Things to do in Basildon
Things to do in Basildon Reviews
Basildon Jan 12, 2011
Basildon is a much maligned place, famous for ugly buildings, white vans and bleak housing estates. It hasn't got much of a tourist industry. But if you do find yourself in Basildon, for work or something, it really isn't that bad.
Things to do in Basildon
Laindon Hills Country Park
Funnily enough, Basildon has some nice parks. Laindon Hills Country Park has a nice visitor centre and a number of rare flowers and things. Before being famous for vast post war housing estates, South Essex was unique sandy marshland, and this means that some interesting animals, butterflies and flowers have survived. There is also a small area of surviving 1940s post war small scale agriculture, which is a little known part of history, and a couple of small museums.
The Festival Leisure Park (“Bas Vegas”)
The festival leisure park is the main tourist attraction in Basildon. It is probably the main thing to do in the area. There is a large multiplex cinema, a bowling alley, several perfectly nice chain restaurants and a couple of dodgy night clubs. The multiplex is the cheapest in this part of Essex, and shows all the blockbusters you could want. There is, however, no chance whatsoever of seeing anything remotely art house. The ice cream is nice though. The bowling alley is fun, although it is the only bowling alley I have ever been to where, to prevent anyone stealing your shoes, they keep one of your shoes and give you back the other one to carry around whilst you bowl. This is slightly alarming. There is sometimes a small fun fair here in the run up to Christmas
Basildon town centre
Basildon town centre is OK. It has the usual town centre shops, an alright mall, and a market. There is probably no reason for you to ever be there, but it isn’t as rough as people make out. In fact, my sister swears that it is a more pleasant shopping experience than either Chelmsford or Lakeside. It is certainly true that the relative depravation in Basildon itself means that the sales tend to offer some great bargains.
Also, Basildon is a great example of post war town planning, and includes some interesting, if run down and grotty, examples of 1960s architecture. There was an article about it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2008/jun/02/heritage.architecture. Admittedly, 1960s town planning is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are an architecture student it might be interesting.
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