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Find cheap accomodation for V Festival in Chelmsford
How to arrange for accommodation for V in Chelmsford
If you come to Chelmsford for the V Festival, it can be expensive to find a place to stay. This is my short guide to finding cheap accommodation in and around Chelmsford, from a local.
The V Festival comes to Chelmsford every August and doubles Chelmsford's population for a weekend, causing silly prices for accomodation. Save your cash for V and the crazy food and drink prices there.
If you liked this information and found it helpful, please leave me a comment. :-) If you still have Chelmsford questions, leave a comment with those as well and I'll update this area with further details, to answer your questions.
Camping, hostel or hotel?
If you've never been to Chelmsford, Essex, this guide will show you the best, cheapest, and easiest way to find accommodation. And as always, it's best if you try and book early as the closer it gets to V Weekend, the more places will be filled up.
To get this out of the way first, Chelmsford has no hostels! Unfortunately, we just don't get enough regular tourists to make it worthwhile. Do not be confused by CHESS, it is the city's homeless shelter and they will not agree to host you in exchange for helping out as they have strict rules about their volunteers.
Stay at onsite camping at the festival
Purchase your camping option up front with your ticket. You cannot walk up and buy camping.
- Standard camping: This is the least expensive option, it adds around £25 total to your weekend ticket.
- Campervan/caravan: If you are in a group or prefer to not have to put up a tent, this can also be an option at £99/pitch.
- Pre-pitched tents: If you don't have camping gear and will only try this once, it may make sense to spring out for a 2 to 8 person pre-pitched tent. It saves you the hassle of buying, carrying, putting up, taking down etc. but still gives you the camping experience.
- Luxury camping: There are a number of upscale options in more solid or upmarket structures.
Hotels, guesthouses, b&b's, pub rooms
A hotel will cost more than standard camping, but at least you can count on hot showers and not needing to wear your wellies to the toilet! Chelmsford is a town of 120,000 people, so there are a few hotels, guesthouses, b&b's and rooms above pubs.
Chelmsford has the standard cheap and cheerful hotels:
There is a new Chelmsford Premier Inn which is under a minute's walk from the train station. The V shuttle buses run from a stop very close to the train and bus stations. Pay close attention as Chelmsford has 3 Premier Inns, you're looking for 'Chelmsford City Centre' not Chelmsford Springfield or Boreham.
Chelmsford Travelodge is around a 20 minute walk from the train station.
A number of pubs offer basic or higher end rooms and are conveniently located for the V shuttle. As an added bonus you can have a pint onsite before you head over to V for day two. These will book up very early but in case you're looking for next year, some options:
Private homes-rent a room
Taking a room in a private home will save you bundles of money, but it limits your freedom a little as your nice hosts do not want to see (or hear!) you bringing home 10 new friends at 2 AM! Nor do we want to be cleaning up mud and grass while you'll be bringing in with you.
However, many people recognize that most folks coming to V will spend the day at the festival and are coming to enjoy the good music and atmosphere, and only need a place to sleep and have breakfast.
Established sites where you can search for rooms include Airbnb.
This site allows you to review photos of the places online and details about the hosts. As well, you have some assurance about where you will stay as many have reviews from previous visitors. As someone who is a host on these sites, I can tell you that having a profile and details about yourself will cause me to feel more confident in choosing you over the many other people who would like to stay in my spare room.
Check Gumtree Essex to see if anyone is renting rooms for that weekend, or put up your own "room wanted" ad. Just be careful as Gumtree is not regulated, so you'll want to stay in touch with your hosts, to ensure that all is ok prior to your arrival for V.
Expand your search outside of Chelmsford
There are additional options if all else fails, you can expand your search into the areas outside of Chelmsford. V itself is on the edge of Chelmsford at Hylands Park, postcode CM2 8WQ. You're actually closer to Writtle than you are to the center of Chelmsford so you can walk there in under 30 minutes. Granted, Writtle is a quaint, quiet offshoot of Chelmsford, but you can search for rooms there as well as Chelmsford, using the above tips.
For example, another option is to stay at Writtle College, they offer rooms and breakfast to V goers, just follow the link for contact details. Note, the walk from Hylands to Writtle is a bridleway, a paved path that is used by cyclists, horse riders, dog walkers etc. I wouldn't want to walk this path alone at night, but more than one of you should be fine and bring a torch.
In addition, Chelmsford is a regional destination, so many locations will offer direct bus and train service to Chelmsford, these will include: Harlow (bus), Colchester (bus/train), Witham (bus/train), Stansted (bus), and Southend (bus). To find local bus schedules, check the FirstGroup website, or check for trains here.
If all else fails, expand into the areas outside of Chelmsford, just be sure to stay near the train station towns, so from Chelmsford towards London you can stay in Ingatestone, Shenfield, Brentwood, Romford, Stratford, or London Liverpool Street.
In the direction away from London, Colcester and Ipwich will be on the main line out of Chelmsford.
As an example, the last train in the direction of Colchester leaves Chelmsford at 01.37 on the Saturday (well, early Sunday actually).
The rail service does put on extra trains for V, just be sure to check all your schedules in advance.
What about camping nearby?
For those wanting to pitch a tent, there are no sites in Chelmsford or the immediate vicinity. However, if you have a caravan, there are some sites nearby such as Mill House Caravan Park in CM3. If you are travelling with tent, your best option is to try and convince a local to let you pitch it in their back garden for a few bucks, either in Writtle or Chelmsford. Otherwise, you're dependent on Tent campsites and there are just not ones close enough to accomdate your late end times each evening, to be able to get to them via public transport. If you can go by car or taxi, here are the closest campsites.
What about just sleeping in the car, on a nearby road?
Not recommended. Chelmsford brings in extra police that weekend to deal with the masses that descend upon Chelmsford. As well, Chelmsford keeps an eye on crime as there is periodic theft from vehicles, or vehicle arson, so any suspicious vehicle activity will be addressed, and a visit from the Chelmsford police is the last thing you need.
How do I get from Stansted to Chelmsford?
How do I get from Chelmsford to London?
Take the train, check here for further info.