Used/Disused Canal and a Castle…, 8.75 miles, easy

August 7, 2021 @ 10:30 am
Hook Station

This 8.75 mile walk will take us from Hook Station, via the Basingstoke Canal – the used and disused part. We will go and visit King John’s Castle (what remains of it) in Odiham.

Walk details

This 8.75 mile walk will start at Hook Station, heading out of Hook through Bartley Heath and over the noisy M3. Once over the M3 we head across open farm land to Lodge Farm before joining up with the tow path of the Basingstoke Canal. Have you ever seen the bottom of a canal? Normally the water is all murky but this one is clear (due to the lack of boats using it) – lets see what wildlife you will spot (when I recced this we saw plenty of different wildlife – something for the wildlife fans).

As we walk along the Canal towpath we will stop at King John’s Castle for lunch. This site has witnessed and been part of many historical events, from the signing of the Magna Carta, a French siege to the ownership of the de Montforts, a revolt and even the imprisonment of a Scottish King – something for the Historical enthusiasts among you!

Basingstoke Canal is interesting as part of it is still in use up to the small village of Greywell. The part from Greywell to Basingstoke is now disused since 1932 when part of the 3/4 mile long tunnel collapsed – much of it has been built over or it totally unrecognisable. We will walk through the woods to go and find the other end of the tunnel!

You will get to see the tunnel from both ends. For the disused end you will need to use your imagination a bit as you see a tunnel entrance but not much else…nature has reclaimed so much in 90 years!

We will walk along part of the disused section before heading out along Andwell Drove. This will be perfect for photos as you can see for miles across the Hampshire Countryside.

Heading through Up Nately we will pass St Stephens church – St Stephen’s dates from around 1200, with 15th and 19th century alterations. We will cross back over the canal heading towards Gregory’s Copse back over the noisy M3 and entering through Heather Row, onto Gaine’s Wood and then meandering our way back to Hook Station!

Travel details

If coming from Reading, you need to catch the 9.38am from Reading arriving in Basingstoke at 10.05am. Catch the 10.20am train to Hook. Arriving in Hook at 10.27am.

Parking is available at Hook Station.


  • If you or someone else from your household has COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attend.
  • You must follow all safety advice given by the walk leader.
  • It is recommended that you bring hand sanitizer or gloves in case you need to touch gates/stiles/etc.
  • Please be considerate to other path users and step aside to let people past – and don’t forget to say ‘hi’ or ‘thanks’!
  • Please bring a packed lunch and a drink.
  • If it’s a rainy day, please bring waterproofs.
  • If it’s a hot sunny day, please bring plenty of water and wear sun cream and a sun hat!
  • Please feel free to contact the leader with queries about the walk, or if you are delayed on the day.

Booking details

  • This walk is limited to 20 walkers including the walk leader.
  • Do not turn up for the walk without booking, else we will have to turn you away.
  • Book a place on this walk by completing this Google Form. Booking will open the Wednesday evening before the walk.
  • We will only use the contact information you provide to get in touch about the walk, or to share if requested with NHS Test and Trace.
  • If after booking, you need to cancel your place on the walk, please use the link in your walk booking confirmation email so that we can make your place available to someone else.
  • If you have any queries, please email