The county of Essex offers a huge range of shopping opportunities. The major towns and villages, as you would expect, provide the greatest selection, ranging from familiar high street names to the more specialised and individual outlets. Essex is also home to the giant Lakeside Shopping Centre
. Contained under the same roof there are over 250 stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities and together with the retail park, it forms one of the largest shopping destinations in the UK.
Getting to Lakeside is hassle free, either by train; Chafford Hundred train station is only a few minutes' walk away, or by car; it is clearly signposted from junctions 30 and 31 off the M25 and with over 13,000 free car parking spaces, there should be no trouble finding a place to leave the car.Colchester
, Chelmsford, Basildon and Brentwood all have a great selection of shops and shopping centres and are well worth a visit if you plan to go Shopping in Essex.
The Meadows Shopping Centre situated in the heart of Chelmsford
is a fantastic place to visit. It has been open for 15 years and contains around 50 of the usual high street names, coffee shops and food outlets, and was recently voted best Shopping Center in Essex by the listeners of EssexFM radio station.
Located in the popular seaside town of Clacton on Sea and winners of the Colchester District Business Award 2005 and Essex Countywide Business Award 2006 for Environmental Awareness, is Clacton Factory Outlet
. With a wide range of stores selling quality products, at up to 60% off high street prices, you can see why they call it 'the home of priceless shopping'.
Once youíve parked your car in the free 1000 space car park, you can take a relaxing stroll around the many shops, enjoy a meal or snack in one of the many places to eat and even entertain the children in the free outside Play Park.
At Essex Farmers Markets
, the company responsible for the operation of markets in Brentwood, Epping, Gants Hill, Old Harlow, Romford, Southend on Sea
, Upminster and Wanstead, they are bringing selected local producers to village halls, high streets and market squares across the county in a bid to re-establish a direct relationship between producer and consumer.
With markets of this type becoming more and more popular, it shows the public have rediscovered farm shops
and remembered how food once was before it was processed and pre-packaged for the international marketplace.
Set on the outskirts of the historic Essex town of Braintree and less than 20 miles from Colchester on the A12 you can find Freeport Braintree Outlet Shopping Village
. Offering up to 60% off designer brands and spread across 80 outlets, Freeport is a unique shopping experience and one not to be overlooked.
When Shopping in Essex it is worth remembering that you are only a short car or train journey away from one of the greatest cities in Europe, London. This giant metropolis is home to some of the most busiest and famous shopping streets in the world. Most trains from Essex arrive at Liverpool Street Station, and then it is only a short tube ride to Oxford Street or the likes of Covent Garden.
Visit London, see the sights, do your shopping and then escape back to the more sedate county of Essex