History of The Waterwitch Pub on Basingstoke Canal, Odiham

The Waterwitch pub is located in the historic market town of Odiham in Hampshire. The town is nestled on the banks of the famous Basingstoke Canal and boasts a rich collection of 17th and 18th buildings, as well as beautiful Hampshire countryside and relaxing canal walks.

Odiham has a long and prestigious history – the town was a frequent stopping point for Norman Kings.  In the 12th century, a large deer park was created around Odiham for Royal hunting and this layout still dominates the shape of settlement today. Odiham castle is over 800 years old and is one of only three fortresses built by King John during his reign. It has played a part in many historical events: the signing of the Magna Carta, a French siege and the imprisonment of a Scottish king.

Odiham became a market town in the Middle Ages and you can still see some of the medieval timber-framed houses today, such as Monk’s Cottage, which dates from around 1300.  

The Basingstoke Canal, which can be accessed at the bottom of the Waterwitch pub's extensive gardens, was built in the late 1700s to connect Greywell village in Hampshire and Woodham in Surrey with the Rivers Wey and Thames. In recent years, over 32 miles of the canal have been restored for the benefit of walkers, canoeists, anglers and nature lovers. Why not explore the canal yourself? Boat hire is available from Galleon Marine Hire located opposite the Waterwitch pub restaurant.

The Waterwitch, formerly the New Inn, was built in the 17th century. Many walkers, boaters and cyclists often pop by for a hearty Sunday lunch or to sample our range of cask ales, as the pub can easily be accessed from the canal towpath by a bridge to the rear of the pub.

The Waterwitch pub restaurant retains many of its original features including exposed wooden beams, real fires and even an old bread oven, which you can see from the fireplace in front of the bar. Plus there are many nooks and crannies for you to explore. To add to the cosy, nostalgic atmosphere, the Waterwitch has an impressive collection of memorabilia from HMS Waterwitch, the mine sweeper from which the pub restaurant takes its name.

We look forward to welcoming you. You can book your table at the Waterwitch pub online today.