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.
This does make Braintree worth visiting.
Getting into Braintree by road is easy and the most common choice. 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 serviced freqently by buses from Chelmsford, Stansted airport which is only 20 minutes away, and Colchester amoug other routes
Braintree is small enough to get away with walking everywhere: although the lazier amongst you will be pleased to know that there is a fairly reliable bus service that can get you around most parts of the town.
- Hatfield Forest 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 your 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, however to park there will cost about £5 pounds 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 ([email protected], fax: 01277 372562), . 10am till 4pm. £6.50 Adults, £4.50 children 5- 16 inc..
- "Bocking end" Down this area of braintree some old houses still remain though moderized sligtly 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
- The nearby village of Great Leighs has recently opened a race course. As it is still early in the race courses life therefore it is better to book tickets via the tracks website entrance is Approx £15 great leighsrace days vary but are fairly ferquent.
- Coggeshall Grange Barn, Grange Hill, Coggeshall, Colchester, Essex CO6 1RE Telephone: 01376 562226, .
Braintree is a market town, and so twice a week ( Wednesdays and Saturdays ) the town centre fills up with market stalls. Nothing that really stands out, that you wouldn't see 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. Doesn't stock a great deal, but it's nice to know someone has made the effort to do something a little different.
Finding a place to eat in Braintree should not be a hard task the town centre itself is littered with pubs and sandwich bars which cater for a range of needs.
If your 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.
- Easterns, 2 Great Square , Telephone: 01376 560703. Every few years will close down , and then re-open a few days later under a different name. This could have something to do with the size of the venue (or lack thereo ). One of the past managers tried make the club look bigger by filling it with mirrors. This did not work - although does mean the occasional, but oh so entertaining, sight of drunk people picking fights with their own reflections. The music is techno / dance / whatever is currently doing well in the charts. The DJ's also tend to play the same songs from week to week - sometimes not even bothing to change the order they play in. Dress code is 'Smart Casual'. The bouncers are not fans of people wearing boots with toe-caps. 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 Saturdays sticks with dance / techno music. Because of this , sells itself as a night club / 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. Being the newest pub in Braintree town centre , Mardys has attracted all the odd's and end's who weren't too keen on the other places in Braintree ( or who have been banned from them ). 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. This was clearly started and spread by people who have never been there : as the regulars at Mardy are in fact a very relaxed and friendly bunch. The local police force have totally bought into this reputation, however , and tend to mass outside the pub at weekends. It's possible they've just come for the music, though. Mardys is the closest thing Braintree has to a gay bar, and is definitely the best place to go for alternative types who can't make it to another town, but still want a night out. It also has a pool table , and serves the best Snakebites known to man : assuming the right member of staff serves you. Entry is free before 11pm, and there is no dress code. Stays open until 3am.
- 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.
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 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.