Visitors to Basildon are guaranteed a hearty welcome to an area which has so much to offer within its own boundaries and is also so conveniently close to London, with road, rail, sea and air networks that open up the country and continent.
Basildon, although not always known for it, has a rich cultural offer. A permanent and lasting Heritage Trail across the town centre, highlights a distinguished inheritance not only for today's visitor but also for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. Another popular visitor attraction in the district is Barleylands. Here children can play in the Enchanting Farm Park, you can shop and learn at their inspirational Craft Village or come to their variety of events taking place throughout the year.
Visitors are spoilt for choice - for shopping there is the town centre, home to the indoor Eastgate Centre. Festival Leisure Park, has something for everybody, a cinema, bowling alley, nightclubs, bars and restaurants offering food from around the world. Basildon has more parks and open spaces than any other town in the county - you are always only minutes away from a splash of greenery or a taste of the countryside. Wat Tyler Country Park covers 120 acres and provides an ideal setting for a variety of wildlife. It sits within the South Essex Marshes which are steeped in history from the earliest periods; a landscape created over many centuries through the interaction of human communities and the natural environment. The park has also established a living museum with historic buildings brought from around the area to form a back drop for community events such as the Basildon Festival.
The RSPB features strongly in Basildon. Their Visitor Centre and Discovery Zone at Wat Tyler Country Park is the gateway to the South Essex Marshes Reserves where the black-tailed godwit, Cetti's warblers, Cuckoos, Curlews and Turtle doves are star species. The Vange Marsh is a mosaic of wetland habitats. The fresh and saltwater lagoons attract breeding avocets, common terns, little ringed plovers lapwings and reed buntings. In winter, wigeons, teals and shovelers visit the site and bearded tits thrive in the reedbeds. Our star species are some of the most interesting birds you may see on your visit to the reserve.
Other open green space include the Norsey Wood Nature Reserve near Bilericay is a designated ancient monument and Site of Scientific Interest, one of the few remaining examples of ancient managed woodland left in the UK. It is also considered as one of the best sites for bluebells in the world.