Chelmsford is an ancient town in Essex, England with many historic buildings and monuments. The town is also home to a number of museums and art galleries. It is located between the River Chelmer and the River Blackwater.
Chelmsford is one of the oldest towns in England and has a rich history. It was first mentioned in AD43 as Cælmesforda meaning “Cælm’s ford”. The town was also known as Chelmodesforda, Chelmesfort and Colneisfort before finally adopting its current name.
The most distinctive landmark in Chelmsford is its clock tower which was built in 1894 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. There are plenty of attractions to be seen in Chelmsford.
Chelmsford population & location:-
Chelmsford has a population of approximately 110,000 people. The town has a number of landmarks such as the Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin, which was founded in AD 604 and is one of the oldest buildings in England.
Chelmsford town is located to the north of the M25 motorway and is part of the London commuter belt and It is located about 50 miles from London.
In Chelmsford, the summers are warm, the winters are freezing and snowy, and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 18°F to 83°F and is rarely below 3°F or above 92°F.
Things to do in Chelmsford:-
There are many things to do in Chelmsford such as visiting museums or watching live music performances at pubs and bars.
The most popular ones are:
- Hylands Gardens & Parkland:- Pretty views, gardens just coming into Spring colours. Cafe offers standard light lunch options. Loved the art shop in the courtyard. Such a delightful park but this gem used to be free and now yet another source of income for the local council.
- RHS Garden Hyde Hall:- Set in the heart of rural Essex, and enjoying stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, RHS Garden Hyde Hall is one of the finest gardens in the East of England. So spacious. Well cared for and thoughtfully presented individual areas. Good choice for refreshments, indoor and outside. Great nursery plants in the huge shop.
- Chelmsford City Racecourse:- Chelmsford City Racecourse is the UK’s newest racecourse and the home of horseracing in Essex, but it’s so much more than that. Very much on the plus side, the staff are very efficient and friendly. The initial entrance with a sniffer dog seemed a little over the top and not an immediate good impression but I guess there the times we live in.
- Chelmsford Cathedral:- A few yards away from the busy High Street of Chelmsford you will find this beautiful building which is full of interesting artifacts, memorials & other documents & items which relate to Chelmsford & the surrounding area, well worth a visit. You can read more about it here and watch the video I made during my visit.
- Hylands Estate:- Hylands Estate is a prestigious grade II* listed public park encompassing 574 acres of historic parkland. Hylands Estate is the perfect place to visit and explore, however now this beautiful landmark has now just become another indirect taxation grab. Parking is no longer FREE, in fact, it’s VERY expensive.
- Mace Playce:- Great place, would recommend to anyone that has small children, they do great little events as well. Cafe is well stocked and service was great. Mace Playce is a brilliant section for the under 2s, with a huge variety of baby toys. Generally a nice clean place to take your kids for a couple of hours.
- Bond Street:- A nice new bit to the city center. Not massive but underground car park which people use and then walk through Bond Street to get to the rest of the town for shopping. A few restaurants and cinema at the bottom end. Bond street can be found on the right hand side near the top of the Chelmsford High Street. This narrow street widens out into a pedestrian area & has some very popular retail outlets such as John Lewis & many more & as well as this there are cafes & restaurants for you to eat & drink in. Great place to chill & rest a while.
- Essex Police Museum:- Essex police museum has one of the best displays I have seen and really give you an insight in to the history of the policing of Essex going back over a 100 years, lots of things for kids to interact with and a really good way to show youngster of today that policemen are there to help.
- Chelmsford Museums:- Take a walk through Chelmsford’s history, from the Ice Age, right through to the present day. There is the chance to see a mammoth, watch a princely Anglo-Saxon burial, and find out what used to be on your street. With brand new galleries, interactive displays thousands of artefacts and immersive video installations. A lovely place for all ages to learn from knowledgeable staff, a great place to learn about Chelmsford.
- Sandford Mill Museum:- Sandford Mill, Chelmsford’s former waterworks, is primarily a museum collections store and science education resource. It is only open to the public on certain days – mainly Sundays – so best check the website. It has a fantastic collection of artefacts representing the industrial heritage of Chelmsford.
- Chelmsford Theatre:- This theatre is nicely situated in the town with plenty of parking and restaurants nearby. The seating is quite comfortable and the interior smart and clean. Making it a pleasant venue for a show or play. I strongly recommend you go and see the show, I promise you will not be disappointed.
- High Chelmer Shopping Centre:- Average shopping center! Easy to access with a range of shops! Toilets are clearly marked and easy to find! Parking available with the multi-story. Always end up with a good bargain! can get quite busy but not too bad.
- Riverside Leisure Centre:- Riverside’s superb facilities include two swimming pools and sensory splash zone, soft play, creche, ice rink, 190-station state of the art gym, spin and exercise studios and a Chelmsford city centre location. Most of people complain their booking system is not user friendly, its complicated and confusing but again it depends person to person and not all people can have the same problems.
- Central Park, Bell Meadow and Sky Blue Pasture:- A gem, enjoy a long walk, visit the cafe, admire the flowers and water, its all there. Very popular with locals, also perfect for picnics. Overall this is a beautiful park and really easy to get to. The park is clean an there are so many spots to have a quiet picnic with friends or family.
- Radical Bikes C.I.C. :- Radical Bikes is a unique Cycling Venue for BMX, Jump Bikes and Trials, with Dirt Jumps, Ramps, Foam Pit, Resi ramp and Trials Obstacles. Bring your own bike or hire one from them. Great place and suits all ages lots of fun to be had here racing around the tracks with your friends. The people who run it are always friendly, chatty, happy to help.
- Melbourne Stadium:- As an athletics stadium for which it was built absolutely perfect. This is quite a small stadium as you can expect. They not only play football here but it is used for other competition athletics games. This is where the school teams from around Chelmsford and surrounding areas come to complete.
- Meadows Shopping Centre:- Well worth a visit lots of shops to visit and barkers in walking distance nothing not to like, plenty of places to eat and drink as well. The range of stores and places for refreshments makes it worthwhile. There are a variety of shops for jewellery, fashion, travel agent, shoes, Boots the Chemist, Evans, books and stationery, hardware and toiletries, baby goods, restaurants, gift shops etc.
- Chelmsford Gallery:- A surprising lack of culture in this city makes this one of the few places available to view art, the art itself is quite good but the lack of competition makes for an average way to spend your time. Chelmsford Gallery is a good place to see the work of local artists. I would definitely recommend this gallery. There is a very varied pieces of art . Your always greeted with a warm welcome
- Chelmer Valley Park and Ride:- This is located on the A130 east of Essex Regiment Way, accessed from the Pratts Farm Roundabout. This service is absolutely great with buses running every 10 minutes into the centre of Chelmsford and together with plenty of free parking it makes journeys into town really easy. A daily ticket enables you to take as many journeys as needed on the same day. You can even go through to Sandon park and ride if you should need to. There is also a mini bus to Broomfield, Hospital at around 25 min intervals, ideal for attending appointments etc.
- Chelmsford Festival:- The Chelmsford town also has an annual festival called the “Chelmsford Festival” which takes place every year on the May bank holiday weekend.
Is Chelmsford a nice place to live?
Chelmsford is generally regarded as a safe city to live in, with a lower crime rate than the UK average. There are lots of towns and villages dotted in and around Chelmsford, adding to its desirable appeal. These include East Hanningfield, Tillingham, Battlesbridge, Bickacre, Great Leighs and Hanfield Peveral. With fascinating histories, beautiful homes and plenty of amenities, all of these areas are great places to live.
Watch Chelmsford City Centre Walking Tour, Essex England
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