About Basingstoke

Basingstoke is considered to be an affluent, low-unemployment town in Hampshire with a population of around 200,000. Basingstoke is famous for its prominent Fanum House, the 18 storey Automobile Association building which can be spotted from many miles away.

Basingstoke’s population has grown rapidly as London's commuter belt spread outwards and in the 1960’s the town centre was totally rebuilt converting a once pretty historic town into a much joked about maze of concrete.

Basingstoke is oddly known as ‘Donut City’ because it features so many roundabouts (and there are a lot of them). It seems that the local council put roundabouts pretty much everywhere!

Little known fact:
  • Basingstoke pops up in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy during one of Arthur Dent's rants.
  • As you would expect, a town the size of Basingstoke has produced some famous people like Liz Hurley (model and actress), one-time poet-laureate Thomas Warton grew up locally.
  • The last woman in the UK to be hanged was Ruth Ellis on 13th July 1955. Although Ruth was born in Rhyl in Wales, she spent most of her childhood in Basingstoke before moving to London during the Blitz.
Fanum House
Fanum House - Basingstoke

The nearest towns to Basingstoke are:

  • Reading
  • Newbury
  • Andover
  • Winchester
  • Tadley
  • Hook

Map of Basingstoke

Access to Basingstoke

Basingstoke as 5 main road routes into the town.

  1. M3 – both junctions 6 and 7 serve Basingstoke
  2. A33 - you can access Basingstoke via junction 11 of the M4 and then follow the A33 to Basingstoke. This will bring you into Basingstoke just by the Tesco superstore in Chineham.
  3. A30 – If you’re coming from Winchester you can access Basingstoke via the M3 or the A30 both of which would bring you into Basingstoke by the Sainsbury’s Kempshott superstore.
  4. A339 – from Newbury, through Kingsclere, will bring you into Basingstoke on the Ringway North road just parallel to the Royal Mail sorting office and the Basingstoke Hospital.
  5. B3400 (known as the Worting Road) – brings you in from Whitchurch and Oakley

Basingstoke is also easily accessible to and from London Waterloo with direct trains running regularly and taking about 40 minutes.

Shopping at Basingstoke

Like many other major towns, Basingstoke has a sizeable shopping centre called Festival Place.

Festival Place has a wide variety of shops including BHS, M&S, Debenhams, Apple and Primark.

Festival Place is largely under cover which means shopping whilst it’s raining is no problem. The upper part of the town isn’t covered, but there's very little in the way of shopping at that end of the town anyway. It's mostly eating and drinking.

Festival Place - Basingstoke
Festival Place - Basingstoke

Eating out at Basingstoke

Eating in Basingstoke offers quite a few restaurants, most of which are located in the Festival Place complex like Coal, Pizza Express, ASK Italian, Giraffe and La Tasca.

Outside of Festival Place you’ll find a number of restaurants at the upper end of town including The Mayflower (Chinese), The Lime Leaf (Thai), Zizzi’s (Italian) and a number of Indian restaurants dotted throughout the upper part of the town.

Pizza Express Restaurant - Basingstoke
Pizza Express has two restaurants in Basingstoke

Throughout the rest of Basingstoke there is of course a number of places to eat including an out of town centre Pizza Express, a number of Indian restaurants, a Toby Carvery and many pubs.