Thinking about moving to Basingstoke? You’re certainly not alone! Moving house can be a confusing as well as exciting time, especially with the number of options the local area offers. But there are plenty of rewards. The town and its surrounding area are full of great places to work, study and relax. Whether you’re planning to move here to take the next step in your career, bring up a family or enjoy a better standard of living, this place has what you’re looking for.
This is one of the best-connected towns in central southern England. You can reach London in under an hour on the train, making it a very popular commuter hub, while the M3 motorway just to the south makes driving to Southampton, Winchester or the Bournemouth beaches a breeze. You can find reasons for living here much closer to hand, though, since this is a major economic centre, with some of the country’s fastest growing and most innovative international businesses having bases in and around the town.
The Housing Market in Basingstoke
If you’ve decided you’d like to make the town your home, you’ll have plenty of choice. According to rightmove.co.uk, the average property price over the past year was around £328,500 – just above the national average but cheaper than many small towns nearby. That makes this a really attractive place to buy.
There’s clearly strong demand to live in this area right now, since rightmove.co.uk figures also show that prices increased by 3% over the past 12 months. They’ve risen 12% since 2016, so this could be the perfect time to make your move – this consistent increase suggests that prices are only going to go one way from here.
The same figures make good reading if you’ve just started a family or have kids on the way. Most properties that sold here in the last year were terraces, so you’ll have plenty of choice even near the centre of town. Don’t fret if you need something larger, though, as there are plenty of detached and semi-detached homes on the market.
Schools in the Local Area
With a population closing on the 100,000 mark for the town alone, and almost double that for the wider borough, you’ll have a wide choice of schools to educate your children.
There are a number of schools which have been praised by Ofsted, and you can find them at all age levels. For the youngest children, no fewer than six infants schools, including Four Lanes, Kempshott and Oakridge managed the top rating at their most recent inspections, as did Old Basing Infants School on the eastern outskirts of town.
At a higher age level, there’s Brighton Hill Community School, which gained praise from Ofsted for the ability of the leadership team and the impressive level of pupil welfare. Ofsted noted that children here were well prepared for life in today’s Britain. Meanwhile, the College of Technology was noted for its innovative use of IT and strong links with local employers, ideal if you have teenagers who are thinking of moving into the world of work.
Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School was praised for the exemplary behaviour of its students, and it gained overwhelmingly positive reviews from parents. If you have children with learning difficulties, there’s Dove House School just north of the town centre. This academy was praised for its lively teaching and exceptional academic performance.
As well as the College of Technology, there’s a medical study centre for the University of Southampton at the town’s hospital. This futuristic building, equipped to world-class standard and dubbed “The Ark”, is a centre of excellence for research, medical education and cancer study.
Leisure and Retail Options in Town
This place punches above its weight when it comes to things to do. Even though it’s so close to Southampton and London, there’s plenty of interest that won’t need you to go beyond the local area.
Arts fans will be in heaven, as The Anvil is a music venue with a reputation that extends internationally. It’s not all about big-name acts, though, as local and specialist acts often appear at The Forge and The Haymarket. Fancy some cheese or chilli? You’re in luck, as those are the tasty focuses of the town’s festival! The Kite Festival brings a welcome splash of colour every year, while there’s an annual music festival with an enticing price tag: zero!
For a spot of culture, the Milestones Museum is a must. This living history destination takes you on a journey through local history, from the Victorian era to the Second World War and beyond. Stroll down recreated streets and marvel at the huge collections of home appliances, cars, toys and more. Kids – or big kids! – can even enjoy the traditional swe
et shop and penny arcade, though adults may prefer the Edwardian pub!
If you feel like some retail therapy, head for Festival Place for The Malls, where you’ll enjoy a choice of over 150 shops to browse. You’ll find all the big-name retailers as well as some smaller, more specialist outlets where you can find that special gift or just treat yourself. You’ll also be able to kick back and relax at the wide variety of cafés, bars and restaurants sprinkled around the area.
There are many independent shops and markets in the historic Top of the Town area. With car-free streets and frequent street entertainment, it’s a fantastic area to look for something a little bit different. You can also find several garden centres and farmer’s markets, such as Conkers. Each one has something slightly different to offer.
Top 3 Restaurants in Basingstoke
You certainly won’t go hungry here! This town is packed with places to eat, whatever your tastes and budget. While plenty of eateries serve up tasty English cuisine, you can easily eat your way around the world if you like. Indian and Japanese restaurants are well represented in the area, and it’s easy to find a great pizza or delicious pasta if you’re in more of an Italian mood.
The Olive House has built up a stellar reputation for the quality of its Mediterranean-themed dishes, and it’s also a great spot for veggies to eat. In Mapledurrwell on the southeast edge of town you’ll find The Gamekeepers, which prides itself on offering locally sourced food such as fillet steak and Tunworth cheese. If you’d rather go Asian, then there’s The Sushi Maki. No prizes for guessing what this one specialises in!
Top 3 Bars in Basingstoke
One of the joys of living here is discovering the variety of pubs and bars waiting to welcome you. Whether you’re just in need of a quick pint or would rather stay a while and relax with friends old and new, the area has what you’re looking for. Some of the bars in the area are located in historic buildings, so make sure you look around as you enter – you never know what you might discover.
The Royal Oak in Buckskin, on the western edge of town, is a long-time favourite with locals. It’s a laid-back place with no pretensions, where you can enjoy a build-your-own burger with a quality glass of beer. For a taste of the true English pub experience, there’s The Golden Lion, recently given a new lease of life with a locally famous pub quiz! And there can’t be anywhere more convenient than The Bakers, sitting right in the city centre. It does get busy when there’s a big match on the TVs, but pick your time and it can be a perfect place for a refreshing drink.
That’s all for this guide to moving to Basingstoke, but it’s a long way from being all the town has to offer. Here we’ve given you just a taste of what this popular slice of central southern England has to offer. The only way you’re going to find out everything that this impressive town can provide is to speak to the locals – and to see it for yourself.
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