Back in 1854, a permanent army training camp was established near the sleepy, rural village of Aldershot. Today, the town that grew up to serve the needs of the military is home to around 34,000 people, many from army backgrounds. Even the local radio station, Garrison FM, has a martial feel.
Aldershot boasts numerous pubs, the Palace nightclub, Princes Hall gallery and the West End arts centre. The Victorian town centre offers a mix of major high street retailers and independent traders. Westgate, a shopping and restaurant complex with its own cinema, is scheduled to open in late 2012.
The town is around 40 miles from London. There is a mainline rail link into Waterloo. Local attractions include the working tanks of the military museum, the flumes and diving boards of Aldershot Lido and the tranquil locks and wildlife of the Basingstoke Canal Walk.