Nestled in the heart of Hampshire, Basingstoke is a town that offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern amenities. If you’re considering a move to this vibrant town, you’re in for a treat. Let’s delve into what life is like in Basingstoke, why it’s a desirable place to call home, its distinct characteristics, housing options, attractions, educational opportunities, employment prospects, and much more. 

The History of Basingstoke 

Basingstoke’s history dates back centuries, rooted in its origins as a market town during Saxon times. Its strategic location along ancient trade routes contributed to its growth and importance in Hampshire. The town flourished during the medieval period, boasting a royal palace and becoming a bustling market hub.  

However, devastating fires in the 16th and 17th centuries ravaged much of the town. Basingstoke later underwent significant redevelopment, particularly in the 20th century, transforming into the vibrant, modern town it is today while retaining traces of its rich historical heritage in its landmarks and architecture.  

What is Basingstoke Like? 

Basingstoke thrives as a bustling, contemporary city which is steeped in a rich cultural heritage. Surrounded by the charming villages of the picturesque Hampshire countryside, the town offers a welcoming community and a strategic location – less than an hour away from London – which makes it an appealing choice for commuters and for those seeking proximity to the capital. 

Basingstoke is Hampshire’s largest settlement without city status and offers a fantastic standard of living and way of life. Basingstoke’s residents have easy access to all the essential amenities, as well as a host of excellent shopping options, good schools and beautiful countryside. Basingstoke is a great place for families, who have many family-friendly activities to choose from.  

Basingstoke boasts a strong economy with strong and defined sectors, and it has been home to a number of big businesses throughout its history. Some of the main sectors in the town include digital technology, financial and professional services, manufacturing and engineering and pharma and med-technology.  

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Who Lives in Basingstoke? 

Here are some key stats around those who live in Basingstoke: 

  • Population: 126,172 
  • 17% of households rent privately 
  • 38.6% of households are families 
  • 30.4% of residents are aged between 25 and 34 

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Is Basingstoke a Nice Place to Live? 

Absolutely! Basingstoke prides itself on its quality of life. Its well-maintained parks, cultural venues, and a plethora of recreational activities make it a great place to call home. Basingstoke’s high standard of living has been widely recognised. In fact, in 2020, it was voted as one of the 50 best places to live in Britain in the Halifax annual Quality of Life survey. 

With its affordable housing, low crime rates, and an array of amenities, Basingstoke appeals to families, young professionals, and retirees alike. The town’s diverse range of housing options caters to different preferences, from modern apartments in the town centre to quaint cottages nestled on the outskirts. 

Why Basingstoke? 

Let’s go into some more detail about why you might want to move to Basingstoke: 

Affordability and Housing Options 

Basingstoke offers a diverse range of housing options, catering to various budgets and preferences. From modern apartments to traditional houses and rural cottages, the town provides a spectrum of choices. The affordability of housing, especially compared to London, is a significant draw for many. 

Quality of Life 

The town boasts a high quality of life, characterised by its well-maintained parks, recreational facilities, and cultural offerings. Residents enjoy access to numerous amenities, including shopping centres, restaurants, theatres, and entertainment venues, ensuring there’s always something to do or explore. 

Commuter-Friendly Location 

Basingstoke’s strategic position along major transport routes, particularly its proximity to London, makes it an ideal choice for commuters. With frequent and efficient train services to the capital, many professionals find it convenient to work in London while enjoying the more relaxed lifestyle offered by Basingstoke. 

Strong Community Spirit 

Basingstoke prides itself on its sense of community. Residents often highlight the friendly and welcoming atmosphere as a key reason for choosing to live here. The town hosts various community events, fostering connections among neighbours and creating a strong social fabric. 

Education and Family-Friendly Environment 

Families moving to Basingstoke benefit from access to reputable schools and educational institutions. The town’s commitment to education ensures that children have access to quality schooling, making it an attractive destination for families looking to settle down. 

Employment Opportunities 

Beyond its appeal to commuters, Basingstoke also offers a thriving job market. The presence of numerous businesses, including tech, healthcare, and finance sectors, provides a wide array of employment opportunities, attracting professionals seeking career growth and stability. 

