Basingstoke Festival 2016 – What’s on!

Basingstoke Festival landscape

Basingstoke Festival – 17 June 2016 – 10 July 2016

Fall in love with Basingstoke this summer – it’s the borough with the green heart.

You’ll love the line-up for Basingstoke Festival 2016 – there’s something for all ages, so bring the family too.

The fun starts with a parade from one park and ends with Basingstoke Live, two days of live music, in another – showcasing just how green the town is at heart! This year’s much loved carnival parade through the heart of Basingstoke features sun bird puppets, hilarious walkabouts puddle ducks, giant kangaroos and a beautiful polar bear.

For family activities there’s a circus spectacular, specially crafted children’s drama with unique and beautiful aerial acrobatic artists. The royal philharmonic orchestra makes an appearance which promises to be out of this world! A weekend celebration of literary women, professional entertainers, fantastic food for all tastes, weeks of music and dance and many more fun events and surprises.

To find the event that is right for you check out the Basingstoke Festival website Programme launches 3rd June 2016.

Keep updated on what is happening on our Facebook page  or via Twitter #BstokeFest #BasingstokeFestival

Contact details

Homeschooling in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

(I think this post is quite apt after yesterday’s “school announcements”! ;-))

PS: I have a secret homeschooling group on Facebook which has several families who homeschool in the local area included. If you would like to be added, please email me at

Homeschooling in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

Before Miss NHM was born, I only vaguely knew about home schooling. I knew some people who had been home schooled but never really thought more about it.

Once Miss NHM was born, this all changed. I read a LOT of parenting blogs when I was on maternity leave and learnt about Montesori and Waldorf Steiner Education. I also read more and more about homeschooling.

I knew before Miss NHM was born that the school system was constantly being changed, however it was only once Miss NHM was born that I realised how much this could actually affect my daughter, and thus, me.

I am very dissolusioned with the school system in this country, and that’s before Miss NHM even starts school. I have many friends whose children have been through the school system, despair at how their children were used as guinea pigs, all dependent on which political party got into power. I don’t want this for Miss NHM.

Schools also seem to be very subjective. You have no choice, as Pam recently commented on NHM, over the class or teacher that your child is put with.

I would LOVE to home school my daughter but I have absolutely no idea where to start. But, since starting NHM I have learnt that there are more and more people doing this.

Unfortunately as I’m the main earner in our family, it really isn’t an option, but that doesn’t stop me doing the research and learning more about it.

It seems to be quite big in the US and they have a lot more resources over there for homeschooling than I’ve found in the UK.

I’ve also discovered that as homeschoolers, you are entitled to discounts at local softplay locations and museums, which is good to know because the cost of home schooling always worried me.

Having just gone through the very stressful process of gaining a place at Infants school for Miss NHM, I’m still very intrigued by home schooling but it’s not right for our family…yet.

We have a very audacious goal of taking a year “out” when Miss NHM is around 10 years old, and travelling the world. At this point we will need to home school Miss NHM so I need to ensure that I’ve done all of my research by then!

After all of my research I am still unsure of the difference between “homeschooling” and “unschooling”.

There are actually several families in Basingstoke who “homeschool” and “Unschool” and in my very privileged role as NorthHantsMum I’ve come to know of some of these families.

If you are already home schooling or are interested in maybe home schooling in the future, let me know and I will add you to my “secret” home schooling group on Facebook.

Also, if you have any resources that you’ve got from homeschooling, let me know, as I’m planning on putting together a future post on resources from the UK and US, that could be useful for a family who are home schooling.

Mum’s and Dad’s new to Basingstoke and North Hampshire

Are you a Mum or Dad that has just moved to the area? (If you are, welcome to the area!! :-D)

Are you looking to meet other Mum’s and Dad’s in Basingstoke and North Hampshire?

I have set up a secret Facebook group for Mum’s who have moved to the area and are looking to make some new “Mummy or Daddy friends” (God, I hate that phrase! lol).

If you would like to be added to this group, please message me at or send me a private message on FB and I will add you into the group.

I won’t be administrating this group, so whomever is added, you will need to reach out to each other.

Related Posts

Parents new to Basingstoke and North Hampshire

Expectant Parent’s Event at Mothercare Basingstoke – 9th October 2014

Mothercare Basingstoke are holding another expectant parents event on the 9th October 2014 @ 6.30pm.

It’s invite only but you just need to call the store on 01256 363737 to book your place.

If you know anyone who is expecting soon, please let them know the details of this post.

I am also hoping to be at this event, so if you are going, see you there!

Related Posts

Event: Expectant Parents evening at Mothercare tomorrow night! (June 2014)

Basingstoke Mothercare Expectant Parent event (2013)

Basingstoke Roller Skating – Family Disco

Come join the fun and friendly atmosphere at the Family Roller Disco at Queen Mary’s College Sports Hall. It all kicks off at 12.30pm to 2.00pm every Saturday.

Prices: Child – £3.50 Adult- £5.00 Skate Hire – £1.50 per pair

Hire skates or bring your own (as long as they are clean & safe to use).

Mums & Dads, if you haven’t skated for a few years, don’t worry it will all come back to you like riding a bike – so the regulars say!

For more information or to ask the team any questions, visit

Top Tip 13: Parent parking at the hospital

Abi wanted me to let you know that there is now parent and baby parking spaces at the hospital with ramp access, to the back entrance on level A.

Very useful tip, so thanks Abi!

(Why it’s taken them over 40 years to actually install parent and baby parking spaces at the hospital, is another discussion entirely ;-))

Related Page

Mum Top Tip’s (all of the Mum top tips on NHM on one page!)

