-canal.org.uk.

In case of difficulty, ring on 01256 765889 (10am – no later than 6pm please). Please have your debit or credit card to hand.

PLEASE NOTE: As a charity, our Booking Team consists of volunteers some of whom have day jobs, so please bear with us when phoning and leave a message if necessary – we will respond. Thank you for your consideration. 


How to book a Public or Theme Trip

You may purchase Vouchers to various values on-line for any public or theme trip, by going to johnpinkerton.co.uk/booking.
Booking for specific public trips will be available after New Year following a web rebuild.

PLEASE NOTE: Your booking will not be secured until payment has been received. Also, we cannot take advance bookings on the day of departure. However, if you have not made a pre-paid booking, it may still be possible for you to get aboard if there are spaces available, in which case you would pay your fare to the skipper.

Booking of all except theme trips must be made at least 12 hours in advance of the trip departure.

Booking of theme trips must be made at least 48 hours in advance of the trip departure.

Departure Points

On the day of the trip, we ask you to arrive at the departure point at least 15 minutes before the cruise departs and that you inform the boat skipper of your presence.

This year, all public trips depart from Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham.


key-starColt Hill, Odiham, RG29 1AL The canal at Colt Hill is signposted down London Road at the eastern end of the High Street. Pass the Waterwitch pub and then cross Colt Hill Bridge, then turn right into the car park at the end of the road.

key-starFox & Hounds – Fleet, GU51 5NP The Fox & Hounds Public House is on Crookham Road, ½ mile westward from Fleet town centre.

Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons

Please note that access into the boat is by five steps down from the rear deck, with handrails on each side; there is no mechanical lift for wheelchair users. Group organisers must provide able-bodied helpers for those that need looking after, and to lift wheelchair users if necessary

Our smaller second trip boat Kitty, which operates in Woking, is fitted with a hydraulic lift for wheelchair users. For more details, see the Kitty website.


Alternatively, our sister charity Accessible Boating, based in Odiham, operates purpose-built boats to cater for disabled persons and their carers. For more details see www.accessibleboating.org.uk, or call on 01252 622520.


Except for assistance dogs, we regret that dogs cannot be taken on public trips.

Buy A Public or Theme Cruise Gift Voucher

Why not buy a Gift Voucher for use on any John Pinkerton Public or Theme Cruise? This would make an ideal present for birthdays, Christmas and other special events. Give them to your family members, friends and work colleagues, and allow them to join us on the John Pinkerton II trip boat in the peaceful surroundings of the delightful Basingstoke Canal.

Gift vouchers to the value of between £10 and £100 can be purchased on-line by simply filling in a form and making a card payment. Recipients can then redeem them as part or full payment against any public or theme John Pinkerton II cruise of their choosing. Trips can be selected via our secure on-line system which shows all currently available trips able to accommodate your party. Alternatively, vouchers can be purchased and redeemed by calling the Booking Team on 01256 765889 (10am – no later than 6pm please).

PLEASE NOTE: John Pinkerton II Cruise Gift Vouchers cannot be redeemed online for trips on our other trip boat Kitty, or vice-versa – in other words, they have to be used on the boat for which they were purchased. If you require a voucher bought for one boat to be used for a trip on the other boat, please call our booking team to request assistance.

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 Last updated by on 2 November, 2019