Proximity to Nature and Countryside 

For nature enthusiasts, Basingstoke’s proximity to the Hampshire countryside is a major perk. Residents can easily escape to nearby green spaces, parks, and picturesque countryside, offering opportunities for outdoor activities and leisure. 

Cultural Blend 

Basingstoke’s blend of historical landmarks with modern developments creates a unique cultural tapestry. From historic sites like The Vyne to contemporary art exhibitions and performances, the town offers a rich cultural experience. 

Transport Links 

Basingstoke boasts excellent transport links via both rail and road networks. Situated on the city’s outskirts, Basingstoke Train Station is conveniently close to the primary shopping district, merely a brief stroll away. With services offered by Great Western Railway and South Western Railway, the station offers various travel options. London Waterloo is a quick 40-minute train ride away, and there are also direct train services to prominent destinations such as Southampton, Reading, Bournemouth, and Manchester. 

Basingstoke enjoys an excellent network of roads, situated close to junctions 6 and 7 of the M3 motorway, facilitating connections to London and Southampton. Also, the A303 links Basingstoke to the West Country, while the A33 provides convenient access to Reading, the M4, and Winchester. 

Basingstoke is conveniently located near Southampton Airport, a mere 25-minute drive away. Additionally, London Heathrow Airport is accessible within approximately an hour and a half by train from the city. 

Southampton Airport is the nearest airport to Basingstoke, just a 25-minute drive away. Also, you can use the train service to get to London Heathrow Airport in just under an hour and a half. 

The Different Areas of Basingstoke 

Basingstoke comprises various distinct areas, each with its own unique charm and characteristics, catering to diverse preferences and lifestyles. 

Town Centre 

The bustling heart of Basingstoke, the town centre is a hub of activity. Here, you’ll find a blend of modern developments and historical landmarks. Apartments and townhouses in this area attract individuals seeking the vibrancy of urban living. 


Chineham is a suburban area known for its family-friendly environment. It boasts well-regarded schools and parks, making it a popular choice for families. The housing options here predominantly consist of spacious family homes in quieter neighbourhoods. 

Hatch Warren 

Similar to Chineham, Hatch Warren is another family-oriented area. It features a mix of housing styles, including detached and semi-detached homes, providing residents with a sense of community while still being close to amenities and schools. 


Oakley exudes a more rural feel compared to other parts of Basingstoke. This area is characterized by its picturesque countryside views and a quieter pace of life. It appeals to those seeking a tranquil setting and larger properties, including charming cottages and country houses. 


Beggarwood offers a blend of housing types, from apartments to family homes, in a well-connected suburban setting. It’s known for its green spaces, including parks and nature trails, providing residents with ample opportunities for outdoor activities. 

Old Basing 

Steeped in history, Old Basing is a charming area featuring historical landmarks such as Basing House and St. Mary’s Church. It offers a mix of period properties and newer developments, appealing to those drawn to the town’s rich heritage. 

Brighton Hill 

Brighton Hill is known for its affordability and a mix of housing options, including both rental and owned properties. With its own shopping centre and recreational facilities, it provides convenience for residents. 


Lychpit offers a quieter, suburban lifestyle with a mix of housing styles, including modern homes and older properties. Its proximity to schools and green spaces makes it popular among families. 

Is Basingstoke a Good Place to Buy a House? 

Basingstoke offers a range of housing options catering to various budgets and preferences. The town’s diverse real estate market ensures there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a starter home, a spacious family house, or a contemporary apartment. 

Compared to comparable commuter towns in the south of England, Basingstoke house prices tend to be slightly cheaper.   

Property Prices in Basingstoke 

In December 2023, the average property price in Basingstoke is £330,306. 

Over the last 12 months, the average price by property type is as follows: 

  • Detached house: £550,256 
  • Semi-detached: £381,967 
  • Terraced: £301,275 
  • Flat/apartment: £183,370 

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Explore our properties for sale in Basingstoke.

Rental Prices in Basingstoke  

As of December 2023, the average monthly price to rent in Basingstoke is £1,087. 

