Outdoor BBQ facilities in North Hampshire

I’m not sure if this is useful, but I’ve been trying to find places where you can “officially” have a BBQ in the area. A great idea for getting all your friends together for an outdoor party.

Do you know of anywhere else that has BBQ facilities that the public can use?

  • Basing Lime Pits: Have two BBQ’s. They aren’t in particularly good condition, but I’m sure they would be fine once you started to use them. They have been there forever though, so be warned!
  • Wellington Country Park, BBQ and Marquee area
  • Crab Wood which is in Farleigh Mount Country Park, near Winchester
  • Locks Ride Recreation Ground Bookable BBQ’s, beach style park and splash pad too. Winkfield Row, near Ascot
  • Alice Holt Three pre-bookable barbecues available for hire

Places to BBQ In Hampshire’s Country Parks

Manor Farm and Country Park
Queen Elizabeth Country Park, We’ve used these before and they are excellent but you have to book to use them in advance and I think it costs £10 for a couple of hours hire.
Royal Victoria Country Park,
Lepe Country Park
Staunton Country Park

Related Posts

Does anyone know what the rules are for using your own BBQ in public areas?

Review: Wellington Country Park

Lido’s in Hampshire

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A summer of sport II: Cycling

Another Guest post by the lovely Peta who writes at  http://minrva.blogspot.co.uk/:

Cycling. A thoroughly freeing and enjoyable pastime, in my book. But for those who are not proficient, the suggestion of cycling can conjure up visions of skunned knees, bruised hands and scraped elbows. Miss is learning to ride…

Unfortunately, Miss is blessed with our family trait of an irregular torso:legs ratio, which makes reaching the pedals of a regular-sized toddler bike quite the stretch. But someone out there at “Ozbozz” has, in their infinite wisdom, made a little pink scooter with significant flexibility in the handle bar height department.

With my trusty bicycle, I have been known to challenge a mountain or two. But the thought of Miss learning to ride the way that I did (fear of falling is a great motivator to keep upright) is a little worrisome. Miss is learning to wear her safety helmut every time she rides, just like her Mama did, which does help ease my mind some.

Miss is learning to run and explore safely, to be inquisitive of new things without fear, and to make good observances about danger. But will Miss show such sense when riding her ‘gooter’?

Miss is encouraged to climb the ladder, to walk up the slide (the wrong way) and to conquer the climbing frame. But will Miss manage such balance when riding her ‘gooter’?

Miss is provided many opportunities to develop independence skills, such as self-dressing, replacing books in a bookshelf and measuring food portions. But will Miss achieve such coordination when riding her ‘gooter’?

The moment of truth, as they say, arrived. Miss was escorted around the block by Papa, who encouraged practise on the flats before attempting the slightly-sloped home straight. Papa lined up Miss, with scooter, at the top of the slightly sloped home straight while I braced myself and prayed for the best; I could not watch. I could hear, but I could not see. But I could not hear anything. No squeals of delight nor screams of despair. Nothing.

As they rounded the corner to our front gate Papa explained the silence. At the top of the slightly sloped home straight, just as Papa gave the gentlest of push-starts, Miss had exclaimed: “Not too fast, Papa!”

Ah bless, Miss is not the daredevil I feared she would be.

Related Posts

Summer Sport

National PlayDay – 7th August 2013 – Free Event!!!

Apologies to those of you weren’t able to see yesterday’s “Things to do” post on your phones. I am hoping the problem is resolved today. If it isn’t could you please let me know again. Thanks! (Apologies that this post is a little late today too, it’s already one of those weeks! lol)

I went to the National Play day at Eastrop Park in 2011 when I was on Maternity Leave and it was brilliant! It’s a free event and they have lots to do, although it’s mainly for children aged 3 and over. There is special parking, at the top of Eastrop and a bus that runs all day, so you don’t have to walk up and down the hill. I am hoping this is still running this year, although if the bus isn’t running, it’s not so far to walk.

For those of you who aren’t in Basingstoke, there are Playday events happening all over the country, so please check the website at the bottom of this post to find a free event near you.

I wasn’t able to take the time off last year to go to this event, but I am hoping to be able to go this year with my little one. It’s a fabulous day out! A great date for your diaries during the summer holidays. If you’re there, and you see me, please do come and say hello! I’m not wearing my NHM T-shirt though :-D.

Basingstoke National Play Day- Eastrop Park

Date: 7 August 2013

Time: 11:00 – 16:00

Details: Circus skills, a bouncy castle and craft activities are just some of the free activities for families at Play Day in Basingstoke.

The fun starts at 11am and runs until 4pm, giving families the opportunity to play and learn together.

