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Basildon is not a particularly touristy destination, and few people choose to make the town the centre of their English vacation. The city, of which the population is mainly made up of commuters, does, however, make for a comfortable base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. There are many traditional English villages around Basildon that are well worth exploring. There are also several car rental agencies, both international and local, that are more than willing to help travellers find suitable vehicles for excursions.
Who to Book With
Hiring a car in Basildon is a breeze thanks to the number of well-known international car agencies in town. Some of the more popular names include Easycar, Alamo and Thrifty. These agencies can be found at Heathrow Airport and at several other locations in Basildon.
Best time to go
Basildon is not exactly a tourist hotspot, but it does see its visitor numbers increase during the summer months of July to September. During this time, prices may experience a gentle rise, so it is advisable to make all bookings far in advance of arrival.
Need to Know Essentials
The following documents need to be taken along when collecting your rental car:
- A copy of the rental agreement
- Photographic identification like a valid passport
- An International Driving Permit and the driver’s original licence
- A valid credit card in the driver’s name.
There are not too many tourist sites in Basildon itself, so hiring a car is a good idea, as most traveller excursions are likely to be to the outskirts of town or to the surrounding towns and villages. Driving within Basildon is not too complicated, as the roads are in good conditions and easy to navigate. Parking in the city is, however, sometimes tricky to find, as many areas are restricted to vehicles. These areas are marked with yellow lines. Any cars found parking in the restricted zones will be charged and face being towed. The fines range between £20 and £75.
Basildon does not have an extensive public transport system, with only local buses and taxis available. Travellers will also find that many of the routes head out of the city, as most of Basildon’s population works in central London and needs to commute every day. Hiring a car is thus highly recommended, whether or not you plan on taking daytrips out of town.
The bus service in the city is the most popular mode of transport, but that’s probably because it is the only form of public transport available. The service is operated by First Essex Buses Ltd, which manages routes both locally and regionally. There are several ticket options available to suit both local and visitor needs. FirstDay is a good choice for those who are only in the city for a short period of time, as it permits access for 24 hours at a rate of just £4. Weekly, monthly and yearly tickets are also available. Tickets can be bought from one of the many FirstBus ticket agents around the city or on the buses themselves.
Local taxis are on hand to take passengers anywhere in the city. They are, however, not the cheapest form of transport, so most people prefer to take the bus. Taxis can be waved down from the side of the road but, more conveniently, they can also be booked in advance. Reliable taxi companies in the city include Basildon Cabs and AB Taxis.
While Basildon itself may not be altogether particularly appealing to tourists, the region in which it is situated, Essex, has many attractions. All you need is a vehicle and some time to explore the quaint riverside towns and gorgeous scenery that the region has to offer.
Barleylands Farm Park and Craft Village - Families with children should make a trip here, set just outside of Basildon. The centre is an educational facility where visitors can learn about farm life and sustainable agriculture. There is also an informative museum where visitors can see exhibits about primitive farming machinery.
Burnham - A quaint yachting town near Basildon, with the best fish and chips in Essex. Burnham is home to a lovely harbour filled with houseboats, lighthouse (pictured) restaurants, cafes, and of course, plenty of ice creams stalls. This town is at its best during summer, when both locals and tourists are out in full force.
Horndon-on-the-Hill - This historical village is a great place for those interested in supernatural activity. The town is said to be haunted, and locals will not hesitate to tell travellers about the many ghosts that have roamed the area for centuries.