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How to spend a day in Chelmsford for £10 or less

ARU Chelmsford is just as 10-minute walk away from the buzzing city centre and close to plenty of parks and green spaces. There is plenty to do in the city and with direct links to London, you’ll rarely run out of options! However, we know it can be overwhelming to decide how to spend your spare time and with the cost of living rising, we wanted to plan some ways you can spend a day in Chelmsford on a tight budget.

Experience the vibrant Bond Street.

Chelmsford’s Bond Street is a short walk from the ARU Campus and is home to restaurants, shops, and a cinema. Throughout the year, the centre of Bond Street hosts various pop-up events, including a ‘City Garden’ festival experience during the summer and a winter pop-up Après Bar from November time. The City Garden that is currently running is free entry and hosts a range of DJs and Musicians, so you can kick back on a deck chair with a refreshing cold drink and feel like you’re on holiday! Is this Ibiza or Chelmsford?!

If this isn’t for you, you can browse the shops and pop in for a refreshing cold drink in one of the many restaurants such as Las Iguanas and Wagamama. Bond Street is also home to Tiptree Tearoom, a café patisserie and shop that houses famous jams, gins, and preserves that are made in Essex and recognised across the world.


Discover the impressive Hylands Estate.

With free entry to the beautiful grounds, Hylands Park is a great choice for a budget friendly day in Chelmsford. Within the park, you can find carefully crafted gardens, cafes, shops, and the exquisite Hylands House which is a Grade II neo-classical villa. The whole park and the house in particular make a great backdrop for some impressive photos. The vast green spaces make the perfect place for a picnic if the weather’s nice, and you can also grab an ice cream or cold drink from one of the shops or cafes.

Events are held here throughout the year including Estate Open Days where you can experience a free guided tour of the estate, live music, street food stalls, and you can also take a horse and carriage tour for just £4 per person! A unique and exceptional way to spend the day.


Get competitive with friends at Boom Battle Bar.

Chelmsford’s Bond Street is also home to the new ‘Boom Battle Bar’ which hosts various well-known games and activities such as beer pong and shuffleboard, but with a fun twist!

Beer pong originated in the 1950’s in Dartmouth College in the US and is a favoured game among many students today. With digital beer pong tables for £7.50 each when split between 4 friends, you can play beer or prosecco pong in Chelmsford like never before! The price includes 2 pints of Lager or Cider, or 3 glasses of Prosecco, or soft drink alternatives.

Fancy something a little different? Why not have a go at Karaoke for £10 per person or play Shuffleboard from as little as £5 each, leaving some room to grab a drink or bite to eat.


Get active and try something new!

The Old Factory Gym on campus is an impressive and welcoming Gym and is a great way to spend a day when the weather isn’t on your side, and you don’t want to venture into town.

You don’t need to have a gym membership to get involved with the abundance of classes on offer, including bootcamp, spin, boxercise, and Pilates. You can book on easily for as little as £2.50 with The Old Factory App or by calling 01245 683380.

You can also hire the Mildmay sports hall for badminton, basketball, futsal, or indoor cricket for around £5. Whilst you’re on campus, why not head to 92 for a cold drink, coffee, or bite to eat once you’ve finished your class or game!


Crazy golf in Central Park.

Whether you’re an avid golfer or just want to act like a big kid for a while, Rascal’s Bay mini golf course could be a great way to spend a warm, dry day.

For less than £10 when split between four friends, you can enjoy a round of crazy golf in the city. Rascal’s Bay is situated between Central Park and Admirals Park and is around a 20-minute walk from campus.

To make the most of the day, you could pack a picnic and sit by the river or head to Central Park Café for a cold drink.


Hopefully, the above has given you some ideas on how to spend a day in Chelmsford on a budget. If you do get a chance to try out any of our suggestions, then we’d love to hear about it! Tag us in your posts and stories @Arucollege on Instagram.

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