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 mostly from our base at Colt Hill wharf, Odiham, which 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 £25.
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 licensed bar is open on all cruises, and you can purchase coffee, tea, drinks, and light refreshments. Souvenirs are available to help you remember the occasion.
All proceeds from the trip boat go directly to safeguarding the Basingstoke Canal for the future.
Calendar and Ticket Pricing
Public and Special trips will run on days coloured above, as follows:
Approx 4 hour return trip departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Sunday 9th April and Sunday 11th June at 1.30pm , stop at Barley Mow, Winchfield allowing time to visit the National Gardens Scheme Open Day at Old Thatch (right).
Tickets: as above, excluding NGS admission.
PLEASE NOTE: The boat will moor at Stacey’s Bridge, which is a short walk from the gardens. A stile has to be negotiated.
Approx 1½ hour return trip departing from Fox & Hounds pub, Fleet
Saturday 27th May at 1.30pm, Sunday 28th May at 1.30 and 3.30pm, Monday 29th May at 11am, 1.30 and 3.30pm.
Tickets: Adults £6, children under 16 £4 (under 1yr free).
New for 2017 – Volunteers’ Introductory Cruises – Approx 2½ hour return trip departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Mondays 10th April and 2nd October at 7pm, and Mondays 8th May, 5th June, 3rd July, 7th August and 4th September at 7.30pm.
Tickets: FREE to those wishing to learn more about the many volunteering roles available on the Canal.
PLEASE NOTE: Advance payment is recommended for all John Pinkerton trips, and is required for all special cruises.
Special (Theme) Cruises
The following special cruises will take place during 2017. These were very popular last season, so please book early!
Jazz & Ale Special, departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Fridays: 7th July, 18th August, 22nd September at 7.00pm. Approx 3½ hour trip.
Tickets: Adults £25, to include jazz band and fish & chips delivered to the boat. Real ale available to purchase.
Acoustic & Ale Special, departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Friday 8th September at 7.00pm. Approx 3½ hour trip.
Tickets: Adults £25, to include Acoustic Duo Still Crazy band and fish & chips delivered to the boat. Real ale available to purchase.
Cream Tea Special, with piano accompaniment departing from Colt Hill, Odiham
Wednesdays 10th May, 14th June, 12th July, 13th September at 2.30pm. Approx 2½ hour trip.
Friday 26th May at 10am, departing from Colt Hill, Odiham. An approx 4 hour trip to the Fox & Hounds pub, Fleet.
Tuesday 30th May at 10am, departing from the Fox & Hounds pub, Fleet. An approx 4 hour trip to Colt Hill, Odiham.
Tickets: £15. Light snacks and bar available.
PLEASE NOTE: As the Enthusiasts Cruises are one-way, passengers will be responsible for their own onward transport arrangements.
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 special 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, on 01256 765889 (10am – 8pm), or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to book a Public or Special Trip
You can book a public or special trip in one of the following ways:
- On-line at johnpinkerton.co.uk/booking
- By contacting the Booking Team on 01256 765889 (10am – 8pm) with your debit or credit card
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.
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.
Most public trips depart from Colt Hill Wharf, Odiham. In a few cases, trips depart from the Fox & Hounds pub, Fleet.
Colt 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.
Fox & 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. 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 guide- and medical dogs, we regret that dogs cannot be taken on public trips.
Buy A Public or Special Cruise Gift Voucher
Why not buy a Gift Voucher for use on any John Pinkerton Public or Special 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 special 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 – 8pm).
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.