While Essex might have gained a bit of a negative reputation due to television shows like The Only Way is Essex, these representations only show one part of a large county.
Essex is actually one of the most diverse counties to live in within the UK, and offers both convenience to London, and a great collection of historic attractions and quieter rural areas for those looking to settle in the countryside or near to the Essex Sunshine Coast. If moving to Essex, it is worth considering larger towns an cities like Colchester and Chelmsford, as well as the high quality of life is towns like Brentwood, Maldon and Rochford, as these are some of the best towns in Essex to live.
1 – Brentwood
Regularly voted one of the best places to live in England, the town of Brentwood has some of the highest employment and life expectancy rates in the country, as well as a low crime rate. The town is one of the most affluent parts of the county, and is well served by surrounding woodlands.
Brentwood is also notable for its long medieval history, and for its rural atmosphere, and easy access to surrounding woodlands. It is also one of the UK’s richest towns, and while perhaps difficult to buy property in, can provide a great base for commutes into London.
2 – Colchester
Believed to be the oldest town in the UK, Colchester was the Roman capital after its first invasion, and developed into a prominent marker town. Today’s Colchester still features many examples of its Roman and medieval past, but also includes a busy shopping centre and high quality accommodation in and around the town centre.
3 – Chelmsford
The only recognised city in Essex, Chelmsford is just 32 miles from central London, and consequently acts as a useful commuting point for those working in the capital. The city itself has a long history as an important trading town, and is ringed by small villages and suburbs.
In this way, Chelmsford is particularly useful for navigating between London and the surrounding Essex area. The city is also notable for the wide range of American townships that drew their name from the city. Chelmsford has excellent travel links to the rest of the country, and has recently enjoyed a redevelopment of its city centre to improve shopping and eating locations.
See also Where to Live in and around Chelmsford.
4 – Maldon
Another Essex town with a reputation for its quality of life, Maldon is noted for its medieval architecture, and its history as a market town. It is also located near to the River Blackwater, and forms part of the largest district of the same name, which is predominantly rural and known for its wildlife reserves.
5 – Rochford
Just 43 miles from London, Rochford encompasses both a town and a surrounding district, and is near to Southend. Rochford, like many small Essex towns, has a long history, and is well regarded for its commitment to green conservation, as well as for its tight knit community.
Rochford also includes the privately owned Rochford Hall, as well as a range of notable churches and other historical locations.
See also our page on the Best Commuter Towns In Essex which lists all the best towns on the commuter routes into London.
Guest Post by Martin Roche – Working with http://www.spicer.co.uk/ to offer adivce for people that are considering buying a property in Essex