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Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

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Commerce, MI
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Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

My husband will be travelling to Basildon for a week and a half in April. I have never been overseas and thought I might tag along; however, is there enough for me to do alone, safely during the days to keep busy? I probably wouldn't tempt to drive a car for fear of having a head-on collision! (not used to driving on the left side of the road!)

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Ipswich, United...
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1. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Alas, no. Basildon is a 'new' town (at least it was thirty years ago), a large housing estate really. There are some more interesting towns and villages in the vicinity, and Southend is just up the road. Happily there are also regular trains that will take you into London (Fenchurch Street) in just under an hour.

Edited: 20 March 2012, 00:25
Essex
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2. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

You could admire the Brutalist Architecture - that is about to be totally 'disguised', or 'b*dised' depending on your opinion.

You could shop, if you like depressed shopping precincts!!

The train into London is quick though as Wansteader has advised - suggest you use that. Also better shopping (well some say) at Lakeside - you can get there from Basildon on train and/or bus.

Local Rail Company - http://www.c2c-online.co.uk/

The 'destination's' they suggest visiting on their website include Leigh-on-Sea, Shoeburyness, Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve, as well as Southend-on-Sea, London, Lakeside and Westfield!

For your evening entertainment, you have 'Baz-Vegas' of course!

http://www.festivalleisure.co.uk/

Good Luck!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basildon

http://www.basildon.gov.uk/

http://www.basildon.com/

http://www.basildonrecorder.co.uk/

Hampshire, England.
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3. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

In Basildon you could play "spot the red phone box that hasn't had the door ripped off of it", hours of fun!!

Commerce, MI
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4. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Based on your responses, I would take that as a "No!" Thank you for the input...

Dunfermline, United...
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5. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Basildon is quite frankly not a tourist town. It is a new town built in the 1960's as an overspill from London.

If you have to stay there, you have my sympathies! It's a dump!

Ipswich, United...
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6. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Basildon does have a theatre:

www.towngatetheatre.co.uk/index.aspx…

Although the town is not very interesting from an architectural point of view, I don't think it's too bad as new towns go. My brother has made it his home having taught in a school there for more than thirty years. Most of the housing seems to be of fairly good quality and it's a relatively neat and well-maintained sort of place. Its strength is its nearness to other places in the vicinity and the easy train ride into London.

When I stayed briefly on the edge of Fresno in California I remember we joked that it reminded us of Basildon.

Essex
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7. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Hmmn, Baslidon is not interesting Architecturally - well perhaps I could see that, except for the pure lines of the Brutalist Architecture that does exist.

Not pretty for sure, and not to everyone's taste, I agree. However it is one of the better examples of this style in the UK.

Difficult to live with - clearly, but hey - so are many other styles. At least Brutalism tried to be functiona and utilitarian, if not pretty!

So IMO to say that it is not of Architectural interest is "not quite right".

From the point of view of 'everyday life' I can understand why the local Council want to change things.

From the point of view of 'pride in what we have' though, I can't belive they wish to denegrate the stark style they have - it derives from the classical, after all, and one-day, this will be as revered as any Le Corbusier concoction!!

Chelmsford, United...
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8. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Perhaps no longer relevant, but for anyone else with the same question, as an alternate suggestion to Basildon, see if your husband can stay in nearby Chelmsford instead (30 min by car to Basildon, or he can also take the bus there instead.)

While still not a 'tourist destination' per se, with 160k people Chelmsford is nicer and you would be perfectly safe over here to go out on your own. In addition, it's a convenient launching pad for day trips:

-the train into London

-the train north to Cambridge or to the seaside (Clacton, Walton on the Naze)

-you can get a 1 week 'Essex bus pass' for 30 GBP and travel on almost any route on the Essex network. Then you can visit the tacky Southend seaside, the giant Lakeside mall, or any of the other towns in this area that might hold some possibilities, depending on your interests.

Essex
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9. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Good answer phillygirl106. Chelmsford indeed has a lot going for it in the way of transport, facilities and entertainment!

Sheffield
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10. Re: Enough to do in Basildon for a week?

Don't be afraid of driving on the wrong side of the road - many of the local boy racers do it all the time. But seriously, do consider it. The Essex countryside is really rather good if you have your own transport.

But do pop up to London on the train (avoid the rush hour though).

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