Move to Essex

Rural Essex has some wonderful parts. Much of the county is rural, a mixture of farmland and pockets of ancient woodland, an excellent place for walking or cycling with all the water based activities on the coast and wonderful river estuaries of the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne. Of particular attraction is the undulating countryside between the ancient market town of Saffron Walden and Colchester, England’s oldest recorded town. The area east of Colchester, known as the Tendring peninsular and the ‘sunshine’ coast also have great appeal. Picture book villages with duck ponds and windmills, and tiny hamlets speckle the map. On the Suffolk boarders, the Stour Valley is known as ‘Constable Country’. Flatford Mill, site of the painters famous ‘Hay Wain’ is still much as it was in the 1820’s, as are the many miles of unspoilt countryside and 350 miles of coastline the county provides. If boats are your thing, there are some fabulous waterside locations on the creeks and estuaries and around the charming town of Maldon. Many delightful pockets can be found even closer to London with excellent road and rail links.

The better scoring primary schools tend to be in the rural areas and Essex has some state secondary schools that score well in the league tables including a few grammar schools and some ex-grammars that achieve good results and attract families to their catchments.

Rail lines cross through both the east and west of the county to London Liverpool Street. With many lines stopping at Stratford (great for the DLR) the county appeals particuarly to the City worker. There is easy access to the M25 and the M11 for road journeys and both Stansted and London City, plus the smaller London Southend Airport, are convenient for business travel or charter get-aways to Europe.

What part of Essex is right for you?

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Best Place to Live in Essex: Lovely Essex Villages and Small Towns

Great Bentley, Pleshey, Sible Hedingham, Finchingfield, Blackmore, Brightlingsea, Fambridge, Burnhman on Crouch, Wivenhoe, Kelvedon, Coggeshall, Copford, Great and Little Tey, Messing and Easthorpe, Wendens Ambo and areas around Saffron Walden, Maldon and surrounding areas and villages on the Suffolk borders such as the wonderfully named Steeple Bumpstead.

Commute from Essex: stations to London Liverpool Street

Audley End: 51 mins
Bishops Stortford: 38 mins
Braintree: 1hr 6
Burnham on Crouch: 1hr 7
Colchester: 53 mins 
Elsenham: 1hr 1
Great Bentley: 1hr 17 
Manningtree: 1hr 5 
Marks Tey: 54 mins 
Sawbridgeworth: 39 mins
Southminster 1hr 11
Althorne 1hr 2
North Fambridge 56 mins
South Woodham Ferrers: 49 mins
Battlebridge 47 mins

Journey times shown are for the fastest services available at useful times. Additional services may have longer journey times so check National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner.

Audley End House

Essex Life. Something for the weekend...

  • dVisit reconstructed Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village for a hands on history experience.
  • Enjoy stately Audley End House and Gardens.
  • Find out about local specialities at the Tiptree Jam Museum or pick your own in the strawberry fields.
  • Take your watercolours or camera to Flatford Mill and capture the scene, little changed since Constable's day.
  • Take your boat out from Heybridge Basin.
  • Take the kids to Colchester Zoo.
  • Listen to some jazz at Haverhill Arts Centre or see a play at the Mercury Theatre.
  • Stop and smell the roses at the RHS Gardens of Hyde Hill.
  • Or join conservation projects at Abberton Resevoir and spot a rare Bittern in the reeds.

Strawberry Picking

Towns in Essex

Some Essex towns, especially those closer to London, are large and less that desireable. However, there are many lovely towns that are pleasant to live in or to be close to. Home hunters might like to consider the following list for further investigation or to centre a re-location search.

Braintree, Brightlingsea, Buckhurst Hill, Burnham-on-Crouch, Chafford Hundred, Chalkwell, Coggeshall, Colchester, Frinton-on-Sea, Great Dunmow, Hadleigh, Halstead, Harwich, Heybridge, Hockley, Maldon,  Manningtree, Saffron Walden, South Woodham Ferrers, Southminster, Thaxted, Walton-on-the-Naze, West Mersea, Witham, Wivenhoe.


Essex Homes. Typical traditional house styles in Essex include Medieval timber beamed farmhouses where the use of hand-made bricks or painted weatherboarding add to their attraction. There are many thatched or steeply pitched peg tile roofs on both village and rural homes and spacious timber or brick barn conversions can be found in rural spots as well as classic Georgian or Victorian houses in the smaller towns and villages.Essex Barn Conversion

Upsize North London N8 flat to a handsome house near historic Saffron Walden.

There are a good selection of houses for sale in and around the lovely market town of Saffron Walden for sale for less than the price of a 2 bedroom N8 garden flat between Highgate and Crouch End. Served well by two... MORE

Upsize North London N8 flat to a handsome house near historic Saffron Walden.

From Deptford to a Rural Barn Conversion

For what your modern 3 bedroom terrace house in Deptford SE8 is worth, buy a magnificent barn conversion near one of the many sought after villages north of Chelmsford in Rural Essex. Typically you will have generous... MORE

From N4 to proper village life

A small 4 bedroom terrace house with 25ft patio in Finsbury Park could buy you a beautiful, 5 bedroom, modern, converted barn with half an acre and self contained annexe in one of rural North Essex's charming villages... MORE

From Wanstead to River Views

Are you living in a large 5 bedroom house in Wanstead with only a courtyard. For the same money you could own a huge residence in the Essex countryside, only a few miles from the station at South Woodham Ferrers. From... MORE

From Wanstead to River Views

A weekend in Wanstead?

From East Dulwich Semi-detatched to Impressive County Home

How about a 6 or 7 bedroom grade two listed detached house in one of the many attractive Essex/Suffolk border villages not far from commutable Colchester? Perhaps you are currently living in a semi-detached Edwardian... MORE