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Love trying something new

We loved the festive season but there’s also something about turning over the calendar to a fresh new year. Want to try something new in 2023? Whatever your interests, Basingstoke and Deane has lots to offer.

Explore somewhere new

There are many hidden treasures in Basingstoke and Deane to explore somewhere new in 2023.

Have you explored Beacon Hill? It's an impressive iron age hillfort near Burghclere with extensive views over the North Wessex Downs.  Did you know that within the enclosure is the grave of the fifth Earl of Carnarvon who played a prominent part in archaeological expeditions to Egypt, including his final trip to the Valley of the Kings. It was here that he and Howard Carter discovered and opened the fabulous tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

Discover the new 24-mile 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 wrote his tale of the rabbits of Watership Down.

Explore Hackwood Park, a large country estate which began life as a deer park in 1223, on the east side of the A339, Alton to Basingstoke Road. Entrance here to the public footpath which runs through the park is via the wrought-iron gate.

Try and do something new

Creative classes

Immerse yourself in a creative workshop. Learn the beautiful art of brush calligraphy or luxury candle making with Laura FisherBumble and Bee will teach you how to make, cut, file, shape and stamp your own sterling silver jewellery. Workshops are delivered from quaint studios at Viables Craft Centre, with current availability in January and February 2023.

Hampshire School of Jewellery offer a range of one-off classes which are perfect for beginners and a great introduction to jewellery making, courses include silver art clay, make a silver spinning ring and a stone pendant.

Hampshire School of Jewellery

Always wanted to learn how to paint, illustrate or looking for a fresh spin on drawing? Join a 10-week art class or a wine and paint evening at Azure Art Academy with professional artist and teacher Liam KelleherDigital courses are also available for those who would prefer to learn from the comfort of their own home. You can also join a mixed media art class at Proteus Creation Space on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Learn, evolve your style and produce work that you can be proud of.

Whitchurch Silk Mill has a range of courses running from January to April including weave a wall hanging, introduction to frame loom weaving and a natural dyeing workshop.

Did you know the Duck and Tipple Bar run sessions called ‘Drink and Do’? A creative fun and relaxed evening of craft. Reserve your place and pay £10 on the door, materials, tools and instructions are all provided. Sessions normally take place on Tuesday from 7pm to 10pm.

Health, leisure and wellbeing

This new year is a great chance to try something new for your health and wellbeing.

Have you ever joined Basingstoke ParkRun? A free, weekly, timed 5k walk, jog or run at 9am every Saturday open to all abilities. You’ll find a junior version on a Sunday at Stratton Park if you have youngsters that would like to take up running.

If jogging is not your thing, try a pole dance fitness class with The Flying Studio.

Book a wellbeing walk with BVA. They are free, fun, supportive and led by trained volunteers. All new walkers are welcome and you can sign up to a walk to suit your pace and distance.

Wayfarers Walk

Always wanted to learn how to trampoline or tumble? Basingstoke Gymnastics Club is a charity run business offering a variety of classes catering for all ages, needs and abilities.

Basingstoke has many gyms such as Basingstoke Sports CentreBasingstoke AquadromeThe Village GymElite-Bodyworks, and Complete Performance offering individual sessions, group classes and personal training.

Want to learn to ice skate or brush up on your skills? Planet Ice offers a six week course ‘Learn to Skate’, designed for beginners of all ages, abilities, and learning styles.

If you prefer to be on water for your exercise, check out the PaddleSup Company, who offer stand up Paddleboarding lessons, and social events on the beautiful, shallow and very sheltered waters of Odiham and Winchfield on the Basingstoke Canal.

If you are looking for more ideas, see our keeping fit in winter blog. If we have missed your favourite activity please do let us know.


Enjoy singing? The A Cappella group meets at Rooksdown Community Centre on Thursday evenings 8pm until 10pm during term time. This is an adult group, with members of all ages that aims for fun first. You can find them singing everything from Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie and Wheatus to classics like Elvis and The Beach Boys.

Sing for Fun rehearses on Mondays at Proteus. No need to audition to join, it’s just about having fun. If you are new to Sing For Fun you can book a free taster session to see what they’re all about!

Rock out with The Rock Music Academy, lessons for children and adults to play guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and singing. Weekly lessons on the Rock instrument of your choice.

Cooking, baking and creating

Enjoy cooking or need some inspiration for meal times? Choose a virtual Indian cookery class with Herbs and Spice Cookery. As a new student receive a free introductory lesson on Balti potatoes. Courses range from easy, intermediate to advanced.

Herbs and Spices

Learn to bake with Baked In, sign up to a monthly subscription which features a brand new recipe and baking kit delivered to your door so you can learn how to make a delicious creation each month.

Head to gin school by booking a distillery experience with Gorilla Spirits or Bombay Sapphire.

If you have any other ideas then drop us an email:

Please note the inclusion of any business within this listing should not be seen as an endorsement of their services. Whilst the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.  

January 2023

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