CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hampshire Life today CLICK HERE

Best things about living in Hook

PUBLISHED: 16:35 02 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:35 02 May 2018

Hook is surrounded by pretty villages - such as Rotherwick with its pubs, ponies and landrovers.

Hook is surrounded by pretty villages - such as Rotherwick with its pubs, ponies and landrovers.

Emma Caulton

Hook always feels as though it’s on the way to somewhere else, Emma Caulton wonders about the pleasures of staying put

At the risk of offending the locals, Hook is no looker. At its centre (if you can call it that) is little more than a couple of roundabouts and a crossroads of fairly unexciting shops. There are a few pubs, a Tesco supermarket, railway station, church (designed by the same architect responsible for Guildford Cathedral if you’re wondering why it looks familiar) and a landscaped business park with several big names (the likes of Hewlett Packard, Serco and Virgin Media). However what it loses in the looks department, it more than makes up for with ‘quality of life’. Hook is located between Basingstoke and Fleet and within Hart District Council, which has carried off the title ‘Best Place to Live in the UK’ in Halifax’s Quality of Life Survey for the past four years. The accolade is based on wellbeing, education, high employment levels, low crime rates, and even good weather. In short, all those things that make modern life comfortable.

This is where Hook scores. Communications are good. There’s an M3 junction within a very easy drive and a mainline station with London Waterloo reachable in less than an hour. For shopping the essentials are provided – from a butcher’s to Boots the chemist, and a couple of decent Indian restaurants. However you can also browse the selection of boutiquey independents in nearby Odiham and Hartley Wintney, or the lively shopping centre just down the road at Basingstoke. Schools in the area include Hook Infant School which is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, Hook Junior School and Whitewater Primary School, at Rotherwick, are both ‘good’, and Robert May’s Secondary School at Odiham is also ‘outstanding’.

Hook was originally merely a scattering of farms and cottages alongside the main coach route from London to Exeter. As that road grew in importance, so did Hook. It was considered for development after the Second World War – but Basingstoke was picked instead. Over the past decades it has continued to grow anyway, and so quickly that it is easy to forget that it is still (technically) just a village. It certainly continues to have the feel of a village with a couple of village halls (Elizabeth Hall and the Community Centre) and a collection of ‘villagey’ local activities, from Brownies to ballroom dancing, and groups, including Hook Players, and the distinctive Hook Eagle Morris Men, established as recently as 1991. It all seems very jovial, welcoming and friendly.

The area is popular and the housing market moves quickly with those in particular demand going to sealed bids. Property largely comprises unvillage-like modern estates of mostly good-sized family homes in decent plots and lots of greenery. Older properties can still be found in Hook, but if it’s period and character you’re after, explore the surrounding area. On all sides is pleasant countryside and pretty villages that make me go ‘ahh’ with their greens, old timber-framed farmhouses, cottages, country pubs and the sense of life lived well. These villages include Rotherwick, which has the splendidly lavish Tylney Hall, an Arts and Crafts village hall and succeeds in supporting two well-liked pubs, Newnham with its spacious green; North Warnborough, with canalside walks and award-winning Newlyns farm shop, cafe and cookery school - and picturesque Greywell – past winner of best-kept village in Hampshire and with another popular country pub - you never seem to be that far from a decent pint and a pub garden with a view.

So don’t be deceived when you drive on through Hook and assume there is not much there - demand for property is high, prices are buoyant, and the living is, apparently, easy.

 

Simon Dredge - Mackenzie Smith, Hook

“The majority of buyers moving into Hook are young families and commuters. Hook provides excellent commuter links to London Waterloo and to the M3 and M4 motorways. I have observed an influx of buyers from London who can enjoy the pleasant community and surrounds of Hook without adding much to their existing commute.

Many buyers choose Hook for the local schooling which is superb: Hook Infant and Primary schools are very popular and Robert Mays secondary school in Odiham benefits from excellent Ofsted results. It is often a major decision factor for those choosing to live in the area.

Most of Hook was built in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s so the village comprises chiefly modern houses within estates, yet along the A30 and surrounding the village there are more character properties.

Having grown up in Hook myself, it’s great to be selling houses in the area that I know and love so well. It’s also been fantastic to see how the village has evolved over the years, but the core reasons why people live in Hook have not changed at all. I have seen the village experience some development in that time, but the general feel is much the same.”

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 15:25

Remember, remember… Here’s a quick round up of some stunning displays across Hampshire this year

Read more
Yesterday, 15:22

The community shop is thriving. Why? And what makes the perfect village store? We went in search…

Read more
Yesterday, 14:27

From Jane Austen to Karl Marx, our towns and villages have fascinating links to some of the biggest historical celebrities. Viv Micklefield follows in their footsteps with the help of a blue plaque or two

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

10 of best photos of Hampshire shared on Instagram over the past week...

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Our guide to some of the best Halloween events on offer across Hampshire this October

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

We round up 8 things you didn’t know about this little South Downs village

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Enjoy some easy walking around the Lymington to Keyhaven Nature Reserve says Fiona Barltrop

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Hampshire this month

Read more
Monday, September 24, 2018

Head to the Isle of Wight to enjoy the charming villages of Brighstone and Mottistone, taking in superb views, an ancient monument and enchanting gardens with our new walks writer, Fiona Barltrop

Read more
Monday, September 24, 2018

With the centenary of the end of World War One commemorated this year, the reopening of the iconic Royal Victoria Chapel, part of our military heritage, is timely

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

This year Winchester’s Theatre Royal celebrates the 40th anniversary of its re-opening as a performance theatre

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

Avon Valley, Beer and Cake is the ABC of why Ringwood, a busy market town on the western edge of the New Forest, makes a quirkily clever choice for a break away

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Lego enthusiast Duncan Titmarsh has built his business brick by brick; from tinkering in his garden shed to internationally acclaimed sculptures

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

New Forest ponies are an iconic sight, yet modern-day pressures pose a constant threat to the traditional landscape. Viv Micklefield heads to Lyndhurst to take stock of what happens inside England’s oldest forest court

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory



Property Search