Think you know everything about Basildon? We bet you don’t! Check out this guide to one of Essex’s most popular towns.
At only 41 years old, Basildon is one of the newest towns in Essex. Ask anyone around the country though, and they are bound to have heard of Basildon, thanks to programmes such as The Only Way is Essex reinforcing a fairly unrealistic view of the town.
However, now Basildon’s reputation is changing. For the second year running, a survey conducted by property advisors, CBRE, named the town as the most affordable commuter hotspot, thanks to its realistically priced homes, reliable train network and well-connected roads.
But being perfectly placed for city workers isn’t all Basildon have to offer. Read on to find out why Basildon takes the crown over other Essex towns.
When it comes to education in Basildon, you have no shortage of schools to choose from. There are over thirty primary schools serving the area, including Church of England and Catholic schools. In addition to these, there are five secondary schools in Basildon and the surrounding areas of Laindon and Pitsea. A choice of four grammar schools are only a short bus or train journey away in the seaside towns of Westcliff and Southend.
In 2010, Basildon and Thurrock College merged with South East Essex College to become South Essex College, the largest further education provider in Essex. With courses including accounting, business studies, hospitality, engineering and hair and beauty, there is something to suit every young person’s tastes.
Eating and Drinking
Many Basildon residents hail from the East End, or at least their parents and grandparents did. It comes as no surprise then to find out that the best rated eating establishments offer British classics, such as pie and mash and fish and chips. And let’s face it, if you want comfort food like pie and mash, you won’t get it much more authentically than in Basildon.
The town also offers a wide variety of Asian food, including Chinese and Indian delicacies, as well as your popular American restaurants, such as TGI Fridays, Taco Bell and Frankie and Bennies.
Unlike other towns in Essex, where unless the bank of Mum and Dad are willing to help, you have no chance of saving up to get on the property ladder, Basildon is actually affordable.
A one-bedroom flat near Northlands Park, with its beautiful rose gardens, will set you back between £80,000 – £100,000. A four-bedroom house, close to the town centre, will cost in the region of £200,000.
There are plenty of areas to choose from and a large stock of housing for rental and purchase. The Langdon Hills areas is home to some of the finest properties in Basildon, and one of Basildon’s only family run estate agents, Balgores, has a department dedicated to the Langon Hills area.
Basildon is lucky enough to be situated on the line of the most punctual train service in the country, helping it achieve its enviable status as affordable commuter hotspot. Heading east, train firm C2C can take you to the beaches of Southend in half an hour, or heading in the other direction, you can be in the centre of London in around the same amount of time.
The town has a large bus depot, with buses taking you around the county, quickly and conveniently. It’s a twenty minute car journey from Basildon to the M25, meaning you’re well linked to other towns and cities across the United Kingdom.
If you think Basildon is all office blocks and boy racers, you’re hugely mistaken. Basildon is home to several green spaces, including Wat Tyler Country Park and Lake Meadows Park (perfect for golf or fishing). For a great family day out, head over to Langdon Visitor Centre, which boasts over four hundred acres of meadowland and lake areas. Perfect for bird watching and species spotting. Don’t forget your binoculars!
If you’re serious about sport, you really need to check out Basildon’s Sporting Village. With a one hundred station gym and no less than an eight court sports hall, this is one of the UK’s largest and most well-equipped sporting venues. And after all, if Olympic gymnast, Max Whitlock, chooses to train there, it must be good!
Whether you’re from Essex or not, every person loves a good shopping venue. When Basildon’s Eastgate Shopping Centre opened in 1985, it was the largest in Essex – and one of the bigger shopping centres in the whole of the UK. Now it is home to over one hundred retailers, including top retailer names such as Debenhams, Pandora and Superdry.
If there’s one thing that Basildon is certainly not lacking in, it’s charm and charisma. The people of Basildon have a community spirit like none other, much of it due to the East End heritage that many Basildon residents are proud to part of.
- Famous people who hail from Basildon include:
- Denise Van Outen: Actress and presenter
- Ellie Taylor: Comedian and writer
- Alison Moyet: Singer
- Depeche Mode: Eighties band, famous for the songs ‘Personal Jesus’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’.
So, next time you’re in the area, pay Basildon a visit. The wide variety of attractions, dining facilities and shops, means there truly is something for everyone.