Other activities on offer are pond dipping, sport activities, face painting and scarecrow making. A children’s farm will also be visiting the Basingstoke.

Organised by: Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council

Open to the public or invite only:  Open to the public


  • Eastrop Park
  • Eastrop Lane
  • Basingstoke
  • Hampshire
  • RG21 4QF

Contact details

Contact name: Mike Nicholls/Sarah Elkins

Contact number: 01256 844844

Contact email address: community.development@basingstoke.gov.uk 

For more details about National Play days, you can check the website here: http://www.playday.org.uk/about-playday.aspx

A Summer Sport I: Tennis

I’m very excited to announce that Peta is going to be covering the Guest Post Wednesday slots during the summer holidays. Peta is a Mum of two who has recently relocated to the Hampshire countryside from central London. In one of her first posts she says: “By passing on bits & bobs, tips & hints, and a handful of anecdotes of life as I know it, I hope that you can benefit from (or at least have a giggle at) things I have learnt.”

I’ve been reading Peta’s blog since the beginning and have picked up some great tips from several of her posts. Today’s post is focused on Summer Sport and ties in nicely with Wimbledon this week. If you would like to see more of Peta’s posts, please check out her blog here:


Summer Sport

It is that time of year when tennis courts up and down the counties of Great Britain are filled with tennis racquet wielding folks in an earnest exhibition of skills that encompass the entire range of on-court abilities.

 (Perhaps I am a bit cheeky but being a bit of a fair weather player lately, I tar myself with the same brush.)

It is the second week of The Championships (“Wimbledon”) at the All England Lawn Tennis Club and it is has been wonderful to see many British players in the draws*. These players carry the hopes and dreams of many and provide inspiration to little Misses and Masters everywhere.

While the Olympics are every four years, Grand Slam tennis is a reliable and regular fixture in the sporting calendar and offered me a steadfast supply of sporting inspiration when I was a Miss.

My family is a tennis family. I played tennis every summer and when I was too young to compete, I either watched my parents play or hit-up against the practice wall with my sister. I even read tennis themed fiction.

So it was to be expected that within half an hour of the eagerly anticipated arrival of grandparents MaMa and Pa, out came the toddler tennis set. Although Master would rather eat the racquet than play, Miss has had poor MaMa running around the garden playing tennis ever since. On the upside, however, all this activity should help rid MaMa of her jet lag.

I have had some success on the court, but nothing like the greatness that I dreamed of as a Miss. Perhaps my calling is not playing tennis, but raising the next Dorothea Chambers and Fred Perry?

Tennis anyone?

Making a season-long commitment to a tennis club can be off-putting for some, but this need not stop you playing. Click this link to the Lawn Tennis Association for court locations near to you (all surfaces).

I encourage everyone to get out there and play tennis. Tennis was the source of many family fun times in my childhood and I aim to engage Miss and Master likewise, albeit from the ‘other’ side of the net, if you will.

*at the time of publishing only Andy Murray remains on the order of play

8 things to do in Basingstoke when it’s sunny

I realise the irony of this post, but I wrote it and scheduled it when it was sunny and looked like it would stay sunny!

Just in case it is raining today, please see this previous post which has some ideas of how to keep your Little One’s occupied when it’s raining: 8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

1. Climb some trees. Try Basing Wood/Carpenters Down behind Popley and next to Chineham Business Park.

2. Go to the Beach! The Nearest “Beaches” to Basingstoke are Fleet Pond on the way to Fleet and Frensham Pond, just past Farnham.

3. Play Poo Sticks on the bridge at the far end of Eastrop Park

4. Fly a Kite on Crabtree Plantation Hill

5. Visit Manydown’s Maize.

6. Pick your Own Fruit at some of the following Farms. I haven’t been to any but when the weather picks up we are planning to go to one. I recommend ringing in advance to ensure that they have crops available and haven’t all been picked the day before! See a previous post about PYO farms in the area HERE.

7. Have a picnic dinner at Basing Lime Pits

8. Paddle in the Paddling Pool at Eastrop Park.

Father’s Day Ideas 2013

I have absolutely no idea what to get my husband for Father’s Day this year. My Dad died when I was little, so Father’s Day has never really been on my radar.

As always, it’s sneaked up on me. Thankfully (or not, depending on your point of view) my husband will be working on Sunday, so we won’t have to do anything too fancy on the day! lol.

I’m thinking of getting my husband an “experience”, something that he will be able to remember.