Over the last 12 months, the average monthly rental cost by property type is as follows: 

  • Detached house: £1,728 
  • Semi-detached: £1,445 
  • Terraced: £1,181 
  • Flat/apartment: £1,001  

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Education and Schools  

Families moving to Basingstoke will find a range of educational options, including well-regarded primary and secondary schools. The town is also home to Basingstoke College of Technology, offering further education and vocational courses. Many of Basingstoke’s schools and colleges are rated as “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted. 

Infant and primary schools in the area: 

  • Castle Hill Infant School (for children aged 4-7) 
  • Four Lanes Infant School (for children aged 4-7) 
  • Castle Hill Primary School  
  • Great Binfield’s Primary School  
  • St Marks CE Primary School 

Secondary schools in the area: 

  • Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School  
  • Vyne School 
  • Dove House School 

Amenities, Shopping and Attractions in Basingstoke 

As mentioned above, Basingstoke boasts an impressive array of amenities, attractions and activities catering to diverse interests. Whether it’s family-friendly outings, shopping excursions, park and woodland exploration, museum visits, or more, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. 

Basingstoke is a great place for those who are keen on local produce and farm shops. Choose from an impressive array of farm shops, including the popular Cobbs at Manydown Farm Shop, Cherished Farm Shop, and V&B Butchers. Also, Wellington Farm Shop is conveniently located just a short drive away in Hook. 

Basingstoke offers an impressive variety of shopping options including Festival Place, widely considered to be one of the South’s best shopping centres. The are over 200 stores here including renowned brands like Next, Marks and Spencer, H&M and Apple. Festival Place also has a diverse array of dining options within its bright and spacious interior, as well as top-tier entertainment with a highly-rated Vue Cinema, the Basingstoke Discovery Centre, and Flip Out—an indoor haven featuring trampolines, climbing walls, and the country’s first high-tech indoor assault course. 

As well as Festival Place, there are also wider shopping options at The Malls, another popular shopping centre, Cineham Shopping Centre and St Michaels Retail Park.  

The Milestones Museum is a captivating living history museum adorned with cobbled streets, vintage vehicles, interactive showcases, and quaint shops and buildings. Perfect for family outings, it hosts a variety of family-friendly events and exhibitions all year round.  

Local history can be explored at the Willis Museum & Sainsbury Gallery nestled in the heart of ‘Old Basingstoke’ on Marketplace. Also, just nearby lies Whitchurch Silk Mill, offering insights into the intricate craft of producing high-quality silk. 

The Anvil Arts stands as Hampshire’s foremost performing arts institution, offering an extensive array of entertainment—from music and comedy to opera, workshops, and theatre productions. Embraced by the community, the Basingstoke Festival is an annual celebration of arts and culture, highlighted by the welcoming B LOVE music festival.  

Basingstoke also plays host to beloved annual events such as the annual kite and transport festivals, which only adds to the vibrancy of the town. 

Also, the Odiham Castle, where the Magna Carta was signed, is located in a tranquil site opposite the Basingstoke Canal in Hook.  

Dining and Restaurants 

Basingstoke’s residents can choose from an array of restaurants and eateries to satisfy their palates. From steak houses, to Japanese, Italian, Turkish, classic pub grub and everything in between, there is something for everyone in Basingstoke.  

In Festival Place, there are a host of options from familiar big names including Las Iguanas, Wagamama and Cote. 

Some of Basingstoke’s most highly regarded and popular restaurants include: 

Some good pubs in the area include The Bolton Arms, The Fur and Feathers and The Queens Arms.  

Employment Opportunities  

Basingstoke boasts a strong economy with strong and defined sectors, and it has been home to a number of big businesses throughout its history.  

Some of the main sectors in the town include digital technology, financial and professional services, manufacturing and engineering and pharma and med-technology. Opportunities are also available in healthcare, construction, wholesale, retail and leisure too.  

There are a large number of employers operating in Basingstoke, and many major companies have headquarters in the town. These include Capita, BNP Paribas, Lenovo, Sony, Visa and many more. 

Also, as mentioned, Basingstoke has fantastic transport links which makes it a great place for commuters. Being just 40 minutes from London, you feasibly have the opportunity to work in the capital.  

