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24 things to do in 2024 in Basingstoke and Deane

As we begin the new year we thought we’d put together the ultimate bucket list for exploring and enjoying Basingstoke and Deane. We’ve popped these in order of when you could do them as the year progresses but many work all year round!

We hope you’ll find some inspiration to discover something new.

1. Try an independent coffee shop
We are lucky to have some amazing independent coffee shops in Basingstoke and Deane. In the town centre, enjoy Willows Coffee House or the café at Proteus. You’ll find Kudos in Whitchurch, The Street Bakeshop in Old Basing and Honesty in Overton. For inspiration, read our blog.

2. Enjoy Sunday lunch
Spend a Sunday going for a stroll and eating lunch out. You’ll find a great selection of Sunday roasts in Basingstoke and Deane. Whether you're looking for a cosy pub like the Queens College Arms or Hoddington Arms or a stylish restaurant like the Palm Brasserie, there's something for everyone on our list.

The Street Bakeshop

3. Let’s Glow
'Lets Glow’ is back again this year! See Basingstoke town centre in new light this February half-term with a free light trail brought to you by Love Basingstoke and Festival Place.

Between Monday 12 February and Sunday 18 February head to the unit next to Swarovski on the upper level of Festival Place between 9.30am and 9pm for some interactive light fun. You can also enjoy the street projections at the Top of the Town from 5pm to 9pm from Monday 12 February to Saturday 17 February.

There’s more to love on Thursday 15 February to Saturday 17 February with light shows outside the Willis Museum and installations in War Memorial Park taking place between 5pm and 9pm.

4. Learn a bit about the history of Basingstoke
You can find out more about the history of Basingstoke and Deane at the Willis Museum, Basing House or follow the historic town trail. Or immerse yourself in history by e
xploring Milestones Museum’s cobbled streets, shops and buildings to discover how people used to live, buy a ration of sweets from the 1940s sweet shop and view the unique collection of vintage vehicles.

5. Splash about at Basingstoke Aquadrome
Enjoy the rapids, baby beach, flumes and water features of the Lagoon Pool at Basingstoke Aquadrome.

6. Browse The Borough Basket
Discover exciting and unique products and services from local makers, creators and businesses while helping to create jobs and strengthening the community.

7. Enjoy Easter adventures at The Vyne
Look out for cheerful spring displays in the gardens put together by local community groups as you complete a fun Easter trail in The Vyne's gardens. At the end, you can collect a prize!

The Vyne ©National Trust Images/John Miller

8. Get up close with animals
If you want to get up close with animals then Miller’s Ark is a must. It’s only open on selected days and tickets need to be purchased in advance. Even if you don’t have kids this is one to explore as they often have adult only days! 4 Kingdoms also has a petting zoo.

9. Explore the poetic side of Basingstoke
Download the Overhear app and explore the poetic side of Basingstoke. Tune in to the words of local poet and playwright Rebecca Lyon, read by local voice artist Naomi Escott. Walk to the locations pinned on the app to unlock the recording. Listen to the perspective of a poet at a unique point in time in a specially selected place. What does it mean to be you, here, now? You can enjoy the trail until June 2024.

10. Visit the Festival of Transport
Returning this May to War Memorial Park is Basingstoke Festival of Transport, a great day out for the whole family whether you are a keen motor buff or just looking for an enjoyable Sunday. You’ll find a huge range of vehicles on static display, including classic and vintage cars, lorries, buses, fire engines and military trucks. There will also be a variety of specialist car clubs, trade stalls and catering outlets.

11. Visit a distillery or brewery
There are a number of places within the borough where you can find out how your favourite tipple is made. Take a tour of Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Laverstoke, Gorilla Spirits or Andwell Brewery.

12. Attend Basingstoke Festival
The popular annual arts festival, Basingstoke Festival is back for 2024! Free fun for the whole family as Basingstoke town centre comes alive with dance, music, visual art and theatre – this really is the highlight in the events calendar this year and not to be missed. Save the dates from Friday 21 June to Sunday 7 July.

Basingstoke Festival 2023

13. Enjoy Weftival
Whitchurch Silk Mill’s festival of weaving is back for 2024. Over a weekend in July you can enjoy workshops, talks from special guests and children’s craft. If you don’t make it to Weftival then make a date to explore the UK’s oldest working silk mill at another time this year. And we would highly recommend a bite to eat in the Riverside Café

14. Enjoy afternoon tea
Nothing beats someone making afternoon tea for you and taking a few hours in your day to enjoy it with friends and family. Find somewhere local to enjoy this experience in our blog including Oakley Hall Hotel, The Parlour Tearoom and The White Hart in Overton.

15. Do the Streets Alive trail
Enjoy a walk around Basingstoke town centre and discover all the colourful street furniture brought to life with poems and illustrations by our local artists.

16. Pick your own
If you fancy some super fresh fruit then head to Bourne Valley Pick Your Own. You can also pick pumpkins in October, ready for Halloween. If you would like flowers to brighten up your home, the Flowerpot offer pick your own sunflowers during August.

17. Try the Watership Down circular walk
Follow in the footsteps of Whitchurch resident and author Richard Adams as you explore the stunning north Hampshire landscape that author Richard Adams so loved to wander and where he told his tale of the rabbits of Watership Down. The 24-mile route starts from Whitchurch Railway Station.

Watership Down Trail by Jo South

18. Visit a new park
Pack up a picnic, take your bikes and scooters and explore one of Basingstoke and Deane’s parks and green spaces.

19. Enjoy some movie magic
You’ll find the Vue Cinema in Festival Place and Odeon at the leisure park to enjoy film all year round but if you are a movie lover, check out Exit 6 Film Festival which comes to Basingstoke every September.

20. Take in a show
There is no shortage of venues to take in a show. Anvil Arts has a packed programme across The Anvil, The Forge and The Haymarket. You'll find a variety of shows to suit all ages and interests whether you are looking for comedy, drama or music. Also in the town centre you'll find Proteus Creation Space which has a varied programme including interactive children's shows over the summer and at Christmas. Central Studio situated in the surroundings of Queen Mary's College hosts a wealth of events and performances including comedy, dance, drama, live music, children’s theatre and many more. 

21. Visit Viables Craft Centre
Located just outside of Basingstoke town centre is Viables Craft Centre. Here you’ll find a selection of small businesses in workshop style buildings and a tea room. The community centre often runs events including craft fairs. Train lovers will also enjoy taking a ride on a mini train run by Basingstoke and District Model Engineering Society. It makes a great morning or afternoon out.

22. Pamper yourself
Rest, relax and unwind at one of the local spas. You can enjoy a spa day or even a break at Hampshire Court Hotel, have a treatment or spend the day at Beechdown, or enjoy a visit to national award-winning spa, beauty salon and wellness centre, Laurabella. If a spa isn’t your thing then perhaps treat yourself to a haircut or get your nails done.

23. Head out for breakfast or brunch
If you fancy a lazy weekend morning and for someone to cook you breakfast or you fancy brunch with friends, head out locally and indulge. Take a look at our top spots for breakfast and brunch.

24. Enjoy Christmas in Basingstoke
Before we know it the festive season will be upon us again. Basingstoke is a great place at Christmas time. You can enjoy the pantomime at The Anvil or a spot of shopping at Festival Place and The Malls.

Don't forget to sign up for the Love Basingstoke newsletter and spread the word about Love Basingstoke to your friends and family so they can keep up to date on what’s on and things to do all year around in Basingstoke and Deane.

January 2024

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