Situated in the heart of Essex, Chelmsford is one of England’s most historic towns. Its roots lie in the Roman era, when Julius Ceaser came to Britain seeking gold.

Since 1250, Chelmsford has been the official County town of Essex. Thanks to its proximity to London it remains an important centre of commerce, and is the ideal place from which to explore the East of England.


Marconi’s first radio transmission was made in Chelmsford, and naturally the community is proud of this achievement. What better way to explore the town than to pick up a brochure and follow in his footsteps?

Visitors with a love of history should make their way to the Chelmsford Museum, which tells the story of the borough from its Bronze Age beginnings to the modern day. Military history fans will also enjoy the Essex Regiment Museum, with its displays of weapons and uniforms.

Take time to see the 15th Century Cathedral, one of the smallest in the country and home to several works of modern art. Hylands House, situated just outside town, is a triumph of modern restoration. Brought back from years of dereliction this wonderful Regency building is situated in 500 acres of parkland.

Those with families will find that Chelmsford has plenty to offer. The Sandford Mill Museum is a science centre orientated towards children, while the Marsh Farm Country Park is a great location for young families to let off steam. Make sure you don’t miss the Tropical Wings Butterfly and Bird Gardens in nearby Woodham Ferrers.

When it comes to sports, every activity from bowls to ice-skating is catered for. Fitness centres are in plentiful supply, with national chains like Cannons and Fitness First located in the town centre. There are also a number of smaller gyms, as well as the Riverside Ice and Leisure centre offering an impressive range of activities.

If you prefer watching a game, why not grab a ticket for the Chelmsford Chieftens Ice Hockey? The famous County Cricket club is also located right in the heart of the town, and plays host to regular fixtures during the season. Good quality fishing facilities are on offer at the Hanningfield Resevoir, located just outside of Chelmsford. In addition, there are several golf clubs and cycling routes around the borough.


Fulfilling its role as county town, Chelmsford offers a thriving range of shops. The main centre hosts all the national retail chains as well as two undercover shopping centres. Go to Moulsham Street if you are looking for something different. This was once a Roman road and is now an area full of independent shops, offering everything from hairdressing to bridal wear. Specialist retailers may also be found in Chelmsford’s “West End” near the two main theatres.

Bargain hunters should head to the markets, held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. A second-hand market is open for business every Thursday. Antiques buyers should make their way out of town to the specialist centres at Battlesbridge and Great Baddow.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Chelmsford is not short on places to eat, and offers an impressive array of pubs and restaurants. Visitors will find restaurants offering English, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Spanish, French and Indian food. There’s even a floating restaurant!

Theatre-lovers will be pleased to know that Chelmsford hosts two major venues, the Civic Theatre and the Cramphorn Theatre. Both are located in the West End area, and offer a large range of mainstream drama, jazz, opera and musicals. In addition the Chelmsford Theatre Workshop stages alternative drama at the Civic Theatre on set occasions. Recitals and concerts are also performed in the Cathedral. If you prefer taking in a film, head to the multi-screen Odeon cinema.

The nightlife at weekends is very busy thanks to Chelmsford’s large choice of bars and pubs. The town also operates four clubs playing everything from Cheese to Garage.

Tourist Information

Chelmsford Travel & Visitor Information Centre, 8 Dukes WalkDuke StreetChelmsfordCM1 1GZ

Tel: 01245 283400Fax: 01245 287309



Chelmsford is within easy driving distance three main airports, namely Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow. It is very close to the A12, which links to Britain’s motorway network. The town is on a major rail route with fast links to London. Ferries from Holland dock at Harwich, which is a short distance from Chelmsford.

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