Built in 1949 in an attractive area of Essex, Basildon incorporated several existing small villages, and their historic legacy lives on today in this thriving modern town. Easily accessible from neighbouring London, Basildon now boasts a population of over 120,000 and makes a great base from which to explore Essex and the Home Counties. As a town purpose-built following the New Towns Act of 1946, Basildon’s development and present day status is a fascinating lesson in social history.


The striking modern bell tower at St Martin’s Church is one of the town centre’s most distinctive landmarks. Housing a historic bell cast in 1441 by Joanne Hill, the 30-metre high glass tower juxtaposes the ancient with the modern, reflecting the nature of contemporary Basildon.

The Basildon Arts Trust Gallery opened just two years ago to wide acclaim, and is conveniently located in the accessible Basildon Centre. Displays are changed regularly, drawing from the extensive Basildon Arts Trust Collection' of modern artwork, which includes works by Dame Barbara Hepworth and Sir Terry Frost. Visitors shouldn’t miss the exciting new Art Trail, a great introduction to art on display around Basildon town centre.

The Motorboat Museum (admission free) makes for a fun filled day out for all the family. Set in the beautiful landscape of the Wat Tyler County Park, the museum documents the fascinating development of the power boat. The display includes several rare motorboats, whilst sculptures by artist Robert Worley can be admired in the park.


The fact that Basildon was purpose-built means that shopping could not be more convenient or accessible. In addition to the usual high street shops and many independent local businesses in the town centre, the two big out of town shopping centres are heaven for those seeking retail therapy!

Right in the town centre, Basildon’s market is held five days a week and is perfect for bargain-hunting, or just browsing and enjoying the charming local character.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Basildon offers a variety of dining options reflecting the multicultural nature of the town. Several excellent Indian restaurants can be found in the town centre, including the Akash, particularly recommended for vegetarian or vegan options. Near to the market square, several charming cafés serve excellent coffee and irresistible cakes and snacks, while those seeking more traditional (and delicious!) English cuisine should visit Stacey’s Pie and Mash Shop.

Tourist Information

Basildon doesn’t have its own tourist information centre, but information can be obtained from Brentwood, 8 km away.44 High StBrentwoodCM14 4AJTel: 01277


Basildon is just 30 minutes by train from central London – trains depart frequently from Fenchurch and Liverpool Street Stations. Stansted Airport is just 45 minutes away by car.

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