Best Places to Live in Essex

10th July 2024

Living in Essex is replete with wonders: 350 miles of blonde-beach coastline, historical ruins, a buzzing cafe culture, and more than 80 nature reserves! If you’ve been captured by its charm and are considering a potential move, we’ve put together the best areas to live in Essex so you can have your pick.

1. Billericay 

Nestled in the well-forested Essex countryside, the small town of Billericay features stunning Georgian homes and period properties. Green and open spaces are in abundance, but Billericay also has excellent connections to London and further afield. The town caters to a diverse choice when it comes to schooling with multiple institutions boasting an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating. The host of cultural/historical attractions and fantastic high-street shopping also make Billericay a nice place to live.

2. Brentwood 

Bordering Greater London, Brentwood is known for its top restaurants and excellent connectivity. There are direct services to London (including the Elizabeth Line) and the South East,  as well as a straightforward route to the rest of England on the M25. From modern apartments, historic Elizabethan houses, and elegant terraced, detached, and semi-detached homes, Brentwood has it all with prices reflecting the town’s desirability and high quality of life. 

Chelmsford Cathedral in Chelmsford, England.

3. Chelmsford

The only fast-paced city in Essex, Chelmsford is perfect for young professionals as well as families. The city centre is packed with leisure options from ice skating to trampolining. If rural adventures are more your thing, the countryside offers fantastic hiking and water sports opportunities. With London and the Essex countryside both a stone’s throw away, living in Chelmsford offers the best of both worlds. 

4. Colchester 

Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester offers an interesting mix of historical charm and modern living. The property market is diverse, with period homes and contemporary apartments catering to varied tastes and budgets. The education system is robust, and the town boasts an excellent quality of life with independent boutiques, gourmet restaurants, theatres, and a plethora of other amenities catering to residents of all ages.

Roman ruins in Colchester, UK.

5. Saffron Walden 

Only 15 miles from Cambridge lies the prettiest town in Essex - Saffron Walden. There’s been a 93% increase in enquiries from potential property buyers since the pandemic, and it’s hardly a surprise. The town’s stunning architecture and lively coffee scene have quickly garnered attention. Of course, Audley End - an English Heritage home hosting al fresco concerts and a miniature railway - adds to the charm of this Essex town.

6. Frinton-on-Sea

You’ve hit the jackpot if you’ve picked this quintessentially British town to live in Essex. Frinton-on-Sea attracts visitors primarily due to its seafront, but it's also a popular place to live as it’s peaceful and relaxing, unlike most coastal resorts which can be seen as tacky. Vacationing Londoners first flocked to its pastel beach huts when the town’s High Street was named ‘Bond Street of East Anglia’ in the 1920s. A century down the line, Frinton has retained its charm, making it one of the best places to live in Essex.

The seaside town of Frinton-on-Sea in Essex.

Essex’s sandy beaches draw visitors across the country each summer. But you’re not wrong if you’ve realised that this county is beautiful through the seasons. If you’re considering a move, there are a number of great places to choose from and Make Space has a state-of-the-art self-storage facility in Billericay when you should need it.