In light of recent events around Basingstoke, we here at the Gazette wanted to focus on all the great things about the town.

Below we have decided to list the seven things that we love most about Basingstoke and Deane.

First published in September 2019.

Basingstoke Gazette:

1. Lots of green spaces

Although Basingstoke itself is a bustling town, it is surrounded by acres of beautiful countryside to explore.

On the outskirts of the borough there are miles of sprawling, untouched countryside.

And even within the town centre, there are plenty of green spaces for dog walkers, runners and the wider community to enjoy.

With Eastrop Park providing a peaceful rural haven within a few minutes’ walk from the town centre and Basing View, there is also the War Memorial Park, which hosts a whole range of events throughout the year in the borough.

In recent years we have seen how much residents value the green spaces in the borough, when a petition was set up to preserve the Old Common after it was a proposed site for a new home of Basingstoke Town Football Club.

2. Plenty of entertainment

Basingstoke is a thriving hub of performance and culture.

In the town centre, there is The Anvil, the Haymarket and the Proteus Creation Spaces which bring a whole host of different forms of entertainment to the town.

From classical music to top comedy performances there is a something for everyone. And if festivals are more your thing, the council's annual B Love festival sees top acts brought to War Memorial Park across a weekend in July.

Basingstoke Gazette: Revellers at this year's B Fest Revellers at this year's B Fest

Chris Evans' celebrated Car Fest, held on his friend Jody Schetcker's farm in Laverstoke, is also a short distance from the town. 

There is also a range of amateur dramatic societies available, which are often seen as a great way of not only making friends but learning new skills. 

Basingstoke Gazette:

3. Excellent road system

It may not be aesthetically pleasing to look at in the conventional sense, but wow - Basingstoke’s road infrastructure really is a beautiful beast.

Are there lots of roundabouts? Yes. Visually is it quite tarmac heavy? Also yes.

But you cannot deny the dual-carriageway splendour that allows to say to virtually anyone in Basingstoke, “I’ll see you in seven minutes.”

Basingstoke Gazette:

Winchester may be a city of medieval beauty and charm and Reading may have size and scale on its side, but Basingstoke trumps both it’s nearest neighbours for convenience and practicability.

You don’t often hear the positives about living in a modern town but fantastic infrastructure is undeniably one of them.

4. Culture and rich history right on your doorstep

There are thousands of years of English history in and around Basingstoke, with numerous sites of cultural significance.

At the Vyne – a Tudor mansion which belonged to Baron William Sandys – sits in the beautiful countryside with a rich history.

The nearby village of Silchester is an English Heritage site with some of the best-preserved Roman town defences in the country and the remains of an amphitheatre.

Basingstoke Gazette:

The village was once the major Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, which flourished until the early Anglo-Saxon period.

Basing House in Old Basing was an important site during the English Civil War and every year hosts a live re-enactment which brings hundreds of spectators.

5. Thriving business hub

Business is quite literally booming in Basingstoke, with hundreds of companies making the town their home. One of the most notable employers is international pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly's, who has just signed a deal to pay a construction firm £19million to build its new headquarters in Basing View. 

With numerous business parks packed full of household-name businesses, those living in Basingstoke have plenty of job opportunities in a range of industries right on their doorstep. 

Basingstoke Gazette:

6. Family-friendly facilities

In the town there is a range of family friendly leisure facilities which everyone can use.

From the aqua drome to the town’s cinemas there is a whole host of different activities that people who live in the borough or visiting can do.

Basingstoke Gazette:

If exploration is more your thing, then the Milestone Museum and Willis Museum have unique exhibitions which are informative and educational.

For the more adventurous families, why not take a visit to the iFly facility to have a go at indoor skydiving, wind tunnels and free falling VR paragliding.

Go out and explore what the borough has to offer.

7. Generous and kind-hearted community  

At the Gazette, we are fortunate to hear stories about incredible people every week raising money for charities and worthy causes.

Whether it is a young schoolgirl cutting off her hair for the Little Princess Trust or a woman running a marathon dressed as a loo roll, those in the town are certainly dedicated to doing their bit for others.

Basingstoke Gazette: School pupils on Ark Day 2018School pupils on Ark Day 2018

And no day highlighted this spirit than Ark Day, back in June, where the community raised a staggering £30,000 in one day for the Ark cancer charity, which is funding for a new centre.

When a Basingstoke man was stuck in Thailand after being diagnosed with cancer, the community pulled together to help raise thousands of pounds to get him back to the UK for treatment.

There are too many examples of genuine generosity to count but it is without a doubt, one of the loveliest aspects of Basingstoke. 

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