Area guide

Essex is well connected, particularly to London’s City and Docklands areas, and has excellent schools, both state and private. Bustling and growing towns are dotted about the unspoilt countryside and along the extensive coastline; one of the longest in the country.

Chelmsford Estate Agents

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This coastline provides a fantastic choice of yacht clubs and fish restaurants, enjoyed by Essex residents and tourists alike. As with much of the East of England, Essex benefits from a particularly dry and warm climate; no wonder, then, that’s it’s a very popular place to live.

Strutt & Parker’s Chelmsford office covers the whole county and our Cambridge office also services the North West corner. Essex has a wealth of fantastic property; country cottages and farms as well as huge country houses, equestrian properties and beautiful Georgian homes.

Things to do in Essex

There is a large array of outdoor activities in Essex. With 350 miles of coastline and beautifully rural countryside, wildlife thrives; rare birds, voles and seals are regular sights in some areas. Along the coast, there are extensive opportunities for sailing; with a huge number of yacht clubs dotted along the estuary.

Inland, the picturesque and rural countryside is the ideal spot for walking, cycling and riding. This lowland landscape has, for generations, been an inspiration to writers and artists; a cycling painter’s trail highlights the many scenes that have been immortalised in art. The buzzing towns and traditional villages, blessed with great traditional pubs and independent boutiques, are a great way to spend a relaxed weekend.

The county has a rich history, evident in its lavish architecture and numerous stately homes, including Audley End House, a former palace, and Ingatestone Hall. The county’s temperate climate is perfect for getting out and about and exploring all that Essex has to offer.

Why we love Essex

Within Essex itself, there are plenty of buzzing towns and cities but you can be enjoying a vast range of wildlife, beautiful scenery and coastlines, within minutes. It is also blessed with a rich history and many interesting historical and cultural landmarks.

Our Chelmsford office team recommends the following:

Jalsa Ghar in Great Dunmow serves traditional Bangladeshi and Indian cuisine as well as some unique dishes, all made from delicious fresh ingredients.

If local cuisine is more up your street, look no further than the Blue Strawberry Bistro in Hatfield Peverel, which serves up gourmet dishes made from locally sourced ingredients where possible, with exceptional service, at prices that won’t break the bank.

Pubs and bars
Barista on Duke Street, Chelmsford, has a wide range of drinks and a great atmosphere. Ideal for a quiet drink in the week, this bar livens up at the weekend, becoming a great venue for a party.

Annual events
The Chelmsford Summer Beer & Cider festival is held in Admiral’s Park, in the centre of Chelmsford, each July. The event is organised by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) and, with 360 real ales, 150 real ciders and perries and over 120 international beers, has become a firm favourite with locals, as well as attracting visitors from much further afield.

V Festival, a huge pop and rock festival which takes place every August, is held in Hylands Park in Chelmsford, attracting approximately 150,000 music fans to the area.

Secret spot/country walk
Essex is full of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, but our team in Chelmsford particularly like Danbury Park, Brightlingsea, Thaxted and Epping Forest.

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Properties for sale in Essex

Properties to rent in Essex

Key villages & towns in Essex

Schools in the area

Essex is known for its good schools, in all corners of the county.

In Brentwood, among a number of good schools is the Brentwood School; well renowned, with good results and famous alumni. InChelmsford, there are many good state primaries, including The Tyrells, Newlands Spring and Barnes Farm. Chelmsford County High for Girls and King Edward VI Grammar are both outstanding.

Colchester is especially blessed; Prettygate is an outstanding state junior school, Colchester County High School for Girls and Colchester Royal Grammar are both excellent state secondaries. Colchester High and St Mary’s School are both renowned independent secondary schools.

Felsted School, near Dunmow, is an excellent secondary school which offers the IB and good extracurricular activities and the Plume Community Academy inMaldon, for years 7 to 13, is very good. Saffron Walden is renowned for having excellent schools, particularly primaries; St Thomas More Catholic primary is outstanding, as is RA Butler Junior.

For a more comprehensive list of schools in the area we recommend the Good Schools Guide.

Transport links

By train

With trains going direct to London’s Liverpool Street station from a number of stations in Essex, it is a commuter’s dream; from Chelmsford or Brentwood, services take just 35 minutes – less than from many parts of London. From Audley End (serving Saffron Walden) and Braintree it takes about an hour, and from Witham and Colchester there are numerous trains every hour which take just over 45 minutes. Trains connect Colchester and Braintree to Chelmsford in about 20 minutes, while Witham to Chelmsford is just 10.

By train

The M25 crosses the county’s south-western corner and from there the wider motorway network is easily accessible. The M11 runs up the Western edge of the county, to Cambridge. A web of decent A-roads runs through the county, with the A12 in particular keeping everyone moving.

One of the biggest selling points of Essex is the fantastic combination of unspoilt countryside and farmland, yet with exceptionally good connections and access into London – it really is the best of both worlds.