Hampshire Cultural Trust

Top of the Town

The tour may take place as a stand alone session or can accompany another session. For example, a Local Area Studies session in the morning and a tour in the afternoon, or one class can take the tour while another has the Basingstoke’s Victorian Past session in the museum and then they can swap over.

  • The tour takes approximately 60 minutes to complete
  • 1:5 Adult:Pupil ratio requested
  • Maximum one class of children per tour

The tour is a walk around the top of Basingstoke town. The area is mainly pedestrianised, although there are a couple of places where it is necessary to cross a road. The top of town is an area of historical note, containing many old buildings and sites of interest.


  • To give the children the opportunity to explore the top of town using a variety of kinaesthetic means
  • To enable the children to compare and contrast old and new buildings
  • To help them to think about the changing use of buildings and the changes in a town over time
  • To encourage them to look for the obvious objects of interest in a familiar place

The Tour

The tour is an interactive experience, led by a facilitator who will take you round, pointing out specific points of interest. It starts at the Willis, walking first along London Street as far as the Triumphal Gates and then doubling back to take in buildings of interest along this road. Once back in Market Place, you will then go down Church Street as far as Cross Street to look at the carved panels created by Richard Kindersley, before returning to the Willis Museum.


You will be escorting a small group of children as you are led by the museum’s facilitator on a tour of Basingstoke’s historic top of town area. The facilitator will meet you on arrival at the museum and the children will be given the opportunity to leave bags and coats somewhere convenient and to use the toilets.

You will be responsible for ensuring the safety of your small group of children as the tour takes place and we would ask you to follow these few simple rules to make sure that everyone stays together and is kept safe:

  • The children should walk in partners and be assigned to small groups, each of which is in the charge of one responsible adult.
  • A responsible adult should be at the back and front of the line as the tour takes place.
  • Most of the tour will take place in a pedestrianised area, but there are a couple of places where a small road is crossed. A responsible adult will be needed to stand in the road with the facilitator to see the children safely across these points.
  • At various points along the way the facilitator will stop the class to look at something of interest or to undertake an activity. Responsible adults should ensure that children stay together and do not have the opportunity to get separated from the rest of the group.

On return to the Willis there will be another opportunity to use the toilets if necessary. If the class is also taking part in a session at the museum, you will be escorted to the relevant space in the museum ready to start the next activity.