This is our Basingstoke bucket list. These are our 15 things we think every person who visits or lives here should do before they die. 

On this list, we cover everything from beautiful walks around the Vyne to paying a historic visit to Basing House. 

We love the town and all the quirks it has to offer, so think of this as our way of sharing with you, our favourite experiences.

1. Swing by Milestones Museum 

Basingstoke Gazette: Milestones Museum Milestones Museum

We reckon a trip to Milestones Museum has to be on the agenda if you call yourself a true Basingstokian. 

The big attraction in Basingstoke’s leisure park is a living museum housed in a huge hangar-like construction that was completed in 2000.

Inside is a very detailed street scene recalling Hampshire and Basingstoke in the 19th and mid 20th century.

There’s a Victorian pub, terraced house, ironmonger and railway station, as well as a 1930-40s townscape featuring a record and television store, toy shop and sweet shop.

You'll be in a historic paradise. 

2. Meander around the Vyne

Basingstoke Gazette: The VyneThe Vyne

Do you dream of wondering around a 16-century mansion over the weekend? We do. 

The grounds are cloaked in ancient woodland, and have a wetland area where common redshanks and swans make their nests.

There’s Murano glass, tapestries, paintings and fine period furniture to examine, and you’ll hear stories of illustrious guests like Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII and Jane Austen.

3. Pay a visit to Basing House

Basingstoke Gazette: Basing HouseBasing House

In the village of Old Basing, to the east of the modern town, was one of Tudor England’s largest and richest palaces.

Basing House was constructed for William Paulet, treasurer to Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Elizabeth I.

Henry VIII and Elizabeth I both stayed here during their reigns.

William’s descendant John Paulet was a supporter of Charles I in the English Civil War, and Basing House succumbed to fire after a siege in 1645.

The bricks from the house were reused for local homes, but the surviving ruins deserve a look, and the site has been enhanced with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the last few years.

You can peruse brick arches and doorways, cellars, bread ovens and a vaulted tunnel.

The Great Barn, still showing damage from the battle, has been restored and houses an audio-visual presentation and exhibitions about the house.

4. Soak up Eastrop Park

Basingstoke Gazette: Eastrop ParkEastrop Park

Near Basingstoke’s train station, Eastrop Park picks up the Green Flag Award each year, the biggest prize for public parks in the UK.

The River Loddon flows through the park and replenishes a balancing pond, set within a wildlife area.

In summer kids will love the paddling pool, and you can hire pedal boats and treat yourself to cake and a cup of tea at the Boathouse Cafe.

Also open in the summer months is a crazy golf course, while the Basingstoke Concert Band will play concerts under the performance canopy at the boating lake.

5. Go to Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery 

Basingstoke Gazette: Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery

On the Market Place in the Old Town Hall, the Willis Museum is fronted by a bronze statue of Jane Austen unveiled in 1817 on the 200th anniversary of the author’s death.

The collection at the Willis Museum was first put together by George Willis a local clockmaker, and is crammed with peculiar items.

There’s a hair from the mane of Copenhagen, the 1st Duke of Wellington’s horse at Waterloo, a preserved wedding cake Victorian cake from a local shop display, pottery fragments from the nearby Roman city of Silchester and a piece of rare tin-glazed 18th-century Delftware.

The Sainsbury Gallery opened in 2008 and hosts temporary exhibitions for painting, photography, fashion and popular culture.

6. See a show at the Anvil 

Basingstoke Gazette: The Anvil The Anvil

Shaped like a giant anvil, it wouldn't be a bucket list without this treasure.

The 1,400-seater auditorium is praised for having some of the best acoustics in Europe and has calendar bursting with opera, classical music, dance, touring bands and artists, musicals and famous stand-up comedian.

7. Walk around War Memorial Park 

Basingstoke Gazette: War Memorial Park War Memorial Park 

Did you know that War Memorial Park was purchased by public subscription after the First World War to house Basingstoke’s memorial?

Before that this space had been the grounds to the Georgian estate, Goldings, and the park was laid out in the 1780s.

Most enlightening is the tree trail, labelling the historic hornbeam, larch, oak, plane, ash, sycamore, Austrian pine, yew and lime trees that have been here since the days of the Goldings estate.

We cannot deny, this place is beautiful and its somewhere high on our list.

8. Go on a day out to Whitchurch Silk Mill

Basingstoke Gazette: Whitchurch Silk Mill Whitchurch Silk Mill

The Whitchurch Silk is a watermill, established in 1800 on Frog Island, which has had a long line of mills since the 11th century at the latest.

