Basingstoke is a thriving town in Hampshire that is well-known as the “Doughnut City” or “Roundabout City” because it has many roundabouts. It is a place worth living in if you are planning on moving to the UK. But this busy city is more than that; it is filled with amazing green spaces, museums, rich culture, and a good transport network. Though the town center is not as good as Reading, Basingstoke is a wonderful place to live and work.
Is Basingstoke a good place to live? Basingstoke is a well-connected European town with an excellent transport system, high employment rate, and vibrant culture. There is plenty to do and see in this city. The schools are decent and Basingstoke is just 45 minutes away from London by train.
Whether you are moving to Basingstoke because of work or are just interested in living in a UK city, you have landed on this blog because you want to know more about this city. How’s the transport system? How’s the education system? Are there any neighborhoods that should be avoided? Read on to know more.
Is Basingstoke a good place to Live? Pros and Cons.
Basingstoke was developed in the mid-20th century with accessibility in mind thus the roundabouts, ring road, reliable links to the M3 and M4 motorways, and a mainline train station next to the town center. Major revamps done to the shopping and leisure facilities in Basingstoke has matured the city into an excellent place for modern family living.
This city does have some great neighborhoods such as New Hatch Warren, Beggarwood, Chineham, Basing, Basingrad, just to name a few. Similar to other commuter towns, Basingstoke has its downsides with rougher neighborhoods. The highest crime levels are in Basingstoke Centre and Basingstoke West. Level of crime in this city is 38.89%. The figure is not as high as in other towns, but it is always wise to maintain vigilance.
The education system in this city is generally good. Most primary schools have been given a ‘good’ rating by Ofsted. This is the same story for the secondary schools and tertiary institutions which have also been rated as ‘good’. There are also some well-established independent schools in the town including the greatly regarded Sherfield School, which is a co-education day and boarding institution enrolling students from 3 months to 18. Expats moving to the area with school-going children are assured that their children will get good quality education.
The city has a good transport system, with bus routes from the residential areas working regularly into the center of the town. Residents can travel easily via the train to get to London in less than an hour, and Reading is only 15minutes away. Heathrow airport, the busiest airport in the United Kingdom is just 45 minutes away from Basingstoke by car, with flights traveling worldwide every day. Southampton airport is also very near, providing transport to different European destinations. All in all, this is a great city for commuters.
Social life is very vibrant in this Hampshire town as there is plenty to see and do. Film fans can watch the latest films in the extraordinary cinemas, while lovers of art can attend local art performances and festivals. There are also museums where families can visit to know about the history of Basingstoke.
Is Basingstoke a good place to Work?
Basingstoke is a great place to work and is home to numerous worldwide recognized brands such as Sony, Barclays, The AA, Sun Life Financial, GAME and thousands of other business in different sectors; from pharmaceuticals, Information Technology, finance to engineering and manufacturing. For those who are moving to the UK soon, Basingstoke is a place full of opportunities for developing careers and gaining skills and experience.
Alongside the huge corporate organizations, about 90% of businesses in this town are small enterprises which employ less than ten employees. Start-ups are common with a high survival rate. In general, the economy is worth about £5.2 billion in Gross Value Added.
The unemployment rate is 2.4% in Basingstoke, which is lower than the national average of 4%. From this, it is clear to see that most people in this town are employed. Being an economic hub, the unemployment levels in this town are very low, and they decline year after year. Working in this area is fun because innovation is part of the daily work, there are many exciting developments happening here and this is a high-tech town with high-class leisure facilities.
Average gross salary for full-time employees is £38,400 in Basingstoke. The average gross salary for females is £29,600 and £43,200 for males. The gross median salary is £33,800, which is well above the national median of £29,600. From the figures, it is clear to see that Basingstoke is a good place to work because the employment rates are high and the average salaries are higher than for the national average.
Is Basingstoke a good place to buy a House?
