Free time at all levels seems to have one thing in common: it costs money.

The cost of living crisis is forcing people to save every penny they can. But that doesn’t mean Basingstoke residents can’t get out of their homes and enjoy their free time, without having to spend a fortune.

There’s a wealth of things to do in Basingstoke, so we’ve compiled a list of free and low-cost activities and events in the area to keep everyone entertained.

Plantation of crabeaters

Basingstoke Gazette: Crabtree Plantation.  Image: Stewart TurkingtonPlantation of crabeaters. Image: Stewart Turkington

Crabtree Plantation is a local nature and wildlife area, free to the public. Although the weather is getting darker and colder, the park can be enjoyed by the whole family, with plenty of green space for the dogs, a play park for the kids and clear routes through the forest to spice up the fun. travel. Parking is free at Crabtree Plantation and Black Dam ponds.

Directly across from the Crabtree Plantation car park is Basingstoke Common which, like Crabtree, is a public space. If the walk around Crabtree hasn’t done it for you and your family, why not venture through? Enjoy the beautiful view over Basingstoke and see if you can spot any of the horses! But as always, be careful when crossing the road.

Black Dam Ponds

Black Dam Ponds is a local wildlife site accessible to the public. With free parking, people are more than welcome to enjoy the ponds, for a short walk, maybe a dog walk, or even just to visit the children’s play park. The pond is one of the most scenic in the area and really makes for a pleasant trip to the great outdoors.

Eastrop Park

Basingstoke Gazette:

Eastrop Park is a beautiful public park located near Festival Place in Basingstoke city centre. The park consists of a number of ponds, a walking tower and a children’s play park for hours of family fun.

The Loddon River runs through the area, feeding a pond in the park’s wildlife area. There are plenty of activities to get involved in such as seeing wildlife from the soaking platform. Many birds inhabit this area, including a kingfisher that can be seen hunting along the river.

All in all, the park makes for a great day out, without needing to spend too much. If you go in the summer, why not take advantage of the pedalos and get out on the water.

Milestones Museum

Basingstoke Gazette:

Delve into the past at Milestones, Hampshire’s living history museum.

Explore the streets, shops and buildings of the museum to learn how people lived, buy a ration of sweets from the 1940s confectionery, admire its unique collection of vintage vehicles and take a look at the shopping arcade .

The trip will take you back as far as Victorian times, with cobbled streets, a replica of a Victorian school room – complete with blackboard and teacher’s desk – and even a working printing press.

Throughout the year, Milestones hosts a variety of fun, family-friendly events and exhibits. From a working pub or a play space for the under fives, to costumed characters, interactive displays and more, there’s so much for everyone to do. world at Milestones!

Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery

Located in the upper part of town, at the Willis Museum, you can experience and learn about Basingstoke and Deane’s past, from the rich archaeological heritage beneath our feet to the present day.

Since 1984, the Willis Museum has been housed in a Victorian-era building that was once Basingstoke Town Hall.

It is named after George Willis, a local watchmaker, antiques dealer and former mayor of Basingstoke, who became the first honorary curate when the original museum was established at the Mechanics Institute, New Street in 1931.

The building you see today replaced the original Mote Hall where Jane Austen attended dances.

Throughout the year, the museum organizes programs of traveling exhibitions, as well as fun events, workshops and activities for the whole family.

Festival Square Shopping Center

Basingstoke Gazette:

Shopping normally comes with a cost, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good day in the shops.

Check out Festival Place, browse the shops, and if you’re feeling peckish or thirsty, stop by one of the many places available to eat or drink, and grab something good!

Eastrop Park is only a short walk from the Festival Place food court, so if the weather isn’t too gloomy, why not combine the two trips into one?

Mill Field Nature Reserve

Mill Field is a nature reserve located on Barton Lane in Old Basing. This is a local space in Greenland, accessible to the public 24 hours a day, with parking available at RG24 8AE. There is also a bus stop less than 150 meters from the site. Dogs are also welcome.

basic house

Basingstoke Gazette: Basing House is holding a bank holiday market this weekend

Discover the amazing stories of Basing House, a historic site of national significance.

This magnificent attraction was the site of England’s largest Tudor private house, suffering at the hands of Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War.

The entrance to the Visitor Center houses a gift shop and light refreshments. Then, enter the battle-scarred large barn and experience the sights and sounds of the Civil War with our audio and visual show.

Free parking can be found via postcode RG24 8AE with a pleasant short walk along the River Loddon before reaching the visitor center entrance.

roman silchester

Silchester in Hampshire was originally Calleva, a center of the Iron Age Atrebates tribe from the late 1st century BC.

After the Roman conquest it became the great and important city of Calleva Atrebatum. Unlike most Roman cities, it was never reoccupied or rebuilt after its abandonment in the 6th or 7th century, so archaeological research has provided an exceptionally comprehensive picture of its development.

The full circuit of Roman walls, some of the best preserved Roman city defenses in England and the remains of the amphitheater still stand.

Watch the trains

It’s just a simple activity that costs absolutely nothing. It’s something a little different that I’m sure the family will appreciate.

The bridge near the Old Basing Common is perfect for watching the trains roar below, and there’s a nearby park for the kids to enjoy afterwards.


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