How to get there - Winchfield Hurst is in north Hampshire, about 3 miles south of Harley Wintney. From junction 5 of the M3 head north towards Hook. Turn right onto the A30 for 5 miles to Hartley Wintney and turn right onto A323 (signposted for Fleet) for about 2 miles. Immediately after passing under the motorway turn right into Pale Lane.
The Barley Mow pub is at the far end of this lane. Go straight over the crossroads into Spratts Hatch Lane. The canal carpark is immediately on the left.
For those with SatNav the postcode of the Barley Mow is RG27 8DE.
Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - Canoes can easily be launched over the bank but there is a slipway for larger craft
Description - This trip is of 12 miles with one lock.
It starts on the rich agricultural land of east Hampshire, passes through Fleet, moves onto heathland as it passes Farnborough Airfield (home of the annual air show). It then skirts the military areas of Aldershot before turning north for the last stretch. Here there are several Flashes where the canal joins flooded gravel pits.
Finally the canal reaches the Canal Centre at Mytchett where we chose to camp overnight. If you are doing the same, Potters Steak House is immediately opposite the Canal Centre entrance and is therefore a very convenient place to eat.
The Fox & Houds, as you come into Fleet three and a half miles from the start is a good place for refreshment but too early for lunch. After that there is a dirth of canalside pubs so we picniced near the end of the runway (usually not very busy) at Farnborough six miles from the start.
You can either take out at Mytchell or camp overnight and return to the start the following day.
Comments on this trip
Keith Day 04 May 2008
There is a stoppage at Ash Vale bridge while major repairs are completed. The towpath is closed so portage is not practical. This length of the canal is not expected to reopen until the end of June 2008.