If you fancy something different to fill your time while you’re in and around Basingstoke, seek out hidden gems. These fantastic places, sites, features and shops are what makes Basingstoke special. They might be off the beaten track shops and cafes, or little known benefits of the town. A hidden gem makes a visit to Basingstoke special or revitalises the town for residents who want a fresh experience.
When high street chain coffee shops dominate our conscience, a visit to an independent tea room is great for the soul.
Head to the Viables Craft Centre south of Basingstoke for this family run country tea house. This old milking parlour is full of rustic vintage charm and warm and personal service.
Central Basingstoke is home to this tea room which harbours a secret identity. By day, enjoy traditional tea, scones and crumpets. By night, cocktails are poured from the teapots and live music fills the air.
Head to the outskirts of Basingstoke towards Worting for an unique Aladdin’s Cave. You’ll find everything from remedies to gifts and even a beauty refill station for zero waste shoppers. Espokes
This specialist e-bike shop is located in Basingstoke and Somerset. Family run, it aims to make cycling more accessible.
A mother and daughter team make up this independent jewellery shop in south Basingstoke. Discover expertise, advice and even an after school design club!
The Basingstoke canal once reached right into Basingstoke. Indeed, the canal basin was situated roughly where the Vue cinema in Festival Place now sits. Now, since commercial use ceased in 1910, it’s utilised just for recreation. So you’ll need to head to nearby Odiham to board a canal cruise aboard the John Pinkerton, operated by the Basingstoke Canal Society.
Part of the reason for the decline of the canal, Basingstoke’s rail connectivity to London is often unappreciated. The train line from Basingstoke to London can get you into Waterloo in as little as 42 minutes. So whether you need to head for the capital as a commuter or a tourist, the fast trains will make the experience that bit easier.
With more and more people taking to their bicycle for commuting, exercise and recreation, it’s worth delving deeper into the bike ways around Basingstoke.
To the West of Basingstoke you can easily reach the North Wessex Downs. This area of outstanding natural beauty is an ideal place to explore by bike. Take in villages en route like Worting and Oakley, or travel a bit further for an accessible bike ride along the disused Marlborough railway path. http://friendsofthepath.org.uk/
National Cycling Route 23 is an official commuting route running through Basingstoke. It takes you to Reading one way and Alton the other. It takes in less busy thoroughfares to make travel by bike that much easier.
This two week long annual arts festival takes in Basingstoke’s green spaces and unique locations. Site specific and street theatre and music mean that there’s always something creative to be explored wherever you wanter around the town.
At Basingstoke’s War Memorial Park, B LOVE is the town’s biggest weekend of live music. The line-up mixes local music and art talent as well as international headliners on a number of stages. It’s a Summer highlight in the town, making a July visit to Basingstoke a must.
The hidden gems of Basingstoke and its surrounding areas make this town a destination to be explored. There are lots more hidden gems just waiting to be found, from independent artists and little used bridleways. This mix of rural and urban is what makes Basingstoke unique.
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