For further studies, there is Queens Mary College, a highly regarded 6th form college equipped with exceptional facilities. Winchester University, located a mere 17 miles away, is a renowned public institution offering a diverse array of courses in stunning surroundings. 

Sport and Leisure 

There are a number of gyms in the area including The Gym Group Basingstoke, Village Gym Basingstoke and Fitness First. 

The impressive Basingstoke Sports Centre is located in Festival Place. This is a hub for fitness, leisure, and sports, spanning across 7 floors and occupying over 70,000 square feet. It features a vast 5-badminton court sports hall, a comprehensive 186-station mixed gym, a dedicated ladies-only gym, an extensive weekly group exercise schedule comprising over 100 classes, three squash courts, two swimming pools, and a rejuvenating health spa. For the little ones, there’s also the delightful ‘Play Den,’ a soft play area. 

Basingstoke Golf Club is very highly regarded, with an 18-hole course which affords beautiful views. There are a host of other options for sport for both children and adults in Basingstoke, including bowls, cricket, football, gymnastics, hockey, judo, rugby, swimming, as well as disability sport clubs. 

There is also iFly, one of only three places in the UK where you can enjoy indoor skydiving, as well as Snozone, an indoor ski slope with skiing and snowboarding available.  

Outdoor Opportunities 

Surrounded by the picturesque Hampshire countryside, greenery and outdoor opportunities are always within reach. Inside Basingstoke itself, there are open spaces and quiet green spaces, including Eastrop Park in the town centre, which has a boating lake and a paddling pool. boasting a tranquil boating lake and a delightful paddling pool.  

War Memorial Park, to the south of the town centre, has a bandstand, skatepark, tennis courts, and hosts regular Saturday parkruns too. 

Outside of Basingstoke, the beautiful Hampshire countryside is within very easy reach, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor pursuits like hiking, running and cycling. There are also many charming and picturesque villages around. 

Both Basing House and The Vyne are close to Basingstoke too. Basing House stands as a historic landmark pivotal in the English Civil War, offering the opportunity for lots of exploration amidst its ruins, splendid old house, and museum. The illustrious 16th-century Tudor mansion, The Vyne, once belonging to Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain, served as a frequent venue for balls attended by none other than Jane Austen herself.  

Located on the border of Hampshire and Berkshire, Highclere Castle features an exhibition showcasing ancient Egyptian treasures and serves as the iconic backdrop for the beloved television series, Downton Abbey.  

Stratfield Saye House, a grand stately home surrounded by expansive gardens, has been the residence of the esteemed Dukes of Wellington and their family since 1817. 

Cost of Living in Basingstoke  

According to the Economic Research Institute, the cost of living in Basingstoke is currently around 4% higher than the national average.  

As of writing, the average costs of some everyday items are as follows: 

  • Milk (1 litre): £1.14 
  • Loaf of white bread: £1.10 
  • A dozen eggs £2.79 
  • Bananas (1kg): £1.09 
  • Oranges (1lg): £0.95 
  • Basic utilities monthly bill (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 85m2 apartment: £220.42 

Bear in mind that these are the latest figures from Numbero at the time of writing. 

Broadband Information 

Basingstoke has benefited from the roll out of Hampshire’s Superfast Broadband Programme. This has provided very fast connectivity for both residents and businesses, and 84.1% of homes have access to ultra-fast broadband.

The monthly cost for internet in Basingstoke is around £30.   

Safety and Crime 

As with any town, Basingstoke does experience some crime. In 2022, there were 85 crimes per 1,000 people, which is slightly higher than average in Hampshire. It is the 37th safest major town in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Basingstoke puts a lot of emphasis into keeping its residents safe, and the Community Safety Team operate to help local communities feel safe and improve their quality of life.  

Are You Thinking of Moving to Basingstoke? 

Basingstoke stands out as an attractive place to live, offering a high quality of life, diverse amenities, excellent educational opportunities, and a strong sense of community. Whether you’re drawn to its community spirit, thriving job market, or picturesque surroundings, Basingstoke has something to offer everyone seeking a well-rounded and fulfilling lifestyle in Hampshire. 

Our Basingstoke estate agents can help to make your move to Basingstoke a reality. We offer a range of property services for buyers, renters, sellers and landlords alike.