The Basingstoke Canal provides Odiham with a stunning waterway, used by canal boats, canoeists and for fishing. It offers beautiful walks along the towpath and is a site of scientific importance.
It was completed in 1794 and ran from Basingstoke, passing through or near Greywell, North Warnborough, Odiham, Dogmersfield, Fleet, Farnborough Airfield, Aldershot, Mytchett, Brookwood, Knaphill and Woking. Its eastern end is at Byfleet, where it connects to the Wey Navigation. This, in turn, leads to the River Thames at Weybridge. Its intended purpose was to allow boats to travel to and from the docks in East London to Basingstoke.
The canal was conceived as a way to stimulate agricultural development in Hampshire, although one of the main cargos carried from Basingstoke was timber.
The canal was never a commercial success and fell into disuse. From 1950, lack of maintenance allowed the canal to become increasingly derelict. After many years of neglect, restoration commenced in 1977 and on 10 May 1991 the canal was reopened as a fully navigable waterway from the River Wey to almost as far as the Greywell Tunnel.