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 (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 - The journey is about 7 miles (3.5 each way) through rural north Hampshire. There are no locks but one swing bridge about 18 inches above water level which canoes can pass under with care.
The first mile or so is characterised by the splendour of the rhododendron bushes which line the right bank. There are several particularly attractive canalside properties which would not look out of place adorning the lids of chocolate boxes or biscuit tins!
There are picnic tables on the old wharf at Chequers Bridge (about 2.5 miles into the trip) with the George & Lobster pub just a few hundred yards north but my recommendation would be to wait for the Fox and Hounds.
Even the final half mile through the outskirts of Fleet have a rural feel with the housing well concealed from the canal.
Comments on this trip
Karen Kristiansen 05 Jan 2011
Paddled this trip on Monday 3 Jan 2011. The Fox Hounds is well worth a visit. Excellent food and service and would probabaly be lovely in the summer sat outside.
Keith Day 24 Jun 2010
The pub near Chequers Bridge was known as the Chequers for about 200 years, Then became the George Lobster for about 2 years. Now it's had yet another change of hands and is known as the Exchequer! It' still a pub and that's what matters!
Keith Day 04 May 2008
This stoppage is now resolved and this stretch is open again.
Keith Day 12 Nov 2007
There is a major stoppage on this stretch of the canal expected to last until mid December 2007.
Keith 28 Aug 2007
The Barley Mow is under new management and has now reopened
Keith 17 Mar 2007
Unfortunately the Barley Mow is currently closed so if you were planning a beer here you need another plan
Keith 09 Aug 2006
For those that want to start from Chequers Bridge I have made a link (see David's comment) to a suitable map.
David Wilson 08 Aug 2006
An alternative start is at Chequers Bridge (above), where there is a pleasantly shady car park as well as the pub, and to make one's way past Wichfield Hurst as far as time and effort allow.