Want to know the 10 of the top Towns in Essex as recommended by local property experts as the best places to live?
In this blog, our team of Essex Buying Agents highlights their top 10 suggestions for buyers seeking the best towns in Essex.
If the only way is indeed Essex, then you’ll want to know the best towns to live in this county.
Just a short train ride to London, Brentwood is the ideal commuter spot.
Here, you’ll find everything from great schools, like Brentwood School and Ursuline Convent, to rich green spaces, such as King George’s Playing Fields and Warley Place Nature Reserve. A leisurely walk or picnic is always on the agenda, weather permitting.
Shoppers will delight in the high street, which is a hub of activity with its mix of independent stores, cafes and restaurants.
Brentwood is also home to the famous Sugar Hut, a nightclub and bar that gained notoriety from the TV show “The Only Way is Essex.” And if shaking a leg doesn’t take your fancy, the tight-knit community in Brentford will win you over, whether it’s the friendly locals or everyone coming together for events like the Brentwood Festival.
When it comes to local property, there’s a wide range of choices. From charming Victorian terraces to spacious detached homes and sleek, modern apartments, homes in Brentwood cater to all types of buyers, including first-timers and anyone looking to move along the property ladder.
2. Saffron Walden
With its population of around 17,000, Saffron Waldenit’s small enough to maintain its strong sense of community yet bustling enough to keep you entertained.
Steeped in history, the town is a visual feast of architectural styles, from mediaeval marvels to Georgian grandeur and Victorian Gothic flair. The crown jewel? St. Mary’s Church, a 15th-century masterpiece that dominates the skyline.
But it’s not all about the past, and Saffron Walden is very much looking to the future.
The town’s calendar is chock-full of local events and festivals that bring the community together in celebration, such as BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair” at Audley End House & Gardens.
From stylish self-contained studio annexes to modern, clean houses with southwest-facing gardens, the town offers a range of properties that are conveniently located within 10-20 minutes of the town centre.
Thaxted is a market town steeped in history and brimming with mediaeval charm.
The town is a visual delight, with landmarks such as the awe-inspiring Church of St. John the Baptist and a beautifully restored windmill that stands as a testament to Thaxted’s agricultural past.
But you needn’t be a history lover to move here. It’s also a vibrant community that comes alive throughout the year with events like the annual Morris dancing festival, a tradition that has been upheld by the Thaxted Morris Men for generations.
While it’s not quite as busy as some of the other towns in Essex, places like Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow are nearby.
When it comes to housing, Thaxted offers a diverse range, from quaint, thatched cottages that look like they’ve been plucked straight out of a storybook to more modern family homes.
Stock perfectly captures the essence of English rural life and is a picturesque village with a population of just 1,500.
Situated near the towns of Chelmsford and Billericay, people move here for its quaintness without compromising on proximity to larger towns.
The village boasts a number of amenities, including local pubs like The Hoop and The Bakers Arms, a post office and a village hall.
One of the main attractions in Stock is its historic church, which dates back to the 12th century. It’s open to visitors and has a number of interesting features, including a mediaeval rood screen and a 15th-century font.
When it comes to housing, Stock has a diverse array of options that cater to various lifestyles and budgets.
The village is dotted with historic cottages, complete with thatched roofs and cobblestone paths, that transport you back in time.
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find contemporary detached homes with spacious gardens and sleek designs.
Located in the Braintree area of Essex, Coggeshall is another small town with a population of around 4,000 people.
Known for its historical buildings and picturesque scenery, residents make the most of Paycocke’s House and Garden, a handsome example of Tudor architecture that dates back to the 16th century.
The house is open to the public and peels back the curtain on Coggeshall’s past.
You can expect the usual here, including several pubs, as well as independent shops that include boutique clothing stores.
The town is particularly well-known for its antique shops, which attract visitors from far and wide.
As for housing, Coggeshall offers many charming period properties, complete with original features, and modern apartments closer to the town centre.
Known for its proximity to the sprawling Epping Forest, Epping is a popular market town with excellent transport links to London.
