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.
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.
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 around most parts of the town.
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.
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.
Braintree is generally a safe town with very few problems, however like many other towns, on Friday and Saturday nights, the centre 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 stray here, as all are quite a long way from the centre.
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.