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Things to do for older people

Whether you are recently retired and wondering what to do with your extra time or are looking for some extra help, we’ve pulled together the info below to help you.

Keeping active

Staying active is good for your body and your mind. Your local community centre is a great place to look for an exercise class. Many offer a pay-as-you-go option or allow you to try before you sign up. They are also a good way to meet other local people. There is lots of choice, these are just a few we’ve found.

Roger Morris Centre and Viables Community Centres hold Love to Move classes, a seated exercise programme designed to improve balance, co-ordination, strength, cognition and wellbeing. You can give it a try before you commit as the first session is free. Workout2music – Dance through the decades is a fun low impact dance class with music from the 1960s onwards. They run classes at Sherfield Park Community Centre and Oakley Village Hall.  You'll find Adaptive Chair Yoga run by Infinite Harmony at Sycamore Halls in Winklebury on Mondays, seated pilates at The Ridgeway Centre in Buckskin on Thursdays and Yoga, run by Age Concern, at St Michael's Church Cottage on Fridays.

Local sports centres also offer exercise classes aimed specifically at older people. Basingstoke Sports Centre offers walking football, swim for 60+ and badminton and table tennis for seniors. 

Basingstoke Sports Centre

Perhaps bowls is more your thing? Sherborne St John short mat bowl club meets at the Chute Pavilion throughout the year. They are always pleased to welcome new members. Loddon Vale Indoor Bowling Club is based on the Basingstoke Leisure Park and has walk in sessions for new bowlers.

If you are looking for a regular walk in your local area take a look at Basingstoke Wellbeing Walks. These walks are a great way to help stay active whilst enjoying local, natural spaces in the company of others. The social side of walking can be as important for wellbeing as the walk itself. For more information please visit the Basingstoke Voluntary Action website.

Clubs, social groups and societies

Libraries are a great place to start looking for a group that might be of interest to you. We have a number of libraries in Basingstoke and Deane - Basingstoke Discovery Centre, Tadley, Chineham, Whitchurch and Overton.

Basingstoke Discovery Centre, located in Festival Place, offers lots of regular groups and activities including a weekly storytime for adults where you can sit back and relax for half an hour whilst one of the library staff read aloud to you. If craft is more your thing they have both a Craft and Chatter group and a Knit and Natter group that meet in their refreshment area regularly. Hampshire Genealogical Society can help you research your family history at a drop in session the second Tuesday of the month. 

Tadley Library has game groups, reading and knit and natter sessions or enjoy sociable stitching at Whitchurch Library.

Age Concern Hampshire offers a range of services and activities to help promote wellbeing and support older people in the local area. They hold social groups in Popley, Winklebury, South Ham and Kingsclere.

The U3a offers a whole range of activities to get involved with you are bound to find a group that shares your interests. Their more creative members come together in groups like calligraphy, art, crafts, patchwork quilting, creative writing, photography and card making - to name just a few!!  Beginners join with more experienced colleagues to learn from them, and everyone is always welcome. Some members dance or sing, walk or cycle, learn about science, or research their family history.  Others play board games, cards or take part in sport and quizzes.  Many just go on holiday or have a lunch together. 

Other groups that meet in and around the area include the Basingstoke and District Model Engineering Society, Basingstoke and District Railway Society and Basingstoke Shed.


Taking on voluntary work can be extremely rewarding. Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) is the professional help and advice centre for voluntary organisations in Basingstoke and Deane. If you would like to volunteer visit their website to find local volunteering opportunities in the area or phone 01256 423816.


Perhaps you feel like learning something new now you have a bit more time. Local libraries are a great place to look for short courses. You can also take a look at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) which offers both educational and leisure courses providing you with the opportunity to meet new people whilst you learn. So if you fancy learning to sew or bread making for beginners take a look.

Basingstoke College of Technology

Days out

You’ll find lots to do in and around Basingstoke and Deane if you are looking for a day out. Some of these venues will have AccessAble guides which detail facilities and are great to help you plan your trip.

In Basingstoke town centre you can find a Vue Cinema and The Anvil and Haymarket Theatre. If you are a National Trust member then both The Vyne and Sandham Memorial Chapel are located in the borough and often have changing exhibitions or events making each visit slightly different.

Learn about the traditions of silk weaving and how the delicate thread is made into fabulous cloth at Whitchurch Silk Mill, the UK’s oldest working silk mill and a gem of industrial heritage located on the River Test. They have a lovely riverside café if you want a bite to eat.

Whitchurch Silk Mill

The leisure park offers a great selection of activities for older people including the Aquadrome, Loddon Vale Indoor Bowling Club and Buzz Bingo. Plus there’s no need to ‘remember the good old days’ – at Milestones Living History Museum, you can relive them.

In Milestones' detailed recreation of life from the Victorian times through to the 1930s and 1940s, you can travel the cobbled streets of yesteryear. In the life-sized, immersive streets, you’ll find buildings, shops and vehicles recreated and restored as they would have been in olden times. From vintage Thornycroft vehicles to the milliner, saddler, ironmonger and more, you’ll get a fascinating look at how people in Basingstoke and the surrounding areas used to live.

It’s not just the buildings that will bring back memories either. For those with a sweet tooth, Milestones also contains its own 1940s sweet shop, Abrahams, where you can pick up your ration’s worth of niceties, or if you’re looking for something a little stronger, grab a pint at The Baverstock Arms.

Stroll along the Milestones indoor pier boardwalk, play classic penny arcade games and retro games, laugh with friends and family with Milestones' postcard-style photo opportunities and wacky mirrors just like you would at the actual seaside!

Milestones Museum, courtesy of Hamphire Cultural Trust

With the family

If you are a grandparent providing childcare and are struggling for things to do with a toddler or preschooler take a look at our guide for some ideas.

Getting around

If you have reached state pension age and are resident in Hampshire you can apply for a concessionary bus pass. The older person’s bus pass entitles you to free travel on bus services throughout England from 9.30am to 11pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends and on public holidays. Find out how to get a bus pass here.

Shopmobility Basingstoke is located in Lower Church Street in the town centre and has a wide range of mobility scooters and wheelchairs for all abilities and all ages, whether the lack of mobility is temporary or otherwise. You can find out more including how it works on their website.

For door-to-door services you can take a look at Basingstoke Dial-a-Ride and Basingstoke Community Transport.

Need some extra help?

Age Concern offers a help at home service where you can book a home helper for either a fixed number of weeks or on a longer term basis. They can help you with your housework, shopping, dog walking, meal preparation or simply provide companionship. You choose what they help you with and how often you need them.

Basingstoke and District Disability Forum (BDDF) offers support for anyone affected by disability within our local community, including disabled people and their carers, fellow disability charities and local businesses looking to be accessible and inclusive.

You will find a Dementia Support and Social Group at St Michael's Church Cottage every Monday from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. If you are living with memory loss, have a dementia diagnosis, or are caring for a family member or friend, pop in for a chat with Dementia Support Hampshire and IOW team. They often have arts and crafts, cognitive stimulation games and quizzes.

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. If we’ve missed you off the list or missed your favourite then drop us an email:

Blog written January 2023, updated March 2024.


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