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Heart of Essex
Basildon in General
Member Name: KathrynPenguin
Basildon in General
Date: 30/01/01, updated on 30/01/01 (286 review reads)
~~~~ Image ~~~~
Here Basildon has to do some making up. The statue in the town centre is of a mother and child, thought by many to symbolise the amount of teenage pregnancies the town has. This has changed a lot in recent years and a new statue is being erected which will give a more traditional family image. Also many people remember Basildon as having a high number of council estates which were used to house the East End overflow. Well that was 30 years ago and since then most of the houses have been sold and you will find many young professional people living here. The estate where I live is an ex-council estate but is now 90% privately owned, there are facilities for the children, schools close by and as many new cars as you are likely to see parked outside the houses.
~~~~ Town Centre ~~~~
The town centre holds a shopping centre of great renown. As a child growing up in Romford I was often taken on a trip to Basildon's Eastgate centre to shop. Although not as extensive as the new "malls" like Lakeside and Bluewater, the Eastgate boasts a wealth of shops with Allders at one end and Sava Centre at the other. The food court in the Eastgate is also excellent and cheaper than those found in the bigger shopping centres. Outside the Eastgate centre Basildon hosts a good selection of all the major shops including a Toys R Us (very popular store!). There is also a market which opens four days a week and a variety of pubs to choose from should your shopping
make you thirsty. Newly opened is the Westgate Park retail park which is near the market again boasting top name shops including HobbyCraft, a craft superstore which is a must to visit if you have craft-y inclinations.
~~~~ Attractions ~~~~
The Towngate theatre is unfortunately closed for financial reasons but don't let this stop you visiting Basildon. The shopping in the Town Centre is excellent. Basildon also boasts a Zoo, which although not large has a good selection of animals and is loved by kids. If you aren't all shopped out after visiting the town centre, drive down the road to Pitsea where you will find the biggest Tesco in the country, an interesting first visit is guaranteed, just be careful of the staff on roller skates!
~~~~ Evenings Out ~~~~
For an evening out in Basildon, visit the Festival Leisure park. Located on the outskirts of town and well signposted this boasts a variety of pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels, a bowling alley and a large UCI cinema. People travel from all over Essex to visit the park which also has ample parking and good security. I can thoroughly recommend a meal here and I have given my opinion of all the restaurants separately.
Don't be fooled into thinking Basildon is the low-income high trouble town that you heard of thirty years ago. Visit now and see what the town has to offer. The town is easy to get to, just a 15 minute drive from the M25 and also serviced by British Rail. You won't be disappointed.