From humble beginnings as a market town which was expanded in the 1960s as a ‘London over-spill’, Basingstoke has now become a town of major economic importance, with plenty of features and facilities for visitors and residents to enjoy. Here are our favourite things about Basingstoke!
History and Culture
Discover thousands of years of English history in and around Basingstoke at numerous sites of cultural significance.
To the north lies the National Trust heritage site of The Vyne – a grand country estate and Tudor mansion that belonged to Baron William Sandys: friend and Lord Chamberlain to Henry VIII. Henry visited The Vyne three times to meet with Sandys – on one occasion bringing his second wife Anne Boleyn (…who Sandys himself later escorted to The Tower of London to begin her imprisonment for high treason!). The Tudor mansion is currently undergoing major restoration work to its roof and visitors are able to access the rooftop walkway, which affords a behind-the-scenes view of conservation in action.
The nearby village of Silchester – also to the north – is an English Heritage site with some of the best-preserved Roman town defences in the country and the remains of an amphitheatre. The village was once the major Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, which flourished until the early Anglo-Saxon period.
More recently – in relative terms! – the Great Barn at Basing House in Old Basing was an important site during the English Civil War. In 1645 Oliver Cromwell led troops to end a two-year siege of the house – the home of the loyalist Paulet family.
The Great Outdoors
Although Basingstoke itself is a bustling town of economic importance, it is also surrounded by acres of beautiful countryside to explore.
Miles of sprawling untouched countryside extend to the south, whilst a collection of picturesque villages are scattered to the east of the town. The area to the west of Basingstoke is ‘Jane Austen country’ and leads to the town of Chawton, where Austen lived for the last eight years of her life.
There is also plenty of green space within the town itself, with Eastrop Park providing a peaceful rural haven within a few minutes’ walk from the town centre and Basing View.
Enjoy a spot of retail therapy at Festival Place: a major shopping development offering over 150 stores and eateries in the centre of Basingstoke. Find international brands and shops to cater for every interest with fashion, beauty, home, sports and technology retailers located at the centre.
Festival Place also boasts a large 10-screen multiplex cinema for your entertainment and viewing pleasure!
A Rush of Adrenaline
If you’re looking for an adrenaline fix, there are plenty of purpose-built facilities located within Basingstoke to thrill and delight!
The town is home the UK’s first purpose built Parkour and Free Running Academy, offering an excellent training ground for those wishing to hone their skills in this challenging sport. Extreme sports-lovers can also – artificially – take to the skies and enjoy freefalling through the air at Basingstoke’s indoor skydiving facility. And for those that prefer to get their thrills of the aquatic kind, the Aquadrome offers a series of water slides and flumes to enjoy. If that wasn’t enough, a trampolining park is also due to open in the near future in Festival Place!
A Town of Economic Success
Over the last decade, Basingstoke has become a major economic centre which houses the headquarters of many national and multinational brands from the worlds of IT, communications, insurance and electronics – amongst others. The town has been named as the third fastest growing town in the UK and was identified as 7th most affluent UK town in 2015.
As the economic success of Basingstoke continues with the development of Basing View, the area provides the perfect base for businesses of all sizes. Take a look at our workspace solutions at The Square, Basing View – the newest centre in the Arena portfolio!