Things to Do in Basingstoke

things to do in Basingstoke

Basingstoke has a thriving arts scene with theatre and musical productions staged at venues such as The Anvil and The Forge. There’s also a raft of performances by choirs, orchestras, plays and kids’ shows.

A trip to the town’s Milestones Museum will give you a vivid picture of the town in Tudor England, while exhibits at Willis Museum cover local history.


Surrounded by the Hampshire countryside and within reach of London, Basingstoke has an impressive amount to offer. From walking trails around the North Wessex Downs to tours of the Bombay Sapphire gin distillery and a Georgian silk mill, there are activities to suit all ages.

The town centre is dotted with many high street brands in the light and airy Festival Place mall and there’s a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The market is set up in Market Place at the top of the town and also extends down Wote Street.

For foodies, head to the Market stalls in Market Place and the Upper High Street for fresh locally-produced produce. You’ll find everything from fruit and vegetables to meat and eggs as well as artisan bakery stalls serving decadent cakes.

Laura Fisher

Take your family dining to new heights at the lovely Bartons Mill. This former mill on the edge of town is a popular pub serving tasty pub classics like sandwiches at lunchtime and rustic favourites for dinner, plus a kids menu and pet friendly atmosphere.

For a day out with a twist, check out iFLY, where you can put gravity to the test in a wind tunnel. You can also whizz down the Aquadrome water slides, skate on Planet Ice and play golf at Basingstoke Leisure Park.

Whether you’re visiting to shop or sightsee, there are lots of unique things to do in Basingstoke. So, leave the car at home and hop aboard South Western Railway’s network with a range of train tickets, including discounted options when you book direct with us.

Willis Museum

The Willis Museum, housed in a former town hall on New Street, celebrates the local history of Basingstoke. Trace the evolution of the town in the gallery featuring reconstructions of excavated Saxon buildings and a room full of old maps, photographs and postcards.

Release your inner Tarzan at Go Ape where you can jump, balance and swing through the treetops on a family adventure. Learn about the town that Jane Austen knew as you visit The Vyne, a 16th-century mansion where she once did her shopping and attended dances.

It might seem incongruous to find a heritage attraction on a leisure park amongst an aqua dome, ice rink and bowling alley but Milestones is certainly fun for all ages. Take a trip back in time on a network of streets that recreate the Victorian and 1930’s Hampshire eras.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Located under 10 miles from Basingstoke is the world-renowned Bombay Sapphire Distillery, housed in a 18th-century paper mill and overlooking the River Test. Book a tour and discover the ten botanicals that give this gin its signature flavour.

You can also take part in a cocktail masterclass where you’ll learn about the best ways to enjoy the spirit with mixers and create your own bottle of gin for you to take home.

The bespoke glassware can be put on display at home and acts as a reminder of your romantic trip to Hampshire together. You can also choose to have the design engraved with a special message. A must for all gin lovers.

Duck & Tipple

Whether you’re a gin fan or not, this is a fun and interactive date night for all the family. Take a behind-the-scenes tour with plenty of gin tasting and then create your own bottle to take home at the end of the day.

It might seem a bit incongruous to find Milestones Museum at the Basingstoke Leisure Park, surrounded by an Aqua Dome, ice rink, bowling alley and iFLY indoor skydiving, but it’s actually well worth visiting. You’ll find a treasure trove of history from ancient artefacts to a portrait of Jane Austen.

Alternatively, stroll around Wote St, London Street and Church Street, keeping an eye out for Heritage Information boards. And, if you’re visiting in the summer, make a beeline for Eastrop Park, where the River Loddon floats a balancing pond and wildlife area.

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