It’s a hub of activity, boasting a bustling high street filled with shops, cafes, and all types of restaurants.
One of the highlights is the weekly market, a tradition that dates back to 1253. You’ll find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
Head to Epping Forest, where you can hike, picnic and cycle to the backdrop of lush greens and peaceful surroundings.
There’s also a fair few local parks and green spaces, ideal for a leisurely stroll. Culture vultures will enjoy a visit to the Epping Forest District Museum, which displays the area’s rich history.
Epping offers a good mix of homes designed to cater to different needs and budgets.
The town features a mix of architectural styles, from charming Victorian terraces to modern flats and apartments.
For those looking for more space, there are also detached and semi-detached homes available on popular streets like Bury Road and St. John’s Road, often with gardens and off-street parking.
If you’re after quintessential Essex, then Billericay is the place to be. It also helps that there are excellent transport links, meaning commuters can take advantage of more affordable house prices than those found in the capital.
There are also some great schools, including Mayflower High School and Brightside Primary School. It’s home to a number of parks and green spaces, including Lake Meadows, which has a boating lake, tennis courts and a playground.
The town has everything from charming period cottages to modern houses.
The area known as the “Golden Triangle” is in high demand and known for its premium properties while being considered one of the most desirable places to live in Billericay.
A place known for its postcard-perfect high street and historic buildings, you will find Ingatestone in the Brentwood area of Essex.
The population is on the smaller side, at around 5,500 people, so there’s a good community feel here.
As well as cafes, pubs and restaurants, plus boutique independent shops, residents can make the most out of a weekly market selling fresh produce and other goods.
If you’re after larger shops, Ingatestone is well-connected to other parts of Essex. Plus, there’s a train station with direct services to London and Norwich.
Popular streets like High Street and Station Lane are often sought after for housing. High Street offers a mix of historic and modern homes and is close to local shops.
Station Lane is in demand for its proximity to the train station, making it ideal for commuters. Many streets in Ingatestone provide charming village vibes.
Nestled in the heart of Essex, Dunmow is a market town where traditional charm meets modern amenities.
It’s perhaps best known for its ancient Flitch Trials, a quirky yet endearing tradition that rewards couples with a flitch of bacon if they can prove a year and a day of marital bliss.
This sense of community and history extends to the town’s attractions, with Gardens of Easton Lodge and the historic Dunmow Maltings serving as must-visit landmarks.
As you stroll along Dunmow’s bustling high street, you’ll discover plenty of shops, cafes and pubs, as well as a vibrant atmosphere complemented by the town’s scenic countryside.
Nature lovers can take advantage of walking and cycling opportunities in the nearby countryside.
Dunmow doesn’t disappoint when it comes to housing. Cottages can be found in the older parts of town and are popular with buyers, as are the more modern homes in newly developed areas.
Streets like Rosemary Lane and Stortford Road are particularly popular, thanks to their easy access and mix of architectural styles.
In the Epping Forest district of Essex is where you’ll find Loughton, a town that effortlessly blends the busy life with the tranquillity of nature. Like Epping, Loughton is right next to parts of Epping Forest.
When you’re not strolling around the green spaces, you can find the action of High Road, which is the commercial heart of Loughton. Here, you’ll find a diverse array of shops, cafes and restaurants, making it a lively hub for both day-to-day errands and leisurely outings.
For those with a penchant for culture, the Loughton Arts Centre provides a rich tapestry of exhibitions and performances, while the Loughton Leisure Centre stands as a go-to spot for sports and fitness activities.
The architectural landscape is varied, especially for houses, and ranges from charming Victorian terraces to slick apartments.
Streets like Forest Road and Alderton Hill are especially coveted, not just for their spacious detached and semi-detached homes—often complete with gardens—but also for their convenient proximity to transport links and essential amenities.
Towns in Essex
These are just a small selection of the idyllic towns in Essex that would make wonderful places to live, such as Rayleigh might also appeal; this article is not an extensive list but insight into some of the areas buyers might want to find a home, to explore more areas in Essex our local buying agents can provide expert guidance.
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