10 reasons why Aldershot is an amazing place to live

10 reasons why Aldershot is an amazing place to live
Aldershot Duke of Wellington statue
The Duke of Wellington statue in Aldershot (Image: Aldershot News and Mail)

Wherever you live, it is always easy to take for granted the sights, features and variety of activities available to do in the local area.

A shopping centre containing more than 30 shops, a 40-ton statue of the Duke of Wellington and an alpine ski slope are just some of the numerous attractions in Aldershot.

Perhaps the standout feature, though, is that the Hampshire town was the birthplace of Hollywood actor Martin Freeman.

1. Duke of Wellington statue

Originally built in London, the monumental statue was moved and handed to the care of the army in August 1885 – two years after the Prince of Wales had suggested that the military town be its new home.

Pictured above, the 30-foot high statue of Arthur Wellesley sitting on horse, Copenhagen, now sits proudly above the town and represents Aldershot’s links to the military.

2. Alpine Snowsports

Dry ski slope tubing
Alpine Snowsports

Whether you are an advanced skiers or snowboarders, or have never been on the slopes before, the snowsports centre offers a fun day out for all.

Open seven days a week, visitors can hone their skills or simply slide down the slope in an inflatable ring – ideal for children’s birthday parties.

Adults can get in on the fun too, with a range of lessons from qualified instructors on offer from a single hour up to an entire day.

It is one of the very few dry ski slopes in the whole of the country.

3. Green spaces

Manor Park in Aldershot underneath a blue sky
Manor Park in Aldershot underneath a blue sky (Image: Aldershot News and Mail)

Manor Park, located near the centre of the town, is the highlight of Aldershot’s vast green space.

It offers large space for dog walkers, families and children, as well as a playground, skate park and three tennis courts. These courts, along with a basketball court, are free to use, while there are free tennis lessons for families every Sunday from 10am to midday, according to Rushmoor Borough Council.

The Heroes’ Shrine also allows visitors to pay their respects while at the park to those that lost their lives in the Second World War.

The town is also home to Aldershot Park, Rowhill Nature Reserve and Brickfields Country Park.

4. Easy commute to London

Perhaps one of the most underrated parts of Aldershot is its transport links.

It takes less than an hour to get the direct train into London Waterloo, while Guildford and Woking are just a short ride away on South Western Railway.

Since the break-up of the garrison, Aldershot has become keen to attract commuters to the capital. The town is also becoming increasingly popular as a destination for students at the University of Surrey. A train departs twice hourly to Guildford and takes just 17 minutes.

5. Martin Freeman

Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Image: 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.)

The actor has starred in movies such as The Hobbit trilogy and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as well as featuring in multiple other Hollywood blockbusters.

It all began in Aldershot, though, on September 8, 1971. He attended nearby Salesian School in Chertsey , too.

Other famous names to come out of Aldershot include PDC darts player James Wade and former MMA fighter and ex-husband of Katie Price, Alex Reid.

6. Westgate

Exterior of Aldershot Westgate Leisure Park
Aldershot Westgate Leisure Park

The multi-million pound development has brought a large Morrison’s, Cineworld, Travelodge and five family restaurants to the town.

The site is perfect for a family evening out with dinner and a movie, while you can also get the weekly shopping done on your trip.

It features a Frankie and Benny’s, Pizza Express, Harvester, Nando’s and Mimosa.

Westgate has a 500-space underground car park, owned by Morrisons, and is free for three hours – so you can avoid an expensive pay and display ticket, too.

7. Lido

Aldershot Lido re-opened for the summer on May 25.

The hot and cold food, picnic area and water flumes provide an ideal day out for some fun in the sun for families and friends.

While there are plenty of indoor swimming facilities in Surrey and North Hampshire, only Guildford and Aldershot can boast a lido in the summer months.

It opens every weekend in June, before opening full time from July 1 through to September 1. Day tickets are £7.80 for adults and £4.70 for juniors, while tickets become half price after 3pm.

8. The Military Museum

1945 Sexton Self Propelled Gun at Aldershot Military Museum
Aldershot Military Museum. Sexton Self Propelled Gun 1945 (Image: Aldershot News and Mail)

Further evidence of the town’s proud military history, Aldershot’s Military museum is in the only surviving brick-built barrack block left in Aldershot.

The museum tells the story of the daily lives of both soldiers and civilians going back to 1854. While a trip to a history museum, may not sound too interesting for a children, it caters to all ages.

Children can have a go on their remote controlled tank, take a turn in a replica scout vehicle and fill out the fun activity sheets on offer.

9. The Wellington

Situated in the heart of the town centre, the two-floor shopping complex is home to more than 50 retailers including the likes of Argos, Boots, WHSmith and New Look.

Whether you are after a bite to eat, running errands or need a whole new wardrobe, you can find what you need in the Wellington.

It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a 400+ space car park that has lift access directly into the shopping malls.

10. Aldershot Observatory

Alexander Observatory in Aldershot
Alexander Observatory

The listed, red-bricked, circular building, complete with hemispherical dome, stands in the centre of the army garrison in Queens Avenue.

Built back in 1891, its rotating roof is controlled with designed pulleys and ropes, allowing a clear view of the sky through its huge telescope.

The telescope and observatory building themselves were a gift from Patrick Young Alexander to the British Army.

Inside the building is an eight-inch cell refractor telescope mounted on an equatorial pillar with counterweight clockwork drive.

News from Surrey Live

Written by Editor

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