What to do when…in Basingstoke. Ah, the charming country, less than 50 miles from London, lies the largest ‘town’ in the county of Hampshire. Once a market town, dating back to time in memoriam, Basingstoke is now an economic powerhouse for industry. (Is this an overstatement?) Is this interesting? Hmmm…
What can we do there? That will be the question the kids ask if they are presented with the ‘opportunity’ to visit. Fair enough too.
Besides the list compiled below, there are other ‘funtastic’ venues for some entertainment, such as the Aquadrome, Absolutely Karting, Flip Out and trampolining, sports centres, museums, parks, and theatres.
Take a look at these options first, as they seem pretty swell.
Located in Basingstoke Leisure Park.
What?! Indoor Skydiving? This mean we can get the thrill of skydiving without having to jump out of an aeroplane? Sign us up!
So what would we be signing up for exactly? Apparently, there’s have a wind tunnel that is 14ft in diameter. If the metric system is preferred, that is approximately 4.3m. But that may not tell us very much at all. So what’s a wind tunnel? If we are thinking an underground horizontal tunnel that is a bit windy, we would be wrong. It’s not flying like Peter Pan flying.
For the experienced flyer the maximum flying height is around the 39ft (11.9m) mark. As we didn’t even know what the wind tunnel was that is not going to be us, most likely…yet. The average beginner will fly at 6 ft (1.8m) high with winds up to 180 mph (290kph). Whoa! That is windy.
The average beginner can be almost any age. As they say, it is fun ‘for ages 3 to 103’. (If you’re 1-2 or 104, I’m sorry, but you may not be able to fly.) Does anyone else wonder how tall the actual tunnel is? Hopefully at least 40 feet, otherwise ifly might have a Willy Wonka bubble tunnel, ceiling turbine problem on their hands.
And ifly offers more than just flying. As we are curious to see the height of the wind tunnel and what other fun can be had there, we’ll have to check it out.
Located in Basingstoke in two locations within the town centre.
Escape room escapades with Exciting Escapes. Tell us more.
The service offers the would-be realm-skipping adventurers the grand opportunity to bring a team together, face ‘death’ in the form of head-scratching mind-games and solve various puzzles and personal/team challenges. But there is more, yes, even more than other-world realities. Not for the faint-hearted is the extra double dare to dress up in costumes for the skipping of time realms and the other worlds. ‘Shut up! and take my money.’
We will have several room scenarios to choose from and glorious costumes to match the special moments in time. There will be a memento-recording moment for those naysayers who won’t believe that we went backward or forward in time and what we achieved together while there.
There is a recommended minimum age requirement with escape rooms, based on general cognitive abilities. When booking, ask the question about age and group minimums/maximums and about the cool room narratives currently on offer (these change periodically).
Located in Winchester, 34 mins outside of Basingstoke (26.9mi) via M3.
Self-described, “Marwell Wildlife: conservation action, education, science and sustainability”. It has a great objective and is a fantastic opportunity to visit, learn and experience wildlife in a safe and friendly environment. Zoos can be something of a hit or miss, something that we may not agree with, but when animals, education, and the conservation of those animals are involved then it is a good thing to support.
An experience for all ages, Marwell Zoo is a home for many African species, including rhinos, zebras, and tortoises. But there is more to discover once we arrive such as the chance to meet some of the awesome animals. It offers a day out for everyone.
Located 45 minutes outside of Basingstoke (40.9 mi) via M303.
Most everyone can conjure a vision of the huge neolithic stone slabs when the name Stonehenge is invoked. But have we ever thought how it could have been made back, back, so far back in the day? What a feat of engineering it must have been.
Throughout history we have seen such magnificent leaps and bounds in architecture, the arts, sciences, and technology that it is sure to boggle the mind when we take a moment to reflect on the ‘how’ of it all.
The Stone Circle boasts a history of 4,500 years and a reason for it all, but what was it made for? A visit will reveal several theories to us. We might have to make up our own minds, but it was meant for something far more important than one guy waking up one morning and saying, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”
Was it a spiritual place? It is said to feel like that and inspire the soul. But we can’t forget our cameras, because we will want to capture its beauty in person, and that’s for sure. The site has more to offer than just the stones. It also has a museum and replica neolithic housing to explore, and other amenities. Visit English Heritage online for more information.
Located in Chawton, 26 mins outside of Basingstoke (13.4 mi) via B3349.
An experience of the brilliance of Austen in her inspired/inspiring home in the English countryside. For all ages of the family.
Who wouldn’t want to visit the home of Jane Austen to soak up her writerly genius. (Note: there is no question mark at the end of that sentence for a reason.) The home of Northanger Abbey (my favorite), Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Persuasion. Soak it all up—the genius—the sense of humour—the cheek—all that Jane Austen represents.
We should go and take a turn around the gardens, purchase a pretty bonnet—the utmost accomplishment a young girl can posses—and other souvenirs, and devour a cream tea, like ladies and gentlemen with all the propriety our gentile stations afford us, of course. After all, what could be more English than nosily invading someone else’s country house to pass an hour?
Basingstoke is an exciting place with a lot of history in and around it. If the kids ask, “Like what?” Tell them to sit down in their car seats and relax, because they are about to find out. If a visit is imminent, attend all of the above venues for some good fun, with the family, without the family, with friends, or even alone.