Walking around Basildon?

If you – like me – live in the postindustrial wastelands that is modern day South – East Essex, you will be delighted if you get out of the concrete desert from time to time and get some fresh air and get away from the NEETs.  Surprisingly, this is actually not that, hard, as the County and District Councils run a surprisingly large and diverse collection of country parks. To find the best ones, may I recommend the following little tome:

‘Secret Basildon’ by Sue Ranford is a little gem of a book with 15 medium and short range walks around some of the nicest nature reserves you would hope to find. Sue makes the walks easy to find and to navigate, adds helpful little maps and gives you even a little hint or two on what to look out for.

Today we walked around the lovely Northlands Wood Country Reserve which is literally 5 minutes by car from Basildon proper and (apart from the constant din from the A13) lets you forget that you live in one of the most unappealing places in England. Quite a feat.

Just around the corner from Basildon. Really?