The Basingstoke Canal makes a brilliant family day out with plenty to do and see – it is certainly worth visiting The Basingstoke Canal if you are looking for a free or low cost day out, depending on what you decide to do whilst you are there.
What’s at The Basingstoke Canal
There is loads to do when visiting The Basingstoke Canal including a play area, walks along the canal, boat trips, cafe, visiting the Basingstoke Canal Centre and gift shop.
When we visited we parked the car (details below) and then went for a walk along the canal. We walked down to Frimley Lodge Park, which has another play area, miniature railway, playing fields and bbq areas. The walk was about 20 minutes each way obviously depending on your walking speed. The tow paths along the canal are flat (although there are some tree roots) and do-able with a buggy. The walk is also dog friendly.
From the car park we walked past the Basingstoke Canal Centre (this was closed when we visited), play area and cafe and crossed over the canal on the swing bridge. We then turned right (with the cafe and play area behind us) and walked down the tow path to Frimley Lodge Park – entering where we saw the Miniature Railway.
During our walk we saw canal boats, paddle boarders, coots and ducks. As we approached Frimley Lodge Park we saw some of the miniature steam trains working, we went on a Sunday – the miniature railway hasn’t re-opened yet due to Covid but the team who run the trains were maintaining them, so it was nice to see them in action.
After watching the trains we headed over the playing field to the play area – it was actually really busy so we didn’t stay or get any photos, but it looked like another brilliant play area. On our way back to the canal we headed through the BBQ area at Frimley Lodge Park and then over the miniature railway track at the crossing and back onto the tow path, where we returned back to the play area at the Basingstoke Canal Centre.
When we returned to Basingstoke Canal Centre, we had a play in the play area and ate a picnic. There were lots of picnic benches in this area with a great view of the canal.
The play area isn’t large but had a brilliant ‘trailblaze’ wooden obstacle course, which was great for older children. There wasn’t loads for younger ones – two toddler swings and a spring toy.
There was plenty you could do for free and you could also pay for extras. We spent a good morning at the canal and could have stayed for longer.
What facilities are there at the Basingstoke Canal Centre?
There is an information area, small gift shop, toilets and a function room (available for hire). There is also a camp site which is open between April – September.
The Basingstoke Canal Centre is open between April to September, Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 4.45pm,
closed on Mondays except bank holidays and school holidays.
It is then open October to March, Tuesday to Thursday, 10.30am to 4pm, Friday 10.30am to 3.45pm, closed at weekends.
Where can we park?
There is a free car park at the Basingstoke Canal Centre – Mytchett Place Road, Mytchett, Camberley, Hampshire, GU16 6DD. The car park is open between 8.30am – 5pm.
What else is nearby?
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