Library Membership for your child

Most Libraries in Hampshire have several shelves full of children’s books, children’s audio books, children’s DVD’s and parenting books that can be borrowed. Many also have a comfy area specifically for children where Rhyme Time sessions are held or where you can read to your child. Check out the following url which explains what is available for children in Hampshire libraries :

  • Membership is free!
  • In our local library lots of the books look brand new and there are many different books available for each development stage.

Children can borrow the following:

0-10 year olds can borrow Loan Period Renewable? Hire Charge Overdue charge
30 items including
children’s books up to four weeks Yes – max 5 times No charge No charge
music CDs, audio books, language packs up to four weeks Yes – max 2 times
(hire charges apply)
60p No charge
DVDs/videos, electronic games, CD-ROMs up to one week Yes – max 2 times
(hire charges apply)
£1 – £3.50 One full extra weekly hire charge
  • One of the biggest benefits is that in Hampshire there are no late return fee’s on children’s books!
  • Books can be borrowed for 4 weeks at a time before they need to be renewed again.
  • New young joiners receive a dinosaur library card with two key fobs. This allows you to add the key fob to your keys and always have your child’s card with you.
  • You can reserve and renew books online. If you are after a specific book and it isn’t available in your local library then you can go online and request the book to be sent from another library to your library for the cost of 50p per book. This is available for children and adult books and you can save a fortune using this service:

These details have been copied from Hantsweb,  the Hampshire Country Council website.

Pushchair Friendly Walks Near Basingstoke

Review: Alice Holt, Farnham

Great Picnic Spots near Basingstoke

Farley Mount – Winchester

  • No toilet facilities
  • Free parking
  • Has an excellent outdoor area for toddlers
  • Farm shop on the way in from Winchester or Waitrose nearby for picnic bits
  • Path’s aren’t distinct but are fairly pushchair friendly
  • See my review of Farley Mount from 2013

Basingstoke Canal – Odiham

  • Castle remains are pretty cool although you can no longer picnic inside it, have to sit outside :-(
  • Path can be quite thin in place but still should still be able to use with an off road buggy.

Frensham Little Pond/Great Pond – Near Farnham

  • Nearest sandy “beach”!

Fleet Pond – Fleet

  • Tiny sandy beach
  • picnic benches
  • jetty’s for feeding the ducks
  • entry road in is a bit hair raising!

Queen Elizabeth Country Park – Horndean

Staunton Country Park – Havant

Royal Victoria Country Park – Southampton

Other Walks

Aldermaston Common – On the road from Basingstoke to Newbury

  • Several Car Parks around the common

Hook Common – Just off Junction 5 of M3

  • Has big red cows with big horns wandering around and often horses grazing, so if have dogs need to keep control of them.

Yateley Common Country Park – Nr Yately

Newbury Race Course/Watership Down – near Kingsclere, RG28 7NJ

Micheldever Wood

Victoria Park

Medstead Forest – Near to Alton

  • Lovely in spring time when the Bluebells are out

Danebury Iron Age Hillfort – Near Andover

Baby Friendly Cafe’s near Basingstoke

Little Roses Tea Room and Gift Shop – Elm Park Garden Centre, on the road from Basingstoke to Tadley

Open from 9am to 5pm, Sunday 10am to 4.30pm

  • Lovely Little cafe with lovely people.
  • Has a baby changing unit in its disabled toilet with nappy sacks and baby wipes for you to use!
  • Sit upstairs if you have toddlers or want to sit on comfy sofa’s. Baby Changing unit upstairs as well as in Toilets
  • Lovely cakes and very reasonable placed.
  • Recommend to avoid the Valley of the Dolls shop next door. Unless you are into that kind of thing of course 😉
  • Cafe is situated at the back of the garden centre to the right and has parking next to it.

