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Braintree (Essex)

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Braintree is a town in Essex, England. For a town of its size it boasts very few amenities. However, in recent years a shopping village has opened up on the outskirts. Named 'Freeport', it has roughly 80 shops, which mainly specialise in clothing, along with a bowling alley and a cinema, which makes Braintree worth visiting.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Getting into Braintree by road is easy and most common. The main roads in and out of Braintree are the A120 and A131. Using the A120 you can travel to Braintree from the M11 or From Colchester, Using the A131 you can approch from the Chelmsford or Sudbury direction.

Braintree is also ideally suited for those who are intending to drive to or from Stansted airport as is located about 15 min by car away.

By bus[edit]

Braintree is serviced frequently by buses from Chelmsford, Stansted Airport, only 20 min away, and Colchester among other routes.

Get around[edit]

Braintree is small enough to get away with walking everywhere: although the lazier ones will be pleased to know that there is a fairly reliable bus service that can get you around most parts of the town.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Hatfield Forest, [1] Takeley, near Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire CM22 6NE Telephone: 01279 874040. This forest is about 20 mins away heading towards the M11 on the A120 If you are looking for a serene day in the wood its rather pleasant. On a nice summer day the woods can look very nice in the summer. The National Trust do not charge for entry in to the property but to parkis £5, well worth the money.
  • kelvedon hatch(in essex) Secret Nuclear Bunker, Access is from the A128 Chipping Ongar to Brentwood road at Kelvedon Hatch.If you have GPS then use CM15 0LA, 01277 364883 (, fax: 01277 372562), [2]. 10AM till 4PM. £6.50 Adults, £4.50 children 5- 16 inc..  edit
  • "Bocking end" Down this area of braintree some old houses still remain though moderized slightly they still have the traditional tudor black wooded beams while expoloring this area of braintree whis is quite small while not pop into "Hogs" at the bottom of the hill or "The Angel" for a quick pint.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Coggeshall Grange Barn, Grange Hill, Coggeshall, Colchester, Essex CO6 1RE Telephone: 01376 562226, [3].

Buy[edit][add listing]

Braintree is a market town and twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays), the town centre fills up with market stalls. Nothing that really stands out that not at a hundred other such markets held at small towns across the country, apart from a goth/metal clothing stall, which has some quite nice stuff. The people who run it are dead friendly and chatty, too.

Apart from that, the usual range of high street stores can be found in the town centre. The only real surprise is a small occult/general 'alternative' shop called Proper Gander.

Another popular shopping alternative is the Freeport Outlet Shopping Village, opened in 1999, it is situated a couple of miles from the centre of Braintree, housing over 85 shops and restaurants in a village layout design.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Finding a place to eat in Braintree should not be a hard task: the town centre is littered with pubs and sandwich bars which cater for a range of needs.

If you are looking for more of a evening meal you have to travel towards the outskirts of the town, Where you will find Freeport. This contains about 7 restaurants each catering for different needs, many of these francheises so you will have a rough idea of what you are likly to get.

Along Cressing Road is an Indian/Turkish venue that serves a verity of tasty dishs.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Easterns, 2 Great Square, 01376 560703. Depressingly this is the only nightclub in Braintree.
  • The Bull, Market Place , Telephone: 01376 320551. Decent size pub with ideas above its station. At weekends takes advantage of the lack of clubbing options in Braintree by clearing some space for dance floors and getting in a DJ. Fridays errs towards r'n'b and hip hop, while sticks with dance/techno music on Saturdays. Because of this, it sells itself as a nightclub/bar and charges a hefty enterence fee. Dress code is 'Smart Casual' and no hats to be worn inside. Stays open until 3AM.
  • Mardys, Market Place, CM7 1HJ Telephone: 01376 567986. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights - which seldom varies much from generic 'indie rock cover bands', but is still usually quite good. Has an undeserved reputation for violence. Mardys is the closest thing Braintree has to a gay bar and is definitely the best place to go for alternative types who want a night out in town. It also has a pool table, and serves the best Snakebites known if the right member of staff serves you. Entry is free before 11PM, and there is no dress code. Stays open until 3AM.
  • " The Swan" Bank St has a plesant atmosphere.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • White Hart Hotel, Bocking End, Tel: 01376 321 401. A fairly nice hotel is normal used to cater for wedding receptions
  • The Old House. 11 Bradford Street, Tel: 01376 550 457.
  • Express By Holiday Inn, Galley's Corner, Cressing Rd, Tel: 01376 551 141.
  • Premier Travel Inn, Braintree By Pass, Tel: 0870 197 7039.

Stay safe[edit]

Braintree is generally a safe town with very few problems, however like many towns on Friday and Saturday nights the town center can become quite rowdy when people start making their way home from the pubs and street racers have been known to congregate round Freeport at night. Some housing estates away from the town can be quite rough - Bartrams estate, Hay lane, Goldingham Estate, Notley Road and The Glebe are not recommended for tourists to visit at night but tourists are unlikely to visit these as all are quite a long way from the town center.

Get out[edit]

The local bus service can take people to nearby towns and villages. The number 352 goes to Chelmsford, and the number 70 goes to Colchester. They both stop outside the public library (rather than, as one might reasonably expect, the local bus depot) and are your best bet if you want to go somewhere decent via bus.

Braintree's train line is a spur off of the national service, and all trains leaving will be heading for London, The freqency of these trains is once every hour. Trains take about 45 mins to reach London stopping at various stops along the way.



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