Ideas for Outings in Basingstoke

Milestone Museum

Milestones is packed full of the things that ordinary people used in the past.  The museum is an ideal family visit with lots to explore in a safe, warm, child-friendly environment… all under one roof.

Basingstoke Aquadrome – Basingstoke

Play Days Indoor Soft Play Centre – Basingstoke

JJ’s World of Fun – Basingstoke

The Vyne – National Trust, Bramley

Basing House – Basingstoke

Basingstoke Bowlplex – Basingstoke

Planet Ice Basingstoke – Basingstoke

Odiham Castle – Odiham (I love it here. We park at the car park just past the Waterwitch pub. It’s a very long walk and not really suitable for pushchairs but it’s a great place to have a picnic. You used to be able to have a picnic within the castle itself but they changed it a couple of years ago. Still makes for a lovely day out.)

Related Posts

Hampshire Days Out With Your Children

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Parents new to Basingstoke and North Hampshire

I’ve had several messages recently from Mum’s who have moved to the area and stumbled across NHM.

I have had some lovely feedback saying how helpful the NHM posts have been with finding out what is available in the area and keeping tabs on what is going on.

I thought I would do a summary post for parents who are new to the area, which brings together all of the previous posts and some of my suggestions. 

Hope they help!

Tips for raising children in a new area

1. Review the Day pages on NHM

I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself! lol. These pages give you a summary of what’s going on each day for children aged 6 and under.

They are sorted by day, so you can click on the day and see an alphabetical list of classes that are available on that day.

2. Find a Mum network in the area

There are lots of  very good groups on Facebook which support Mum’s in the area. I’ve put together a page which has a list of all of the groups that you can join via NorthHantsMum.

3. Join the secret “Mum’s and Dad’s new to Basingstoke and North Hampshire” NHM group on Facebook

Contact me directly at to be added to this group.

The following posts may also be useful

Softplay Centres

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

Days out in Hampshire


Do you have any other suggestions for parents who are new to the area?

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!

Sebastian’s Action Trust

I’ve driven past the Bluebells many times as we have friends who live in North Waltham. I always thought it looked like a posh nursing home. It was only when I visited on a works volunteer day, that I discovered exactly what the Bluebells is.

I can’t really explain how much my visit to Bluebells impacted me. It’s an incredibly moving but inspiring place and right on our doorstep.

Next summer I would like to do something to help raise funds for this fantastic place, via NHM. If you are interested in helping with this, please let me know.

Sebastian’s Action Trust

Jane Gates

I am Jane Gates, a 50 year old mother of two from Binfield in Berkshire.

In 2003 my brave nine-year old son, who at the time was battling a rare form of cancer, inspired my husband Michael and I, together with our daughter Rebecca, to set up the charity, Sebastian’s Action Trust.

Our tireless work was recognised in 2012 when along with Michael I accepted the prestigious Pride of Britain Award on behalf of The Trust for our work and its impact.

Sadly my son, Sebastian lost his battle on the 24th of December 2003 but his vision, spirit and drive lives on through our work.

Today The Trust stands proud and is a tribute to Sebastian’s insight, bravery and vision.  His aim was to provide a place where life-limited children and their families can holiday together away from the rigours of hospital appointments, gruelling treatment schedules and prying eyes. Importantly for very sick children the home needed to be clean, safe and adaptable to meet their often complex physical and emotional needs.  Sebastian’s vision was simple, yet vital for those facing the loss of a beloved child; he wanted to create a private place where memories could be made which would last a life-time, even if that life was to be cruelly cut short.

In 2011 Sebastian’s vision was finally realised and The Bluebells, the UK’s first purpose built respite holiday home was completed. The Bluebells is located in the beautiful village Hampshire village of North Waltham.

It consists of:

  • two four-bedroom self-catering apartments, each with a lounge and kitchen diner which can support families using wheelchairs and specialist medical equipment
  • an indoor pool with spa with disabled access.  We hold a range of specialist dry suits so that children who have feeding tubes can still access the pool.
  • an indoor games area with a wide selection of computer games, traditional board games and toys
  • a home cinema
  • a multi-sensory room
  • a music room
  • an art room
  • a therapies room
  • an outdoor adventure play area
  • a nine-hole mini golf course &a secret meadow.

Since opening in July 2011 The Bluebells has given over 200 families the opportunity to spend precious time together, safe in the knowledge that the home is close to the hospital and that trained live-in staff are on hand to provide help and support should this be needed.

Our work now extends further into emotional and practical support for families during the darkest days of their lives.  This work is delivered by trained Outreach Workers who work with families to ascertain their needs and to deliver bespoke support aimed at easing their suffering and isolation.  Our work is primarily focused across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire Surrey and Hampshire.  We do however also support families from further afield to come to The Bluebells because there is simply no other project of its kind in the UK.


For more information please follow the team on Twitter at @SebsActionTrust or on Facebook at Sebastian’sactiontrust.

Alternatives for those affected by the closure of two local nurseries…

I hope this isn’t too late if any of you have been affected by the closure of two local nurseries.

Cheryl sent me a message asking me to let you know about the offer that Cornerstone Nurseries has:

Cornerstone Nurseries are sorry to hear that both Headstarts & Funhouse nurseries have closed at such short notice.

We would like to offer any parents affected by this, emergency childcare at one of our 3 settings in Basingstoke, with 1/2 price fees for the month of October to help with the disruption you’ve had.

If you then choose to stay with us, we will guarantee a permanent place for your child (at our standard fee rates).

For more information please call 01256 818118.