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Picturesque Picnics

One of the things we love about Basingstoke is the wealth of green spaces and parks truly making it a perfect blend of town and country. A great way to take advantage of the green spaces in Basingstoke is putting together a hamper and having a picnic with friends and family. Not only is this a great way for children and families to explore the great outdoors, it is also free.

The Walled Garden at Down Grange is something of a hidden gem in Basingstoke. Dating back to the 1800’s the garden once served as a kitchen garden to Down Grange House. It still holds many of it’s original features such as yew hedges and gothic iron gates. The wrought iron gates were designed by Trevor Forrester and Richard Quinnell and reflect the main activities of the garden. Inside the secret garden you will find a wildlife pond, beehives and demonstration allotments. Dogs on leads are allowed so don’t forget to bring your furry friends!

Eastrop Park in Basingstoke town centre is home to a boating lake, a children’s play area and paddling pool. Eastrop Park’s position near Festival Place means you can forget the picnic hamper and enjoy a take out from many of Festival Place’s restaurants. Parking is available on site, with disabled parking bays. The park can also be reached with ease by cycling or walking with pathways throughout the park which are suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. If it’s a hot day you can always cool down with an ice cream or cold drink served from the boathouse.

Black Dam Ponds is a haven for wildlife and has dedicated picnic facilities and free onsite parking. There are plenty of free activities for families to enjoy such as a play area, feeding the ducks and walking trails. The ponds are well connected to Crabtree Plantation which is another great location for a picnic.

The main entrance into Crabtree Plantation is marked by the rather grand Bolton Arch which is evidence of Crabtree’s historical past being part of the Hackwood Estate. The majority of the site is a conservation area due to its grassland and woodland habitats but is an especially important site for butterflies as it is a resting and breeding place for the rare White Letter Hairstreak.

Where is your favourite picnic spot?  Let us know and we’ll add it to this list.

July 2021

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