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Picturesque picnics

One of the things we love about Basingstoke is the wealth of glorious 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 1800s, 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 one of 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 on-site 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.

War Memorial Park, Basingstoke is a fantastic location for a picnic and to take in the scenery, with its huge green fields of grass and two play parks for the children to burn off some energy. It is only a very short walk into Basingstoke town centre if you fancy grabbing some lunch to take back with you to the park. The park has many sights to see and things to explore such as an aviary, a BMX/skate park, sports pitches, a band stand, an indoor tennis court run by National Tennis and pathways to walk along and relax.  

War Memorial Park

The Lime Pits, near Old Basing, features a recently refurbished play area where children can enjoy a 30-metre zip wire and a challenging agility trail, alongside many other features. It has been designed to cater for younger and older children. The Lime Pits site is ideal for taking a scenic stroll or enjoying your lunch outside, surrounded by wildlife. 

The Beggarwood Park Local Nature Reserve is a Green Flag awarded park and perfect for getting out in the fresh air by yourself or with friends and family! Its stunning open grassland wild meadows are host to a variety of wildlife such as linnet birds and the Holy blue and Small Blue butterflies.  After indulging in a delicious picnic why not explore what the park has to offer including a toddler and junior play area, an outdoor gym and an amphitheatre. On the edge of the park sits Beggarwood Community Centre which houses the park cafe, selling homemade cakes and paninis.  

Made famous by the author Richard Adams, The Watership Down Trail hosts the most spectacular views and miles of open grassland. It is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic in the peace and quiet of the county side. Why not park up in the car park at the top of White Hill just south of Kingsclere and take the picturesque trail. 

Watership Down Trail by Jo South

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

Last updated April 2024

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