The Whitchurch Silk Mill is the oldest silk mill in the country still using its original building, and is equipped with 19th-century looms powered by a 1.68m breastshot waterwheel still functioning almost 220 years after the mill opened for business.

The gift shop sells fabrics made on site, and there’s a tea room to finish a visit with some indulgence.

Did we mention there is a tea room? And with these grounds, it's a no brainer to visit. 

9. See Stratfield Saye House

Basingstoke Gazette: Stratfield Saye HouseStratfield Saye House

In 1817, this 17th-century Mannerist house and its estate were bought by the nation to provide a stately home for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington as thanks for his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo.

Stratfield Saye has been the seat of the Dukes of Wellington ever since.

In the stables you can pore over the Wellington Exhibition, which has a variety of Arthur Wellesley’s personal effects, like his funeral carriage, which was made with melted down French cannons from Waterloo.

There is so much rich history here that it would feel wrong to leave this place out. 

10. Check out Watership Down

Basingstoke Gazette: Watership DownWatership Down

On the way to the Whitchurch Silk Mill is a chalk hill in the North Wessex Downs Area of outstanding natural beauty.

Watership Down was borrowed for Richard Adams’ 1972 novel and the animated film from 1978, about rabbits’ making the perilous journey to a new burrow.

This hill is the place Richard Adams chose as their goal.

Like many in this part of England, the hill was once crested by an Iron Age fort.

Watership Down is etched with terraces (lynchets) and mounds, signs of human occupation some 2,500 years ago.

11. Chill out at Odiham Castle

Basingstoke Gazette: Odiham CastleOdiham Castle

King John built just three fortresses in his 17-year reign at the start of the 13th century, and Odiham Castle was one.

It had a handy location, halfway between the royal residences in Winchester and Windsor.

King John may have departed from Odiham the morning he signed the Magna Carta at Runnymede, while a year later, in 1216 it was besieged by the French for two weeks during the First Barons’ War.

Parliament sat at Odiham Castle more than once in the 13th century, and in the 14th century King David II of Scotland was imprisoned here for 11 years before returning north of the border.

Odiham Castle has been disused since the early 17th century.

It's a historic gem, one that cannot be forgotten about on the list. 

12. Look at Silchester Roman Walls

Basingstoke Gazette: Silchester Roman WallsSilchester Roman Walls

On the boundary between Hampshire and Berkshire a little way north of Basingstoke is what’s left of the Roman City of Calleva Atrebatum.

When the Romans came in the 1st Century AD there was already an Iron Age oppidum here, which was soon enclosed by polygonal walls.

The full circuit of walls is open to the public and merits a walk, and on the outside you can stand in the earthwork depression where Calleva Atrebatum’s amphitheatre used to be.

The natural spring that used to feed the city’s baths remains, while just inside the eastern perimeter is the Church of St Mary.

It's peaceful and certainly an escape from the madness of everyday life. 

13. Drink to your heart's content at Bombay Sapphire Distillery 

Basingstoke Gazette: Bombay Sapphire Distillery Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Under ten miles out of Basingstoke, the Bombay Sapphire gin brand recently moved its distillery into the Laverstoke Mill, a Georgian former paper mill.

The facility warrants a visit, both for the listed 18th-century mill buildings and stunning greenhouses designed by the Heatherwick Studio to grow the gin’s botanicals.

14. Make your way over to Basingstoke Leisure Park

Basingstoke Gazette: Basingstoke Leisure Park Basingstoke Leisure Park

So the Basingstoke Leisure Park has it all going on when it comes to the Aquadrome, an inexpensive family excrusion in the summer, with lagoon area and three flumes.

The leisure park also has adrenaline-charged attractions like Skizone, an indoor ski slope and iFLY, indoor skydiving.

Planet Ice is a full-sized skating rink, and the Basingstoke Golf Centre boasts a 22-bay driving range, and nine-hole par 3 course where kids and newcomers are welcome.

We are certainly signing ourselves up for this one. 

15. Enjoy a long walk through Crabtree Plantation 

Basingstoke Gazette: Crabtree Plantation Crabtree Plantation

In the southeast corner of Basingstoke, bounded by the M3, is a nature reserve that was previously parkland for the Hackwood Estate.

The Crabtree Plantation is grassland and a mixture of oak, sycamore, ash and horse chestnut woodland.

The woods provide a habitat for the endangered white letter hairstreak butterfly, and soak up the sun in the summer with a picnic to hand. 

What's on your Basingstoke bucket list? Let us know at