Wyevale Garden Centre – on the road from Basingstoke to Reading

  • Bit hit and miss with quality of food. Week days better than weekends
  • Join the membership scheme as it’s amazing how quickly you rack up discounts which get you money off future purchases.
  • They have a car cleaner on site, so you can have your car cleaned for a very reasonable price whilst you enjoy lunch or coffee and cake.
  • Baby Changing facilities are in the ladies

Departure Lounge Cafe – Alton

  • This cafe is next to a Garden Centre and has part of an aircraft (!!!) at the back of the cafe.
  • Was very impressed as it didn’t look much from the main road.

Newlyns Farm Cafe – Hook

  • Eaten here several times but not with baby so not sure what baby facilities are like. Anyone else been here with their baby?

Swimming with Babies

Basingstoke Sports Centre – Town Centre

  • There is a small pool that is kept at 32 degrees and open between 12 and 1.30 on a week day is an open session.
  • Changing rooms are for the whole family so Dad can help out too! Baby Change fold out tables available in the large changing rooms.

Tadley Swimming Pool

Jelly Babies (for parents and children under 5 years old)

  • Tues and Thurs 11-12am
  • Wed 2.30pm – 4pm
  • Sun 9am-12pm

Queen Marys College Swimming Pool

Family Swim

  • Wed 6-7pm
  • Sat and Sun 2-4.50pm

Basingstoke Aquadrome

See a review of Basingstoke Aquadrome on NHM HERE.

Family sessions have been specifically designed for those with children. The Family sessions offer a calm and enjoyable atmosphere for young and old alike – the perfect family day out.

  • Family Swim – Sun 7-10am
  • Parent and Toddler Swim
  • From 10:30 – 20:00 Parent and Baby Beach

Hampshire Centrecourt swimming Pool

Related Pages

Basingstoke Babies

Basingstoke children aged 6 years and under

Baby Friendly Cafe’s in Basingstoke

Town Centre

Debenhams Cafe:  Town Centre

  • A microwave is available for warming baby food.
  • Baby Changing Facilities is next to the restaurant.

Cafe Nero’s: Waterstones, Town Centre

Marks and Spencer’s cafe: Town Centre

Out of Town

Sainsbury’s Cafe: Hatch Warren

  • Week days are better than weekends for quality of food.
  • Free Nappies are available in the Baby Changing Room but you have to ask for them.
  • Menu displays calorie content of everything!

The Parlour Team room: Viables Craft Centre, Harrow Way, RG22 4BJ

  • Closed on Monday’s
  • Open 9.30am to 5pm Tues-Sat.
  • Fantastic selection of homemade cakes and cupcakes. If feeling hungry recommend the Farmers tea.
  • Alison’s wonderland is a shop attached to the tea shop and has quirky gifts and cards for unique presents.

Morrisons Cafe: Brookvale

Asda Cafe: Brighton Hill

The Dome Cafe: Brighton Hill

Walks in Basingstoke

Carpenters Down

  • Parking is next to Pebbles Children’s Centre
  • Used to be National Trust Land
  • Big Hill to Climb to get into most walks
  • Excellent Blackberry picking

Basingstoke Common

Otherside of Crabtree


Eastrop Park

Blackdam Pond

  • Has a play area for children
  • Nice pond to feed the ducks and swans
  • Has a short walk around the park but connects through to Crabtree

Baby and Children Friendly Restaurants in Basingstoke

11. Places to Breakfast “out” with Children in North Hampshire

8 “Cheap” Restaurants in Basingstoke (Meal for 2 for under £15)

5 Places for Sunday lunch, with Children, in North Hampshire

9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

Early Bird Meals with children


Giraffe – Town Centre

  • Check for discounts before going

Zizzi’s – Top of Town Centre

  • Check for discounts before going

Wagamamas – Town Centre

  • Baby Changing facilities are available in the Disabled toilet
  • Seating is on benches and generally not comfortable for breastfeeding
  • Fast and healthy food
  • If you sit at the tables near the entrance, there is enough parking for pushchairs next to the tables at the back
  • If you are pressed for time (evening feeds, etc.) you can check out your local Wagamama’s menu on the iPhone or iPad Wagamama application or check online in advance. The Mobile Applications allow you to place your order so it is ready when you arrive. You can also order takeaway using this option.
  • Excellent air con, so if it’s hot outside, this is a great place to be!