Below are some previous posts that have already featured on NHM that might be helpful:

Independent Shops in North Hampshire (I was very sad to hear that MMIS is closing down soon. Such a shame as it’s a very lovely shop)

Local Businesses run by Mum’s and Dad’s

Father’s Day Ideas 2012

I hope you manage to find/make/buy something good for the Dad’s in yours and your little one’s life!

Pick Your Own Farm’s in North Hampshire and Berkshire

Mr NHM's 2015 Pumpkin!!
Mr NHM’s 2015 Pumpkin!!

Carly sent me a very sweet email, prompting me to get my butt in gear and post up this Pick Your Own Farm post! This was a really hard post to research, so if you know of any other local pick your own farms, please let me know at northhantsmum@gmail.com. Thanks for the reminder Carly and I hope you find it useful!


Bourne Valley Pick Your Own, Near Whitchurch/Andover: strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, black, red and white currants and broad beans

West Green Fruits, Hartley Wintney, Hook: West Green Fruits was established in 1997, and is a family run business of 15 acres set in farmland near Hartley Wintney. We offer an extensive range of fruit including; Strawberries, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Gooseberries, Tayberries, Tummelberries, Black & Redcurrants, Blackberries and Summer vegetables.

Durleighmarsh Farm, nr Petersfield: Set in beautiful countryside on the Hampshire/Sussex border, a stone’s throw from Petersfield, Durleighmarsh Farm with its family-run Farm Shop and Pick-Your-Own offers a huge range of top quality fruit and vegetables throughout the season.

Portland Farm, North Waltham (no website that I could see for this farm)


Grays Farm, Wokingham: The Farm is now closed for the winter. We will open as usual in mid April for Rhubarb & hope to open fully on May 18th 2013 with Strawberries, New Potatoes etc.

Copas Farms, Cookham: Copas Farms is a modern, diverse, family-run business with a landholding of just under 3,000 acres in and around the Chilterns and Thames Valley.  From this approximately 2,400 acres is under arable rotation and 81 acres is allocated to two Pick Your Own Farms providing seasonal fruit and vegetables – one at Cookham in Berkshire and the other at Iver in Buckinghamshire.  The centre of operations is based at Hedsor Park Farm, Hedsor in Buckinghamshire.

I also stumbled across this Local Organic Box Delivery in Basingstoke: Northdown Orchard. I currently use Able and Cole but am considering switching to this local supplier. I will let you know if I do manage to get this sorted!

Related NHM Pages

Food on NHM

Reviews of local attractions

NHM Reader Endorsements

Mum Top Tips

22 things to do with an under 7 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

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Willowdene Christmas Holiday Club

Marilyn contacted me asking me to let you all know about the Willowdene Christmas Holiday Club:

Willowdene Holiday Club is open every school holiday for children aged 4 – 12 yrs. Affiliated  with Willowdene Nursery School the Club provides high quality, affordable and reliable childcare.

Open 7.30-6.00 each day, we offer flexible booking by the hour, with all day and half day discounted rates.

Dates open over Christmas are December 21st & 24th and Jan 2nd – 4th.

Ofsted registered, we provide a professional service in a happy, safe and stimulating environment. Based at Christ Church, Chineham we aim to inspire and motivate the children with a variety of activities for both indoors and out. We introduce play that challenges the children’s imaginations e.g. den making, and with the woods around us we are able to go on Nature walks, bug hunts and picnics. We also take the children to the Library and local parks. With the emphasis on fun , the children enjoy an action packed time and each day is different.

For further details please contact us at willowdene@btconnect.com or 01256 324191.

Thanks Marilyn!

Related Posts

Day Nurseries in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

Willowdene Holiday Club 2012

Willowdene Holiday Club for children aged 5 -12 yrs

For school aged children Holiday Clubs are now held at Christ Church (opposite Willowdene) meaning we have more space and better age related activities for the school aged child. We are open every school holiday and Four Lanes Inset days catering for children aged 5-12 yrs **

(** Reception aged children will be given the choice either to attend the Holiday Club at the Nursery, or at Christ Church).

Activities are planned and prepared according to the children’s interests and each day is different. We introduce play that challenges the children’s imaginations e.g. den making, and with the woods around us we are able to go on Nature walks, bug hunts and picnics. We also take the children to the Library and local parks.

Some activities the children have enjoyed this summer include
• Fashion designing with a variety of materials
• Picking blackberries and making them into delicious pies
• Test Lab Tuesday – scientific experiments with Tizzy the test lab technician
• Walking to the shopping centre to buy the ingredients to make our own lunches.

Holiday Care also available for Nursery aged children at Willowdene Nursery School.

Ring 01256324191 or email willowdene@btconnect.com for further details! www.willowdenenursery.org.uk

Are there any other Holiday Clubs that you know about in the area?