Despite the county being well known across the country and across the world, countless lovely villages in Essex still manage to go under the radar. There are charming attractions and picture-perfect high streets for the whole family to enjoy. While the prettiest villages in Essex go unnoticed by many, they are often within an hour’s journey from London! Accessible and beautiful, what’s stopping you from visiting or even moving to some of the best villages in Essex?
More and more people are seen to be flocking to Essex to enjoy its countryside walks and proximity to the capital. We’ve put together a list of 5 picturesque villages for you to remember when you’re next house hunting or looking for a UK staycation.
Finchingfield is located in northwest Essex and has often been described as the most photographed village in the country. Its image as the traditional English village has won awards for its setting and offers gorgeous views that are often seen on postcards, jigsaw puzzles, and calendars. As for attractions, Finchingfield is a popular destination for a picnic on the lovely village green beside the duck pond. The surrounding colourful cottages and simple brick bridge offer the perfect views for a relaxing picnic. Many fascinating buildings are also worth the visit, such as the Guildhall, the Round House, and Spains Hall. Finchingfield Post Mill is a grade-II listed building in the village, which is thought to have stood since medieval times.
If you’re looking to head to Essex for a holiday soon, check out the best things to do in Summer in Essex or Autumn in our blog.
In our list of prettiest villages in Essex, we couldn’t miss Stock. With a whopping 3 pubs, the beautiful buildings and atmosphere in Stock have helped it to become one of the most scenic and most expensive villages in the country. The village boasts a lively social life for its residents and also every service that you could need, including village shops, a post office, restaurant, and primary school. For overnight visits to this charming village, which is just a short distance from Hutton, Greenwoods Hotel Spa and Retreat is set in beautifully landscaped gardens and a 17th-century manor house.
Located on the picturesque River Crouch, Battlesbridge is located just 20 miles from Chelmsford. Its riverside location has been vital to its history and boats and barges can be seen regularly sailing past the small village. It has also become a hub of antique and collectable stores, giving the village a very traditional and old-fashioned feel. Charming local pubs and the annual classic car show add to the historic atmosphere while shops and cafes provide everything necessary to perfect village life.
As one of the best villages in Essex for country walks, Wivenhoe has a fascinating atmosphere. Its crooked medieval homes, picturesque streets, and timber-frame houses reflect its long history and culture. The 10,000 residents include a real mixture of people, from retired adults, commuters, and students attending the University of Essex located nearby. Wivenhoe has also long been known for its artistic and diverse community. As a riverside village, you are free to enjoy walks along the quay or ferry trips along the river to view the expansive wildlife surrounding the residential areas.
Manningtree is another of the best villages in Essex found by the waterside. While one of the smallest towns in the country, it is also one of the prettiest places, and in 2019 the Sunday Times listed Manningtree as the 7th best place to live in East England. Georgian house fronts and timber-framed houses litter the High Street and traces of its history with Romans, links to Shakespear, and alleged tales of the Witchfinder General from the 17th century. There is an excellent array of charming cafes, convenient shops, and cosy pubs in and around the town.
Are you about to move to one of these beautiful locations or somewhere further afield? Self storage for moving house with Make Space can help.