I like Basingstoke. I think it’s a bit of an underrated destination. A good place for a spot of shopping, keeper of a couple of lovely parks, lots of nice walking. I wrote a bit about exploring Basingstoke here, I’d love you to have a read.

Modern Basingstoke is a bustling town, but there is a little corner of it that keeps ties with country life and a more traditional way of doing things. One way of experiencing this is to take a walk across Basingstoke Common and into the village of Old Basing.

It’s a lovely walk at any time, but Summer into Autumn you’ll likely have some extra company. Basingstoke Common is home for some of the year, to lots of grazing horses. Of all sizes, of many different coats but generally all pretty friendly.

Some are very friendly indeed. Here and there, one will walk with you for a while. Or come in close for a scratch and a nuzzle. If you stand still, the most social of them will come to you. They are curious and seem very used to people and dogs coming and going.

The practice of the common being used to graze goes back to medieval times. Now it’s a tradition maintained on the edge of a modern town. You can stand with the horses and look across to the high rise buildings of modern Basingstoke but it’s only a short roadside walk into historic Old Basing.

Things Helen Loves, brown and white horses grazing on a a field of grass, part of Basingstoke Common. High rise buildings of the city of Basingstoke to the background.

A wander into the village take you past pretty brick homes and traditional cottages. On a grander scale, you can’t miss the grand old gates of Basing House or the Great Barn that belonged to it. All that is left to explore of the once grand country house are the ruins, but they are set in extensive grounds and pretty gardens.

The ‘dog friendly’ board with the handsome illustration caught our eye, we just crossed our fingers that The Wolf would tick the ‘well behaved’ box. He did, more or less. Once inside, the human bar staff were lovely but it was the tiny four legged team member that really stole our hearts. Love a puppy spot.

The Crown is a welcoming, traditional village pub in the heart of the village. Definitely drop in if you’re in the area. Find them on Instagram as @the_crown_old_basing and on Facebook here. Go on, give them some love. Hospitality needs some support just now.

Post beer garden, the road from the pub wanders through the village. Past pretty homes, the village bakery and down to the church. The Church is a pretty one. Imposing, stood proudly in a sprawling churchyard. Large patches of the older sections have been turned over to nature and are managed to be wildlife friendly. A path loops through, past ancient graves and trees that have grown into strange, twisted shapes around them.

This would be quite the place for a night time walk or a Halloween wander. I’d be up for it, would you?

Just by the church, the war memorial. Every town and village has one, but it’s never ‘see-one-seen-em-all’. There’s always time to pause, if only for a minute.

And next to that, possible the most creative use of old stones I’ve seen in a while. A bench pulled together with grave stones. All from one family? A grave themed bit of upcycling? No idea. I quite like it anyway.

Exit the church yard and it’s an easy wander back to the common and back to the starting point. You could make this walk as long as you like by picking up the Basing Trail and heading into Basingstoke.

But sometimes all you need is to stretch the legs with good company, a village pub and a historic corner of old Hampshire. oh, and some friendly horses.

I’m joining in with Jo’s Monday Walk with this post. There’s some fabulous walks from all over the world on Jo’s Monday posts, do go and have a read.

Helen x

28 thoughts

  1. I think underrated towns are often worth some of our time. There’s often something of interest, and the fact that it hasn’t been tricked out as a Tourist Destination makes the thrill of discovery even more exciting.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Definitely! I say everywhere is worth your time at least once. I mean, some places maybe only the once, but Basingstoke isn’t one of them. It’s lovely!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Marion, it’s a lovely little corner of Hampshire isn’t it?

  2. Love that shot of The Wolf meeting the friendly horse. Could have spelt trouble! Thanks for showing me this. Basingstoke had a very low status in my view. It was my daughter’s first marital home- a place full of estates and roundabouts. We never did get to explore!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Must admit, it’s our second posting into this area and it took me a while to explore Basingstoke. Lovely little place though! Ah, the Wolf loves horses and cows, he’s a real country dog. It’s people we have to be careful with!

  3. I do like the gravestone bench. Creative and functional. Friendly horses, and a location friendly to dogs, are both always welcome sights. Sounds like a nice place to explore.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks- I liked the bench too, although I’d get it not being to everyone’s taste!

  4. Ooooh I would love to visit that place! It looks amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Sophia, one of those on-the-doorstep places that turned out to be a lovely place to spend a morning. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, appreciate it!

  5. That’s so nice that you can get so close to the horses, and they don’t mind a bit. Never seen a Gravestone Bench before. Both Spooky and Quirky. X

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      The horses are lovely, very social. Not a bad life for them, everyone who walks across seems to stop and give them a bit of love. As for the bench, I liked it. Would I want one in the garden though… nah, not that much!

      1. Noo , just a bit morbid. ๐Ÿ‘ป

  6. It is fun to see the horses with modern skyscrapers and buildings in the background. Great pics.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you- it’s a contrast. The new town and the old ways.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Old Basing is a bit overshadowed by the modern town centre, but it’s a lovely little place. Thanks for the read and comment Anabel, appreciate it!

  7. Basingstoke is one of those places that I seem to bypass for no particular reason, although it has had some ‘bad’ press in the past. Having read your post, I think that next time I’m in the area, I should make more effort to see what the place is like for myself. As for those dog photos with the Wolf looking particularly magnificent and that cute puppy…

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Definitely worth a look- and a very dog friendly place too!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      They really are- any time spent with animals and nature is a win. Thank you so much for commenting from beautiful Hawaii!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      All lovely pics but all the heart eyes for those murals in Harrogate. It’s alright down here in Wiltshire but I do miss up North! Thanks for including my walk Jo. I’m not sure where this comment will end up- WordPress seems to be acting up again when I try to comment.

  8. It does look like a pleasant place to wander around. You came back with some lovely photos too.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s a very pretty corner of the world. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!

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