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Why Basingstoke isn’t as urban as you think

Basingstoke has a bit of a concrete reputation. As in it’s got loads of concrete. Is this actually true though? Is it an urban sprawl? We’re not sure where this image came from, as Basingstoke boasts a huge number of green spaces. Not only this, but across the town are examples of truly exceptional and innovative greenery that lift the town way beyond the urban.

Parks

Beggarwood Park

South west of Basingstoke, this park is a bit different. It features a maze and amphitheatre as well as the play area and outdoor fitness that you’d expect to find. 

Eastrop Park

Centrally located in Basingstoke, there’s enough to do here to spend the day or just drop by. The boating lake and paddling pool make this a popular summer destination and the play areas, trails and pond dipping platform will entertain everyone. 

War Memorial Park

Entertain the kids at the skate park and play area, or just pop by while you’re in Basingstoke town to enjoy the art installations. There are trails, guided walks and events all year round.

Nature Reserves

Black Dam Ponds

Basingstoke’s own water fowl conservation area; kingfishers, coots and tufted ducks can be regularly spotted here. 

Old Down Park

Managed with the Old Down and Beggarwood Wildlife Group, this conservation area focusses on chalk grassland species. 

Woodlands

Basing Wood

Three walking trails run through the woodland, where you may spot fallow, roe and muntjac deer, foxes, rabbits and many species of birds. The great crested newt and, at the right time of year, tadpoles and froglets populate the pond. 

Binfields Woodland Park

You’ll find something a little bit different on walks through this woodland that is situated north east of Basingstoke town centre. There are nature inspired sculptures amongst the trees and an easy 45 minute walk. 

Gardens

Glebe Gardens

Opposite the Anvil Concert Hall in central Basingstoke, these gardens are an oasis of calm where snowdrops, crocus and daffodils grow amongst the grasses. 

Walled Garden

The Walled Garden is a secret haven dating back to the nineteenth century, when it was once a kitchen garden to Down Grange House. The garden now sits as part of Basingstoke’s Down Grange Sports Complex.

Playing Fields

Russell Howard Park

At the west of Basingstoke, this park is composed of netball courts, football pitches, bowling greens and a play area.

Winklebury Park

This large park sits next to Basingstoke Leisure Park. Football pitches, bike and skate ramps, basketball courts, a play area and cycle path are all found here. 

Heritage Sites

Basing Lime Pits

The Lime Pits were originally part of a private estate, but now form part of the Basingstoke Canal Heritage Footpath Trail. This area is rich in wildlife and cultural heritage and runs across Basingstoke common to Basing House.

Crabtree Plantation

The Bolton Arch which heralds the main entrance of Crabtree is a sign of its history as part of the Hackwood Estate. Nowadays, Crabtree is an important habitat for butterflies.

Chineham Park

Once part of the Chineham Park Estate, this park retains a number of mature and historical trees from the original parkland.

Architecture

Gateway House

We couldn’t talk about greenery without a mention of one of the greenest buildings in the country. Known as the “Hanging Gardens of Basingstoke”, the old offices of Gateway House are now known as Mountbatten House. Grade II listed, the building is now scheduled for a major renovation to bring it back into grade A office use.

In Basingstoke, you’re never far from a little bubble of green space to magic you away from the bustle of town. Perhaps this is one of the things that makes Basingstoke such a popular place to live and work. 

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