Pizza Express – Town Centre


Pizza Express – South Ham

  • Baby Changing facilities in Disabled toilets, with cover for babies to lie on
  • Children’s menu available
  • Parking in car park is very small. Alternative parking is available at the football ground which is 3 mins walk away, however, you will need your pushchair as it’s too far to carry the car seat from.
  • Dyson hand dryers (it’s the little things that count!)
  • Very friendly people who like babies!
  • Check for discounts before going

Pizza Hut – Same shopping area as Toys R Us

The Harvester – South Ham

  • Tables aren’t big enough for Pushchairs
  • Nappy Bin smelt horrible
  • Menu shows the calorie content of each item

Mcdonalds Drive through – Same shopping area as Toys R Us

  • If you’re feeling more slummy mummy than yummy mummy and can’t be bothered to mobilise the army, this is a very quick place to get lunch

Reasonably priced Places to go for Dinner in Basingstoke

Am I missing any? Please email me at with the details. Thanks!

BCOT  Restaurant – Brook Vale

  • Have menus available by trainee chef’s
  • Think you have to book in advance

Chineham Village Hall – Chineham

  • Unfortunately you need to be a member to eat here
  • If you are a member the food is VERY reasonably priced and normally excellent quality

The Dome Cafe Project – Brighton Hill

  • I hear great things about this place and it’s on my list of places to visit in 2014

Trawlerman (fish and chips) – Chineham

  • Open from 10am until 8pm on Mon and Sat and until 9pm Tues to Fri evenings
  • Closed on Mondays

Oliver’s fish and chips – Old Basing

  • Has takeaway or restaurant option
  • Cafe recently been refurnished

Dayers – Chineham Business Park – Chineham

  • Not open in the evenings so can’t really be classified as a place to go for dinner but they do have reasonably priced meals
  • Waits for food at lunchtime can be very long
  • Staff normally very friendly

Oakridge Hall for All Cafe – Oakridge

  • A NHM reader has recommended the Cafe here.
  • You can ring in advance with your order so it’s ready for when you arrive.

Mr Munch – Town Centre

Wimpey – Town Centre

Outings for babies and toddlers near Basingstoke

Finkley Down Farm – Andover
Beale Park – Pangbourne
Bucklebury Farm – Reading
Manor Farm – Fareham
RHS Wisley – M25
  • Even have a nursing area in their restaurants!
Birdworld – Alton
Legoland – Windsor
Discovery centre – Bracknell
Family Adventure Farm – Newbury (I think this has now closed)
Marwell Zoo – Near Winchester
The Hawk Conservancy – Near Andover
  • Was a bit skeptical about this place before going but it was an absolutely brilliant day out.
  • Loved the Bird Displays, the Ferret Racing and the opportunity to have an eagle sit on your arm!

Baby Friendly Pubs in Basingstoke

Baby and Children Friendly Pubs in Basingstoke

The Portsmouth Arms

The Portsmouth Arms

Hatch Warren Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 4RA

Tel: 01256 334036 ‎

  • Wooden climbing frame and swings for children.
  • Unsure if Baby changing facilities available

Millstone Pub

Millstone Pub

Barton’s Lane, Old Basing, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8AE

Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 11am – 11pm; Sun 12 noon – 10.30pm

Tel: 01256 331153

  • A country pub haven, yet only 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Basingstoke town centre, the Millstone is set within a conservation area near to the historical Basing house ruins.
  • Children’s Playground next door. Unsure if Baby changing facilities are available.
  • The Millstone hosts a quiz every Thursday from 9pm.