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Days out as a couple

Treat yourself and a loved one to a day out in and around Basingstoke. There’s plenty to do and see together.

Fancy a day out to two beautiful yet very different mills that are on the doorstep?

Head to Bombay Sapphire at the historic Laverstoke Mill and discover how they make their famous gin on a tour of the distillery. Take in the sights of the magnificent glasshouses and the River Test, one of the purest chalk streams in England.

After a few hours follow the river down to Whitchurch Silk Mill and take in the delight of the last working mill in south England. You’ll find plenty of places to make a pit stop for food or drink in the area. For coffee, check out Kudos Coffee in Whitchurch or the Whitchurch Silk Mill Café. For lunch or dinner try The Watership Down Inn in Laverstoke.

Credit Whitchurch Silk Mill

A day out in Basingstoke town centre

Start your day with a spot of breakfast or a coffee in Basingstoke town centre then enjoy a spot of shopping at Festival Place, home to over 170 shops. You can also head to The Malls for more shopping and to the Top of the Town for a range of independent shops and restaurants. Once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped you can relax over lunch at one of the many eateries in Festival Place or the Top of the Town. You’ll find everything from the quirky Cosy Club to wonderful street food from Festival Street Kitchen.

You can fill the rest of the day in town by taking in a film at the Vue Cinema or an escape room at Escape Hunt or Exciting Escapes. The Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Market Place has a programme of exhibitions running throughout the year and a permanent exhibition about the history of Basingstoke. If you fancy a leisurely stroll then Eastrop Park is really easily reached from the town centre.

If you are looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy your day, then Basingstoke Wellness offer a range of massage treatments.

Take in a historic house

You can easily spend a day at The Vyne located just north of Basingstoke town centre. A former Tudor powerhouse turned 17th-century family home with gardens, woodlands and wetlands for you to explore whatever the season. In spring you’ll discover a haze of bluebells and daffodils. In autumn you can stroll beneath the copper canopy of trees and spot the ripening apples and mulberries.

The Brewhouse tea-room serves light refreshments and hot and cold beverages. In the summer months you’ll find an ice cream stand in outside the tea-room. If you are taking your own picnic, try the north lawn by the wide lake and overlooked by The Vyne’s grand portico.

The Vyne ©National Trust Images/John Miller

Date night!

Extend your day into the evening and enjoy a cocktail or two at the Duck and Tipple. Here the staff develop a new cocktail each week. Follow on with romantic meal at The Olive House or Lime Leaf. At the weekend you can often find live music at several venues in town including the Tea Bar and Rhu Bar. And if you want to take in a show, have a look at what’s on at The Anvil theatre.

Looking to make a weekend of it? Take a look at our inspiration for a weekend getaway.

Updated March 2024