Odd I Ham. 15th June

Odiham Castle to Barley Mow Bridge Moorings

We think that last night we decided not to rush back to Frimley Lodge Park. Our passage down the locks wasn’t for Monday anyway and even if they can mend whatever the problem is with the lock gate they will still need to send water down to fill an intermediate pound, so the earliest we’d be able to go down Deepcut would be Tuesday, when they don’t normally do passages on the flight.

The Ginger cat was spotted before we let Tilly out this morning. NB Olive had said they’d be moving off about 9:30, a pump out on their agenda and then on to the Double Bridge mooring for feline shore leave. As soon as they’d pushed off Tilly was given half an hour to explore whilst we had breakfast.

Cholsley Barn

Rain came and went, waterproofs a sensible precaution for our walk to the shops in Odiham. Over the lift bridge and through North Warnborough. Some big houses around here. Cholsley Barn, a conversion with a rather large entrance hall/dining room, a huge chandelier suspended from the ceiling made from antlers.

New railings going in

Across the way new railings were replacing a wooden fence. The main supports obviously new with a smooth finish, the railing panels themselves obviously new due to the pitted aged effect.


Up the hill and towards Odiham. We could have moved the boat to Galleon Wharf and walked from there, this would have been a touch shorter, but not that much. An interesting Creperie, buckwheat pancakes, yum, shame we’d already had breakfast! A newsagents, but not one copy of our Saturday newspaper, not even a space for it!

By now we were glad we’d put waterproofs on, we walked down the hill and found an arcade to shelter in, we browsed the shops, nothing we needed then waited for the rain to stop being sideways. Down the hill to the Co-op, our newspaper in stock here. We picked up a few bits and bobs, milk, bananas, then found a bin with a lot of items reduced to 20p. Yes they were just out of date, but still perfectly edible. We boosted our purchases.

Bel and the Dragon

A different route back would have been good, but much further to walk with bags, so we retraced our steps. Plenty of blue plaques on buildings. The George, now Bel and the Dragon, why Bel? Odiham appeared in the Domesday Book. In 1622 there was a Pest House where those with plague or smallpox could stay in isolation. Mr William Lily was born here, he wrote grammar which after an act of parliament was taught in schools from Henry XIII time. In 1783 a group of men met in the George Inn to inaugurate the Odiham Agricultural Society, they resolved to reform farriery and animal care, establishing a veterinary school, the outcome of which resulted in the foundation of the Royal Veterinary Society.

Back at Oleanna, Tilly was given more shore leave whilst we had lunch, then it was time for us to start heading back north, well in the general term northbound, but heading east.

Lift Bridge

Nobody was stopped in their tracks at the lift bridge, one man crossing as I arrived, he did then stand directly under where I needed to close one of the barriers for a chat! Then onwards through the narrow bits, the clear water ahead showing how shallow the edges were. Thankfully when we came across the big trip boat there was just about enough depth for both boats to pass without going aground. At Lodge Bridge there is a sign to a Farm Shop, the website looks very interesting. If we end up being stuck on the canal for a while I’m requesting a visit.

First boat

Canoes were being packed away and there were plenty of people around Galleon Wharf, a popular area on a weekend. More rain showers came and went giving way to bright sunshine. Two more trip boats, Louise with a party of four who were making their way through a couple of bottles of bubbly.

I kept my eyes peeled for Woodpeckers, but none showed, just a Cormorant diving and flying.

The Chocolate box house looked better today as we passed, thatch, bronze horse and flowerpot person with plenty of ducks on the lawn for good measure.

Chocolate Box house

Ideally we’d have liked to carry on to Double Bridge for Tilly to go out, but NB Olive would be there. Instead we stopped at Barley Mow Bridge, pulling onto the moorings. It felt a reasonable distance away from the road over the bridge, until I heard a car drive by just on the other side of the hedge by our mooring. Sorry Tilly! ………………………… She wasn’t pleased.

0 locks, 4.3 miles, 3 trip boats, 4 canoes, 1 newspaper, 1 sunny down pour day, 1.5 hours shore leave, 3 litter pickers, 1 couped up cat.