Basingstoke Travel Guide

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Located in the centre of Hampshire, west of London. You can get to Basingstoke quite easily by taking one of the many trains that stop there from Waterloo station in London. Take one of the faster trains (which stop at Woking only before reaching Basingstoke) and you'll get there in around 40 to 50 minutes.

Basingstoke may have a reputation as being "boring Basingstoke" - but there are certainly lots of things to do here to keep you occupied for kids and adults. Basingstoke is a fast and developing town. It has 150,000 inhabitants and that number is still growing.

The centre of the town was until quite recently a monument to 1960s style brutalist modernism. The town planners did far more damage to the old town of Basingstoke, which had typical English country lanes and cottages, than the Luftwaffe ever did. In fact Basingstoke escaped the ravages of World War 2 bombing, which makes the brutalist nature of the modern architecture in the town even more perplexing.

Thankfully, the centre has been recently demolished and rebuilt and in its place is an enclosed American-style shopping mall, bereft of any English charm or culture. In fact the mall is such a souless place bereft of any personality, that one could be anywhere in America whilst in it, rather than in the very historical and beautiful county of Hampshire.

So when you get off that train go and and look around Basingstoke town looking at the new shopping centre and what it has to offer: cinema, restaurants, bars, clubs, and also, a bus ride away, ice rink, swimming pools, cinema and a bowlplex. 

Basingstoke suffers from the highest concentration town planners per square foot of concrete in the known universe. And they still can't get anything right...

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