Although not immediately apparent, Chelmsford has several good little pubs offering real ale, friendly staff and minimal music/fruit machines. In no particular order, our favourites are:
The Woolpack: excellent real ales, sausage menu a speciality, games
The United Brethren: no frills or pretensions, interesting artefacts overhead and don't forget to check out the carpet.
The Railway Tavern: train-themed pub with booths opposite Chelmsford station, usually some colourful but friendly locals in here. Tiny beer garden at the back.
The Orange Tree: slightly off the beaten track, great selection of ales, not fancy.
The OddFellows: slightly more rough and ready and it can get a little rowdy at times, but this is actually a nice boozer with staff that work hard to make a go of the pub.
Dress Code: No dress code
If you're young (under 25) and want a night of crazy dancing and heavy drinking, this is the place to go in Chelmsford! You walk in after queueing for quite a long time, and the first thing that hits you is the smell of cheesy feet. I don't know why but its pretty strong! But once u get used to the smell, you'll have a good night here. Its always packed on Fridays and Saturdays and the music is normally quite a good mix. The drinks aren't cheap unless u want to drink alcopops all night, but if you want to get drunk fast then they'll do!
I found the nightlife in Essex very interesting and different of course from what I am used to in Finland so it was interesting and lots of fun. However, I did not spend here long enough to find out all about it so I will have to come back again.
This is the other club I visited here, Yates, seems to be less popular then Edwards but anyhow, it is a good place to get a drink, listen to music and try to have some fun. At list there was no queue at the bar.
Edwards seems the most popular place in this town, at list when I was here in winter 2005. It was very crowded with lots of people drinking of course, the music was loud and you will have to queue for the bar as well.