Basingstoke is not, as is commonly thought, a “new town” - in fact it's an expanded market town with origins that can be traced right back to the Iron Age.
Today, Basingstoke is one of Hampshire's most prosperous and vibrant locations and is home to the UK headquarters for many global brands from Motorola to Sun Life.
Yet, despite its commercial success, Basingstoke has a rich variety of cultural and heritage attractions. The Borough of Basingstoke and Deane features over 1800 listed buildings, and Jane Austen was born in nearby Steventon - where she wrote several early novels.
As for more modern attractions, Basingstoke is well-stocked with shops, restaurants and bars. The Festival Place Shopping Centre is the focal point for most shopaholics, with over 200 stores and 31 different restaurants.
Things to see and do in Basingstoke...
- Visit the remains and wander the gardens of Basing House – at one stage the largest private house in England. Today you can see the earthworks of a medieval castle, which predates the house.
- Buy an ice-cream and stroll alongside the peaceful Basingstoke Canal.
- See ancient artefacts and modern artwork in the Willis Museum on Market Place.
- Visit The Vyne, a 16th-century house and a treasure trove of history - during her lifetime, the acclaimed author Jane Austen often attended dances at the house.
- Step back in time at the Milestones Museum, a living history museum made up of a network of streets that recreate the Victorian era and 1930's Hampshire.
For more information visit the official tourism website for Basingstoke.
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