Moving to Basingstoke may be a good idea as the area offers a plethora of established properties of great value, which include well-sized family homes on green closes. For those who want new homes, there is no shortage of options as the city continues to develop. There is something for everybody from stunning country cottages in nearby villages to modern apartments in town.
The average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is £822.50, and £687.50 for a 1-bedroom apartment outside the city center. Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city center is £1,366.67, and £1,100.00 for a 3-bedroom apartment outside the city center. The price per square meter to purchase an apartment in the city center is £2,742.00, and £2,540.00 to buy outside the city center.
Property buyers in Basingstoke can expect to part with about £151,359 for a 1-bedroom house, £317,566 for a 3-bedroom house and £603, 069 for a 5-bedroom house. Flats sell for an average price of £197,808 while terraced houses sell for an average of £266,776.
Neighborhoods such as Chineham, Kempshott, Brookvale, Oakley, Hatch Warren, Bramley, and Fleet are nice neighborhoods for families as they have schools nearby and access to numerous leisure activities. Estates in Basingstoke are good value, but many of the villages surrounding the city are quite pricey due to the ease of commuting.
Is Basingstoke a Good Place to Retire?
Basingstoke has gotten a bad press for being soulless, but all in all, it is a good place to retire. This is due to the fact that it has amazing facilities, highly desirable neighborhoods, and a great transport network. The health care system in the town, which is usually a major concern for many senior people, is excellent.
Retirement developments on Basingstoke offer extra facilities like communal lounges, guest suites, and on-site restaurants, health suites, stores, laundry services, and function rooms. Residents living in these properties benefit from living with like-minded individuals and get a chance to participate in a social community. Chineham Ridge, New Road, Gershwin Road, Cliddesden Road, and Kempshott are some of the neighborhoods that have retirement developments.
Retiring in this city is not a bad idea because of the abundance of retirement properties at different price ranges, great amenities, and trusty transport system. Average rent in Basingstoke is £753pcm for a 1-bedroom property, £1,168pcm for a 3-bedroom property and £2,250pcm for a 5-bedroom property. In Chineham, Basingstoke a 5-bedroom detached house can be bought at £429,000 and a 1-bedroom maisonette can go for £119,500. A 3-bedroom apartment for sale in Winterthur, Basingstoke can go for £168,250.
Within easy reach of UK’s capital, Basingstoke is a fast-paced, charming, and contemporary town with plenty of successful enterprises surrounded by vibrant villages and set in the amazing Hampshire countryside. There are activities for every sort of interest, including sports facilities, shopping centers, a concert hall, and an indoor skydiving center.
Is Basingstoke a good place to Visit?
The local history of Basingstoke dates back to the mid-20th century. There are exciting places to visit and many things to do. The Wills Museum, which was established in 1931 houses a huge collection of prehistoric implements, antique clocks, and watches. Jane Austen and her sister used to dance in this town once upon a time.
Festival Place, which was opened in 2002, is a major boost to the town’s aesthetics. This place has a wide variety of shops, cafes, restaurants, and a large multiscreen cinema. Other than Festival Place, central Basingstoke also offers other shopping centers: The Malls and Top of the Town. Basingstoke nightlife is divided between Festival Square and traditional hostelries at Top of Town with some few pubs outside the city center. There are 4 nightclubs in the town.
At Portchester Square, there’s the Basingstoke Sports Centre which offers a subterranean pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. At the square, you can also find a gym, aerobics studio, squash court, main hall, and crèche.
Outside the city center, there’s a leisure park that has the Aquadrome swimming pool. The park also has a bowling alley, ice rink, sky-diving center, Bingo club, cinema screen, and restaurants. The Milestones Museum can also be found in this leisure park, and it features a network of streets and buildings depicting Hampshire’s history.
Basingstoke is viewed as a boring town by some people, but this is probably an unfair judgment. This is a good place to visit and live in as it is one of the largest modern towns in Hampshire.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.