7 Of The Best Basingstoke Sights
There’s a Bank Holiday fast approaching this month (April 14th-17th) so now’s the time to think about what you and the family can get up to that will really mark the occasion. If you’re stuck for ideas, what about sorting out minibus hire to Basingstoke and checking out some of the many Hampshire-based delights there are on offer?
Manydown Family Fun
You’re timing it right if you go to this Basingstoke farm this month, as it’s Easter Lambing season until April 23rd so your kids will have an amazing – and educational – time. There’s a new sheep racing track, lamb bottle feeding, tractor trailer rides, animal handling, woodland walks, adventure play, a human rabbit warren and trampolines… so there’s no chance of getting bored.
If the sun shines (fingers crossed!), what about making a day of it at Eastrop Park? It’s the perfect place for a family picnic, with a play area and paddling pool, tree trail and a boating lake. It’s also a great place to go for bird-watching – and make sure you keep your eyes well peeled for the local kingfisher, which can often be spotted by the water.
Kids and grown-ups alike will get a kick out of the local miniature railway. Public rides are available so you and your family can hop on board diesel or electric locomotives and live steam locomotives to complete a few laps of the track circuit. If you’re there between April 8th and 9th, there’s also a Miniature Steam Gala being put on that could be quite fun.
No trip to Basingstoke would ever be complete without a visit to the local market, which has been going on since the original market was set up by Royal Charter way back in 1622. General markets are on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with stalls selling all sorts of amazing fruit, veg, meat, clothes… the list goes on!
Not a sight as such, but still something worth putting in your diary. This year’s Basingstoke Festival is taking place between June 16th and July 9th, with Born in the Borough the chosen theme. A special focus is being put on Jane Austen this year, since July marks the 200th anniversary of her death. Did you know that the author was born in the borough at Steventon? What an incredible legacy for the township!
If you’re looking for a drinking hole, make it this one. Laarsen’s was once known as the Feathers and is actually thought to be the oldest surviving pub in the town. It’s said that it has medieval foundations! Bear in mind that it does serve as a sports bar now so expect it to be busy on match days.
The Basingstoke Triumphal Gateway
Basingstoke is known for its collection of contemporary outdoor public art and the biggest thus far is the Triumphal Gateway, installed back in 1992 on London Street. It was designed by Hampshire artist Peter Parkinson to serve as a modern juxtaposition for the older buildings nearby.