'Not giving in to the pain and suffering, while considered noble by many, is the only sign of life in my eyes. There is nothing that's more alive than what's trying hard not to die!'
These immortal and quite uncharacteristic words from Jane Austen, one of the most revered of English novelists of all time, are quoted here for a reason.
The city we are about discuss in this travel article is Basingstoke, a mid-sized city that's not too far from London. Jane Austen spent a significant part of her life in Basingstoke, basing many of the side-characters in her novels around people she got to interact in Basingstoke. That distinction will probably live with this city, but be sure, this is not the only claim to fame that Basingstoke has.
Basingstoke is often counted among the oldest cities in mainland England. The oldest account of the city, with the exact same name it bears today, can be found even in the oldest known city survey of England, the Domesday Book of the first century. In a country where a number of cities have shed old names and born newer ones regularly, this does indeed come as a somewhat of a surprise!
Basingstoke, at its core, has been and still is a market city where people from the neighboring counties arrive in a hope to strike a few good deals. In the 20th century, a number of wealthy business people from London took great interest in Basingstoke, trying to develop it as some sort of a country club destination, where privileged members of the society could rub shoulders. But that didn't quite work out well, as Basingstoke was often mocked as a city where nothing is remotely interesting.
That joke no longer holds true. Basingstoke has grown up from a town of trainspotting to a town of legit tourism opportunities, and that, in our opinion is the only thing that matters!
Budget Stay in Basingstoke
Basingstoke, even though a well-known name among regular visitors, still hasn't found its feet when it comes to the 'big time' of tourism. That's why, it often tends to get overshadowed by a number of tourism hubs in the region, most notably the ones that have traditionally been favored by the elite class in English societies.
That fact certainly plays a part in making Basingstoke end up a little short when the discussion finally zooms in on cheap hotels and availability of sufficient lodging options. The ground reality here is not that there are no cheap hotels, it's just that there is a serious lack of hotels in Basingstoke altogether!
At any rate, we have managed to pull up a few names in order to allow our readers something to start with.
Apollo Hotel and Travelodge Hotel & Inn are perfectly suitable for travelers who wish to spend a night or two in the town, without actually harbouring any intentions of making Basingstoke their mainstay, while they are visiting the beautiful countryside in Hampshire.
Living Life King Size: Only in Basingstoke
There is something odd that just doesn't seem to allow us to connect English country towns and cities with luxury resorts. A part of that probably stems from the idea that traditionally, English countryside has always been renowned as a place of respite and solitude, along with simplicity and naivety. So, finding truly luxury hotels in Basingstoke was an uphill task that we eventually ended up completing after much deliberation.
Oakley Hall Hotel tops this list on account of its excellent hospitality and an overall sense of positivity that just exudes from the building of this hotel. Neat, clean and luxurious suites that are equipped with the best amenities imaginable mean that guests staying here leave, more often than not, in a full state of content!
Basingstoke Country Club Hotel, located amidst the thick of woods, is also a great option to get some worthy respite from the hustle of the city. It is, however, quite a lot expensive. But that's to be expected from all luxury Basingstoke hotels.
Sightseeing in Basingstoke: What Not to Miss Out on
Basingstoke is home to many historic monuments and culturally important buildings. The best among them, without any doubt, has to be the Basing House. It is a famous castle-palace in the city, built on parallel lines as of the Hampton Court of Tudors. Its magnificent building and pristine campuses mean that tourists often require more than one visit to fully comprehend its beauty!
From an archaeological point of view, few sites in England are more interesting than the Silchester Roman Town, a historic site of Roman occupation that was abandoned upon the demise of Roman Empire from England.
L'Arc Sculpture, a famous monumental sculpture of art in the city center, celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and is often visited by tourists to cap off their stay in Basingstoke.
The War Memorial Park can also be put amongst these sites, provided that you have enough time on your hands to properly enjoy all these options. It is an 18th century park that is nowadays operated publically.
Hotels Near Basingstoke Airport
There is no airport that dedicatedly services Basingstoke. The nearest international airport has to be the famous Heathrow Airport of London. It is located at a distance of about 45 miles from the city, meaning that there is little that would stand to a reason in looking for good Basingstoke hotels near this airport.
Local Transportation in Basingstoke
Basingstoke is just like any modern city, meaning that you can avail of buses, private taxis and rental cars to get around with great ease.
Buses operate on all major routes with good frequency, allowing tourists and visitors to get around cheaply. Private taxis on call are available, while app based taxi services can also be used, if economy is the last thing on your mind.
Walking is the best way to get around in the city center, where a number of shopping attractions unite with cultural attractions.